Silly season continues to be in full swing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. With full-season entries due by Dec. 1, teams are in the process of finalizing their programs for the 2015 season.
Following its first update published last month, Sportscar365 takes a look at the confirmed and possible entries for the Prototype and Prototype Challenge classes.
Confirmed Full-Season (8 cars):
Action Express Racing – Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi will return to the No. 5 Corvette DP in defense of the drivers’ championship, while the team expands to a second, full-season entry for Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, which will carry the colors of Whelen Engineering. (2 cars)
Wayne Taylor Racing – Brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor are set to return to the Konica Minolta-sponsored Corvette DP, with a relatively unchanged effort. Hopes of fielding a second car have so far failed to materialize. (1 car)
Spirit of Daytona Racing – Plans are in place for Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante to again be back behind the wheel of the No. 90 Corvette DP. The Troy Flis-led squad is likely to be known as VisitFlorida.com Racing in 2015. (1 car)
Chip Ganassi Racing – GRAND-AM’s most successful team will continue with at least one full-season Riley-Ford DP next year. Although not yet announced, it would seem logical for both Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas to return as drivers. (1 car)
SpeedSource – The lone full factory team in Prototype is currently the only confirmed full-season P2 entry, with its pair of Lola-based Mazda SKYACTIV-D cars set to return and build on its first season of development. Jonathan Bomarito rejoins SpeedSource, taking the full-season seat of Sylvain Tremblay, who scales back to the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races only. (2 cars)
Michael Shank Racing – The longtime DP entrants will switch to a brand-new Ligier JS P2 for 2015 with Ozz Negri and John Pew returning for their ninth consecutive season together. No word has been given on the engine, although Michael Shank previously told Sportscar365 they were under a two-year contract with Ford that began in 2014. (1 car)
Confirmed Partial Season (5 cars):
DeltaWing – The Don Panoz-owned group is set to return, with significant off-season developments planned for the Elan-powered prototype. There could be a shakeup in the driver lineup, with Andy Meyrick likely to concentrate on his full-season commitments with Bentley. (1 car)
Extreme Speed Motorsports – While opting for a full-season program in the FIA WEC, the Scott Sharp-owned team will return to the TUDOR Championship for the Patron Endurance Cup only rounds with its pair of HPD ARX-04b cars. (2 cars)
Krohn Racing – The first American customer to commit to the Ligier JS P2, Tracy Krohn is set to contest Daytona and Sebring, as well as possible additional events with the Judd-powered entry. Nic Jonsson will return as co-driver, with a to-be-announced third pilot for the enduros. (1 car)
RG Racing – A new Ohio-based group is planning to enter an ex-Michael Shank Racing Riley DP, now fitted with a Dinan powerplant, in the Patron Endurance Cup races. Few details have been revealed at this point. (1 car)
Possible Entries (1-2 cars):
Starworks Motorsport – The Peter Baron-led team is close to finalizing a return with its Riley DP, with more news likely to follow in the coming weeks. It’s unclear if it could be a full or partial season effort. (1 car)
OAK Racing – Chances of a full-season return appear increasingly unlikely for the French squad, which is set to focus its 2015 team efforts in the FIA WEC with the OAK-operated G-Drive Racing effort. A Patron Endurance Cup only program hasn’t been ruled out, but is dependent on budget. (1 car)
8Star Motorsports – Plans to field a HPD ARX-04b in the top class have failed to materialize for the Enzo Potolicchio-owned squad, with its sports car focus likely to be in Prototype Challenge instead. The team has its remaining Corvette DP up for sale.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Bobby Rahal has called off plans to run a Riley-Dinan DP next year, with the full scope of the team’s 2015 program likely to be announced in the coming weeks.
RSR Racing – The Paul Gentilozzi-owned team will focus on Prototype Challenge in the U.S., while still making a bid for a FIA WEC or ELMS program with an Oreca 03R Nissan.
Confirmed Full-Season (3-4 cars):
CORE autosport – Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are set to defend their title in the No. 54 entry, in an expected identical program to 2014. While not completely discounting an expansion, there are no plans to field a second entry. (1 car)
RSR Racing – Chris Cumming and Jack Hawksworth have been confirmed to return with the Gentilozzi family-run squad in 2015, with the team working on a second full season entry for Bruno Junqueira and a to-be-determined Silver-rated driver. (1-2 cars)
Performance Tech – The Brent O’Neill-led group will return with its single-car entry. Jerome Mee has already been signed for the Patron Endurance Cup rounds, while the team is working to keep David Ostella and James French together for the full season. (1 car)
Likely/Possible Entries (4-8 cars):
Starworks Motorsport – With Mirco Schultis focusing on HSR racing next year, Peter Baron continues to work on securing his team’s PC future, with multiple options being explored for 2015. The team recently tested Mike Hedlund and Mikhail Goikhberg. (1-2 cars)
8Star Motorsports – While set to enter Indy Lights next year, the Enzo Potolicchio-owned squad is also targeting a return to PC next year, with one or two Oreca FLM09s. It’s unclear if Luis Diaz, who had brought backing from Takis, will return to the class in 2015 (1-2 cars).
BAR1 Motorsports – The Brian Alder-led team is working o return to a full-season two-car operation with many of the drivers seen at the wheel of the Ohio-based team’s entries at Petit Le Mans (1-2 cars)
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports – The Bobby Oergel-owned squad is targeting a return and have been actively testing drivers, while also pursing an undisclosed additional program. (1 car)
JDC/Miller Motorsports – The first-year PC team is likely to return with a similar effort to support its open-wheel and sports car racing ladder system. (1 car)