DragonSpeed has targeted a defense of its Rolex 24 at Daytona LMP2 class victory, with the Elton Julian-owned squad in the planning stages for a return to Daytona next year, while also eyeing an effort in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Julian confirmed to Sportscar365 that he’s making a “push” to field the team’s pair of Oreca 07 Gibsons in the opening two rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The European Le Mans Series regulars, which took part in a single season of the FIA World Endurance Championship in both LMP1 and LMP2 in 2018-19, claimed class honors in this year’s Florida endurance classic with drivers Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Saavedra, Roberto Gonzalez and Ryan Cullen, in a class that featured four cars, two of them being fielded by the American squad.
Julian said one car is already confirmed for Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman although has outlined the prerequisite of having “at least” five cars to race with in the class in order for his program to get the official green-light.
“We hope that if we announce this early, others may join,” he told Sportscar365.
Despite only two full-season entries this year, interest in LMP2 is building for the 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Rick Ware Racing, which is set to undertake a two-car Asian Le Mans Series program this winter, has announced plans for a LMP2 entry next year, with the longtime NASCAR outfit reportedly having purchased the ex-BAR1 Motorsports Riley Mk. 30 Gibson.
Sportscar365 understands that another team has also been in dialogue with IMSA on a possible season-long effort, along with a potential second Oreca from PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.
A series of changes in the technical and sporting regulations, including making Daytona not count towards the season-long championship, which has been reduced to six rounds, is believed to be attracting several teams’ interests.
IMSA is also understood to be no longer mandating the use of its proprietary data-logger systems, which would reduce cost for foreign entrants, while talk has intensified on a Bronze-rated driver mandate.