It’s a dawn of a new era for sports car racing, as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship kicks off this weekend on the famed Florida high banks for the 52nd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.
To gear up for the history-making event, FOX Sports’ SPEED Blog previews the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic with a team-by-team look at the 67 cars that are set to compete in the season-opening round.
Following looks at GTD and PC, check out a preview of the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.
FOX has your coverage of this exciting event!
TV Schedule (Sat. Jan 25-26):
1:30pm ET Pre-Race begins on Fox Sports 2
2pm-4pm ET on FOX
4pm-9pm ET on FOX Sports 2
9pm-7am ET on IMSA.com
7am-3pm ET on FOX Sports 1
A one-of-a-kind experience will also provided by viewing multiple on-board cameras during the action!
You can also stream the full race by now using the new FOX Sports Go Mobile App!
Click HERE to download the FOX Sports GO Mobile App.
GT Le Mans (11 Entries)
Corvette Racing (Corvette C7.R): The defending class champions roll out with the all-new Corvette C7.R, one of two GTE-spec cars to be making their full-season U.S. debuts. With significant developments over its predecessor, including a 40 percent stiffer chassis and direct injection, Pratt & Miller’s latest creation could be the car to beat. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia are joined by new recruit Ryan Briscoe in the No. 3 car, while Robin Liddell reinforces the lineup of the No. 4 Corvette with full-season drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
Porsche North America (Porsche 911 RSR): There are high hopes for Porsche’s new factory effort, especially after showing encouraging pace with the new 2014-spec Porsche 911 RSRs at the Roar earlier this month. The CORE autosport-run squad should be challenging for the class win, especially with the German manufacturer’s top lineup of drivers led by Richard Lietz, Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet (No. 91) and Patrick Long, Joerg Bergmeister and Michael Christensen (No. 912).
SRT Motorsports (SRT Viper GTS-R): Overall winners at Daytona more than a decade ago, the Viper returns to the Rolex 24 looking to continue its endurance racing legacy. Stacked with an all-star lineup of Dominik Farnbacher, Marc Goossens, Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 91) and Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer and Rob Bell (No. 93), the Bill Riley-led squad head in as one of the leading contenders the class win.
BMW Team RLL (BMW Z4 GTE): Entering the second year for the GT3-based contender, the Rolex 24 is likely to be BMW’s most challenging race yet, due to a top speed deficit around the wide-open oval/road course. While the V8-powered beast will shine on the tight and twisty circuits later in the season, a podium finish will likely be the goal for the star-studded lineup of Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand, Andy Priaulx and Maxime Martin (No. 55) and Dirk Mueller, John Edwards, Graham Rahal and Dirk Werner (No. 56).
Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin Vantage V8): While technically operating as a customer program, AMR’s Rolex 24 effort won’t necessarily be flying under the radar. With names like Darren Turner, Stefan Muecke, Pedro Lamy and Richie Stanaway joining Paul Dalla Lana at the wheel of the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8, the British squad shouldn’t be counted out of a podium, or even class win.
Risi Competizione (Ferrari 458 Italia GT): The Ferrari stalwarts return for another season with a stellar lineup of Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, Matteo Malucelli and Olivier Beretta. Despite having skipped the Roar, don’t count out the red Prancing Horse from victory, either, in what’s no doubt the most competitive GTE field in recent memory.
Krohn Racing (Ferrari 458 Italia GT): Completing the eleven-car entry is the Krohn green Ferrari, upgraded to 2013 spec but unlikely to challenge for the class victory. Team owner Tracy Krohn will take part in his 10th Rolex 24 together with longtime co-driver Nic Jonsson, with GT veterans Andrea Bertolini and Peter Dumbreck completing the driving duties.