57th Rolex 24 At Daytona: GT Team-By-Team
Thursday, January 24, 2019

There are no fewer than 10 world-class manufacturers participating in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes.

The GTLM class – for factory-backed, all-pro driver lineups – has earned a reputation for being the toughest class of GT racing in the world. GTD, meanwhile, features ultra-fast GT3 race cars prepared by outstanding race teams and piloted by uber-competitive Pro-Am driver lineups.

While these GT machines are duking it out on the racetrack, their road-going brethren are featured attractions at the many manufacturer displays throughout the Daytona International Speedway infield. They are also parked in one of the many manufacturer-specific car corrals located throughout the speedway grounds. Tickets are available now at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.

NBC Sports will show the Rolex 24 At Daytona in its entirety between NBCSN and the NBC Sports App, beginning with a 2019 season preview show at 2 p.m. ET today, followed immediately by a first-time telecast of Rolex 24 qualifying at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Live coverage of the Rolex 24 race begins on NBCSN at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 26.

IMSA Radio will have live coverage throughout race week on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with Rolex 24 race coverage also available on SiriusXM Radio Channel 202 (Streaming 972).

Let’s take a closer look at each team in GTLM and GTD:

 

GT Le Mans

No. 3 Corvette Racing

Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia/Mike Rockenfeller

Magnussen and Garcia have ended each of the past two WeatherTech Championship GTLM seasons atop the point standings and head into 2019 thinking three-peat. All three drivers have won the Rolex 24 at least once before, but it’s been a while (2015 for Magnussen and Garcia; 2010 for Rockenfeller) and they’ve not done it together… yet.

 

No. 4 Corvette Racing

Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner/Marcel Fassler

This trio of drivers emerged victorious in one of the most exciting Rolex 24 finishes ever, when Gavin edged teammate Garcia by a scant 0.034 seconds to win the GTLM class in 2016. After that, Gavin and Milner went on to win the 2016 WeatherTech Championship GTLM title. They also earned the distinction of taking Corvette Racing’s 100th victory at Lime Rock in 2016. Next up on the hit list: Corvette Racing’s 100th IMSA win, as they currently sit at 99 victories.

 

No. 24 BMW Team RLL

BMW M8 GTE

Jesse Krohn/John Edwards/Chaz Mostert/Alex Zanardi

It’s safe to say all eyes will be on the No. 24 BMW throughout the Rolex 24 weekend – and especially when Zanardi is either in the car, or getting in or out of the car. The Italian racer and two-time CART champion who lost his legs in a crash at EuroSpeedway Lausitz back in 2001 has been nothing short of inspirational since. There’s a slew of talent in all four drivers of the No. 24 BMW, though, and with a year’s worth of learning the M8 GTE now under the team’s belt, they should be right in the mix.

 

No. 25 BMW Team RLL

BMW M8 GTE

Augusto Farfus/Connor De Phillippi/Philipp Eng/Colton Herta

De Phillippi and then-co-driver Alexander Sims delivered the first two victories for the BMW M8 GTE anywhere in the world last year when they won at VIRginia International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Sims is now one of BMW’s full-time Formula E drivers, so De Phillippi was slated to co-drive for the full season with Tom Blomqvist. Unfortunately for Blomqvist, visa issues will prevent him from racing at Daytona, so the experienced Farfus will fill his spot. Eng, the 2015 Porsche Supercup champion, and second-generation racer Herta, who will race full-time in IndyCar later this year, solidifies the lineup.

 

No. 62 Risi Competizione

Ferrari 488 GTE

Davide Rigon/Miguel Molina/Alessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado

The Risi Ferrari carries four fantastic Ferrari factory drivers (say that five times fast), including one – Pier Guidi – with a previous Rolex 24 victory (GTD in 2014). The others also have achieved tremendous success. Calado co-drove to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) GTE Pro championship in 2017. Molina won the SprintX championship in World Challenge last year, while Rigon is a FIA WEC regular and a past winner of the Spa 24 Hours.

 

No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing

Ford GT

Joey Hand/Dirk Mueller/Sebastien Bourdais

Two years ago, the No. 66 trio ended the Rolex 24 in victory lane, just as they had done the year before in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last year, they dominated much of the race before their No. 67 Ford GT teammates went on take the victory with the No. 66 completing a 1-2 sweep for the team. At season’s end, Hand and Mueller went on to win the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup GTLM title. These guys are always a threat to win.

 

No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing

Ford GT

Ryan Briscoe/Richard Westbrook/Scott Dixon

Their 2018 Rolex 24 GTLM victory gave the already accomplished Westbrook a “signature” win in one of motorsport’s crown jewels. It was Briscoe’s second Rolex 24 win in four years (he won the GTLM class in 2015 with Corvette Racing), and was Dixon’s third Rolex 24 victory after winning overall in 2006 and 2015. It turned out to be a good omen for him, as he went on to win his fifth IndyCar Series title at year’s end. Briscoe and Westbrook, meanwhile, finished second in the GTLM season standings.

 

No. 911 Porsche GT Team

Porsche 911 RSR

Patrick Pilet/Nick Tandy/Frederic Makowiecki

They closed out the 2018 WeatherTech Championship in the best possible way, with a GTLM victory in Motul Petit Le Mans. They also won last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. Tandy and Pilet won the Rolex 24 together back in 2014. They’re hoping to share the experience with Makowiecki this weekend.

 

No. 912 Porsche GT Team

Porsche 911 RSR

Earl Bamber/Laurens Vanthoor/Mathieu Jaminet

Bamber and Vanthoor know a thing or two about winning 24-hour races. Bamber’s done it twice at Le Mans overall in LMP1 machinery. Vanthoor won the GTE Pro class at Le Mans last year with a very special “Pink Pig” historic livery. And don’t look now, but there’s another historic livery on the car this weekend. Jaminet, meanwhile, is an up-and-comer in the Porsche ranks who raced his first Rolex 24 last year in the GTD class with Wright Motorsports.

 

GTD Class

No. 8 Starworks Motorsport

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Parker Chase/Ryan Dalziel/Christopher Haase/Ezequiel Perez Companc

Dalziel, a 2010 overall Rolex 24 winner, is rekindling his WeatherTech Championship relationship with Starworks Motorsport after spending the past several seasons with Tequila Patrón ESM. And they’ve achieved a lot together, including a win at Le Mans and an FIA WEC title. Dalziel and Chase achieved success together last year in World Challenge, where Chase was the SprintX/Pro-Am champion. Longtime Audi factory pilot Haase is back for his fourth Rolex 24 in 2019, while Companc is back for a third straight year and first time in an Audi after running Lamborghinis previously.

 

No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports

Porsche 911 GT3 R

Scott Hargrove/Zacharie Robichon/Lars Kern/Dennis Olsen

Hargrove and Robichon, who will co-drive the No. 9 Pfaff entry all year in the WeatherTech Championship, are the past two champions of the IMSA-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. Hargrove took the 2017 title and last year won another championship in World Challenge. Robichon won all but one race en route to the 2018 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada title and also won seven of eight GT3 Cup Challenge USA starts. Kern is a longtime Porsche test driver who set a record around the famed Nurburgring circuit. Norwegian driver Olsen is a Porsche factory driver who won the 2017 German Porsche Carrera Cup. All four drivers will be competing in the Rolex 24 for the first time in 2019.

 

No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team

Lamborghini Huracán GT3

Rolf Ineichen/Mirko Bortolotti/Christian Engelhart/Rik Breukers

The No. 11 GRT Lamborghini team returns to defend their 2018 Rolex 24 GTD victory with three of the four drivers from last year’s winning lineup in Ineichen, Bortolotti and Breukers. Engelhart drove GRT’s No. 19 Lamborghini in last year’s Rolex 24 and is competing in his fifth Rolex 24 this year.

 

No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan

Lexus RC F GT3

Frank Montecalvo/Townsend Bell/Aaron Telitz/Jeff Segal

The AIM Vasser Sullivan team makes its WeatherTech Championship debut with two Lexus RC F entries in GTD and an experienced core group of drivers, especially in the No. 12 machine. Bell is the 2015 GTD champion, a 2014 Rolex 24 winner in GTD and a 2016 GTE Am winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He’s returning to full-time WeatherTech Championship competition for the first time since that 2015 title-winning season. Segal – who is part of the team’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup lineup – was Bell’s teammate for the Rolex 24 and Le Mans wins and is a multi-time IMSA champion himself. Sports car veteran Montecalvo will be Bell’s season-long co-driver, while Indy Lights veteran Telitz makes his Rolex 24 debut.

 

No. 13 Via Italia Racing

Ferrari 488 GT3

Chico Longo/Victor Franzoni/Marcos Gomes/Andrea Bertolini

The Via Italia Ferrari has an eclectic driver lineup for a spotlight appearance in the Rolex 24. Franzoni raced Indy Lights last year and finished fifth in the season standings with a victory at Road America. Longo competed in three consecutive Rolex 24s from 2013 through 2015 and is back for his first run since then. Gomes was Longo’s Rolex 24 co-driver in 2014 and 2015 and made five starts last year in the NASCAR K&N East Series. Bertolini won the GTE Pro class in the 2012 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and has made 23 IMSA starts dating back to 2012. This will be his fourth Rolex 24 appearance.

 

No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan

Lexus RC F GT3

Richard Heistand/Jack Hawksworth/Austin Cindric/Nick Cassidy

Hawksworth brings his experience from the past two seasons as part of the 3GT Racing Lexus team to the new AIM Vasser Sullivan venture. He’ll be teamed for the full 2019 season with Heistand, who previously has raced Porsche Supercup, Atlantic Championship and Star Mazda. Cindric is a NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competing in his third consecutive Rolex 24. New Zealander Cassidy is a multi-time champion of the Toyota Racing Series in his native country and is making his first Rolex 24 appearance.

 

No. 19 Moorespeed

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Andrew Davis/Alex Riberas/Will Hardeman/Markus Winkelhock

The longtime GT3 Cup Challenge USA team enters WeatherTech Championship GTD competition with Hardeman, who drove the team’s GT3 Cup entry the past several years and won last year at Sebring. His full-season co-driver will be Riberas, a two-time GTD race winner who is back in the WeatherTech Championship full-time for the first time since 2016. Winkelhock is a longtime Audi factory racer, while Davis is a past IMSA champion still searching for his first Rolex 24 winner’s watch.

 

No. 29 Montaplast by Land Motorsport

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Daniel Morad/Christopher Mies/Dries Vanthoor/Ricky Feller

Morad returns for his first Rolex 24 since winning in the GTD class back in 2017 as part of a talented lineup. Mies is an Audi factory racer who won Motul Petit Le Mans with the Montaplast team back in 2017. Vanthoor is the younger brother of Porsche GTLM driver Laurens Vanthoor and is making his first Rolex 24 start this year. He won the Bathurst 12 Hour last year. Feller is an 18-year-old Swiss driver with previous Audi experience making his first Rolex 24 appearance.

 

No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Ben Keating/Jeroen Bleekemolen/Luca Stolz/Felipe Fraga

Keating, Bleekemolen and Stolz won the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup in the GTD class last year. It was the second consecutive such title for Keating and Bleekemolen, who are aiming for their first WeatherTech Championship GTD championship in 2019. Brazilian driver Fraga is a past Stock Car Brazil champion.

 

No. 44 Magnus Racing

Lamborghini Huracán GT3

John Potter/Andy Lally/Spencer Pumpelly/Marco Mapelli

Longtime co-drivers Potter and Lally are sharing a new Lamborghini in the GTD class as they go for their third Rolex 24 victory together. Lally is the winningest active driver in this year’s Rolex 24 with five previous class wins in the twice-around-the-clock classic. Pumpelly is a two-time Rolex 24 class winner who will complete the team’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup lineup. Mapelli is a Lamborghini factory racer competing in his second Rolex 24.

 

No. 46 EBIMOTORS

Lamborghini Huracán GT3

Emanuele Busnelli/Fabio Babini/Taylor Proto

The Italian team is making its second Rolex 24 appearance in the past three years. Babini has made 17 IMSA starts going back to 2000 and is racing in his fifth Rolex 24. Busnelli is racing in his third Rolex 24, while Proto, a Lamborghini Young Driver, is making his Rolex 24 debut.

 

No. 47 Precision Performance Motorsports

Lamborghini Huracán GT3

Steve Dunn/Linus Lundqvist/Milos Pavlovic/Don Yount

The PPM team moves up from Lamborghini Super Trofeo competition in the Rolex 24. Yount – who claimed his first GTD win last year at Watkins Glen – is returning for his fourth Rolex 24 appearance. Pavlovic, a past Lamborghini Super Trofeo world champion, will make his second Rolex 24 start. Dunn and Lundqvist are making their respective WeatherTech Championship debuts this weekend.

 

No. 48 Paul Miller Racing

Lamborghini Huracán GT3

Bryan Sellers/Ryan Hardwick/Corey Lewis/Andrea Caldarelli

The 2018 GTD championship team returns with Sellers and new full-season co-driver Ryan Hardwick, the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo AM world champion. Sellers and Lewis won at Sebring last year and are looking to build on last year’s Rolex 24 podium result. Caldarelli was part of that third-place performance and is back for his third consecutive Rolex 24 as part of the Paul Miller Racing lineup.

 

No. 51 Spirit of Race

Ferrari 488 GT3

Paul Dalla Lana/Pedro Lamy/Mathias Lauda/Daniel Serra

The No. 51 Ferrari team returns for its annual Rolex 24 appearance. Dalla Lana will be making his 10th Rolex 24 start. Lamy, an F1 veteran, is making his ninth start at Daytona, with Lauda – son of F1 legend Niki Lauda – making his fifth Rolex 24 apparance. Serra was the GTD polesitter last year at Daytona and co-drove to a GTD class victory last year at Motul Petit Le Mans.

 

No. 57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing

Acura NSX GT3

Katherine Legge/Ana Beatriz/Simona De Silvestro/Christina Nielsen

The No. 57 Acura will carry the first all-female driver lineup since 1994, and what a talented lineup it is. Nielsen won the WeatherTech Championship GTD championship in 2016 and 2017, while Legge was the GTD championship runner-up last year. Legge, Beatriz and De Silvestro are all Indy 500 veterans. Beatriz was quickest in GTD qualifying for pit and garage spaces at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 and will be part of the team’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup lineup. De Silvestro, a full-time racer in Australian Supercars, is making her Rolex 24 debut.

 

No. 63 Scuderia Corsa

Ferrari 488 GT3

Cooper MacNeil/Toni Vilander/Dominik Farnbacher/Jeff Westphal

MacNeil is back in the WeatherTech Ferrari with a new season-long co-driver in longtime Ferrari ace Vilander. The No. 63 squad carries momentum from winning the Motul Petit Le Mans to close out the 2018 season with MacNeil and then-co-drivers Daniel Serra and Gunnar Jeannette. Farnbacher won the Rolex 24 in his race debut back in 2005 and won another one 10 years later with Riley Motorsports. Westphal has won WeatherTech Championship races previously with Scuderia Corsa.

 

No. 71 P1 Motorsports

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Maximilian Buhk/Fabian Schiller/Dominik Baumann/JC Perez

P1 owner/driver Perez is back for his second consecutive Rolex 24 as part of a 2018 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup program. Buhk was part of the team’s lineup at Motul Petit Le Mans, which was his first WeatherTech Championship experience. Baumann moves to the No. 71 team after racing the 2018 GTD season with 3GT Racing. German driver Schiller is appearing in his first Rolex 24 this weekend.

 

No. 73 Park Place Motorsports

Porsche 911 GT3 R

Patrick Lindsey/Patrick Long/Matt Campbell/Nicholas Boulle

Lindsey returns as a full-time GTD competitor in 2019 after racing the FIA WEC last year and welcomes a new season-long co-driver in Long, a Porsche factory ace. Long is a four-time IMSA champion and was a 2009 Rolex 24 winner. Boulle also has a Daytona winner’s watch, which he scored in the Prototype Challenge class back in 2017. Australian driver Campbell has raced Australian Supercars and has competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour several times, but is making his first Rolex 24 appearance.

 

No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian

Acura NSX GT3

Mario Farnbacher/Trent Hindman/Justin Marks/AJ Allmendinger

Farnbacher and Hindman are the new season-long co-drivers of the No. 86 Acura. Hindman is a champion in both IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo, while Farnbacher has won at least one WeatherTech Championship race each year going back to 2015, despite being a part-time driver each of the past two years. Marks won the GT class in the 2009 Rolex 24 and NASCAR veteran Allmendinger was an overall Rolex 24 winner in 2012.

 

No. 88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Frederic Vervisch/Kelvin van der Linde/Ian James/Roman De Angelis

The No. 88 squad brings a mix of experience to the Rolex 24 with all four drivers looking for their first Rolex 24 victory. James has made 26 total IMSA starts at Daytona, while van der Linde made his debut in the race last year. De Angelis won last year’s IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Daytona and was a front-runner in both GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Canada in 2018. This will be his first Rolex 24 appearance, as it also will be for Vervisch, who previously raced in America in the Atlantic Championship back in 2009.

 

No. 96 Turner Motorsport

BMW M6 GT3

Bill Auberlen/Robby Foley/Dillon Machavern/Jens Klingmann

Auberlen is the winningest active driver in IMSA competition with 58 career victories and has a clear target in 2019, to eclipse Scott Pruett’s record of 60 IMSA wins. He’ll start that quest in the Rolex 24 with his season-long co-driver, Foley, who is making his second Rolex 24 start. Machavern, a 2017 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) champion, picked up his first career WeatherTech Championship race win last year with Turner at Watkins Glen. Klingmann also has won WeatherTech Championship races with Turner, a total of three in 2016 and ’17.

 

No. 99 NGT Motorsport

Porsche 911 GT3 R

Juergen Haering/Klaus Bachler/Sven Muller/Steffen Goerig/Alfred Renauer

Three of the five drivers in the NGT lineup – Haering, Goerig and Renauer – will be making their first appearance in the Rolex 24. The other two drivers – Bachler and Muller – each will be participating in their fourth straight Daytona enduro. NGT has fielded full-time entries in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA the past several years – and won the 2018 Gold Cup title last year with driver Victor Gomez IV – but also has extensive WeatherTech Championship and American Le Mans Series experience.

 

No. 540 Black Swan Racing

Porsche 911 GT3 R

Timothy Pappas/Marco Seefried/Matteo Cairoli/Dirk Werner

 

The team led by owner/driver Pappas, a two-time ALMS GTC champion, brings a wealth of experience to Daytona. Seefried won at Daytona in 2016 with Magnus Racing, while Werner is a nine-time IMSA race winner and champion of the GRAND-AM GT class back in 2007. Cairoli is competing in his third consecutive Rolex 24 this weekend.

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