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PR1/Mathiasen Confirms Rolex 24 Lineup

Mike Guasch, Luis Diaz, David Cheng, Tomy Drissi and James Kovacic for Rolex 24…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

With the launch of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship now less than one month away, the pieces are quickly falling into place for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

That includes PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, which has become the first Prototype Challenge team to announce its full driver lineup for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic on Jan. 25-26.

The California-based squad confirmed to Sportscar365 Friday that reigning American Le Mans Series class champion Mike Guasch will be reunited with 2013 teammates Luis Diaz and David Cheng.

They’ll be joined in the No. 52 Oreca FLM09 by Tomy Drissi and James Kovacic, both newcomers to the team, but no strangers to PC competition, having previously driven for both Intersport Racing and BAR1 Motorsports.

“It’s been in the works for quite a while,” team owner Bobby Oergel told Sportscar365. “Mike has been someone that’s wanted to run with us, if he wanted to return to PC, [which he has].

“For David, it’s really a 24-hour only program for him right now. In the case of Luis, this is a [continuation] of business started over a year ago. It’s definitely a package we’ve been trying to put back together for quite a while.

“With James, we had been talking for quite a while, the same for Tomy. I think he and I had been talking about doing a program for three years now!

“It’s going to be fun. I like all of them. They all fit the mold pretty well and I believe they’ll play well with each other. We looked at the big picture and that’s what it was really all about.”

Guasch, who claimed victory at Sebring this year with Cheng and teamed with Diaz for the class win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, is expected to defend his drivers’ title.

Oergel said both the team’s second full-time driver and additional pilot for the endurance races is part of its Daytona lineup but will be announced at a later date.

PR1/Mathiasen will be making its fourth Rolex 24 start, after previous appearances in the Rolex Series GT class with Pontiac and BMW-bodied Prep 2 machinery.

“I don’t underestimate any team that’s out there running in this category, whatsoever,” Oergel added. “It’s pretty impressive. Yes, we have some experience with what’s going to play out [in the race] but most of the teams have been through this event before.”

While having recently taken delivery of a brand-new Oreca FLM09, the team will start the season with its tried-and-trusted chassis, outfitted with new parts, before moving to the new car for the second round of the season at Sebring.

As many as 12 PC cars are expected for Daytona, although a number of teams have yet to confirm funded drivers.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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