Manufacturer Seeking to Extend Success Streak in Iconic Race
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – TR3 Racing and Lamborghini are teaming up for a pair of entries in next month’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, one each in the new GTD PRO class and the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Both cars competing in the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener will be the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO.
The GTD PRO lineup for TR3 will feature three past Rolex 24 winners in Mirko Bortolotti (2018 and 2019 GTD winner), Rolf Ineichen (2018 and 2019 GTD), Andrea Caldarelli (2020 GTD), with Marco Mapelli filling out the four-driver assault.
TR3’s GTD entry will also boast past Rolex 24 winners in Jeff Segal and Bill Sweedler, who took class honors in 2014 GTD. They will co-drive with John Megrue and Lamborghini factory driver Giacomo Altoe.
“The 24 Hours of Daytona has a special meaning for us and, following four (GTD) podiums in a row, we have the aim to fight for the top positions again,” said Giorgio Sanna, Lamborghini Head of Motorsport. “This race will also open the partnership between Lamborghini and TR3 Racing, an experienced team that I’m sure has the potential to take good results.”
The partnership between the Italian manufacturer and TR3 began in 2021, with the team fielding entries in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, the single-make series also sanctioned by IMSA. Greg Romanelli, TR3 team principal, credited that relationship built with Sanna and Chris Ward, senior manager of motorsports for Lamborghini North America, as being key to taking the huge next step with the double entry for the 60th Rolex 24.
“We have come a long way to run in the Rolex 24 for the first time – not only with one entry, but also running a second entry in GTD PRO for Lamborghini,” Romanelli said. “I joked with Giorgio and Chris that a year ago at the 24 hours we had our first meeting to start this new relationship. Now, a year later, we will be at Daytona running a car together in the top GT class.
“This shows the recognition from Lamborghini of the dedication and hard work from everyone at TR3 Racing,” Romanelli continued. “I am grateful for this opportunity. We are working day and night to be prepared for the race. We are proud to have been selected to run the factory program for Lamborghini at Daytona.”
The current plan calls only for TR3 to run in the Rolex 24, but the team is working toward entering all four of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup events in 2022. Lamborghini’s past Rolex 24 wins came in 2018 and ’19 with GRT Grasser and with Paul Miller Racing in 2020. In addition, the manufacturer took second place in 2020 with GRT Magnus and third this year with Paul Miller Racing.
“I am really excited to drive again in the 24 Hours of Daytona, my sixth year in a row for Lamborghini Squadra Corse,” said Caldarelli, the most recent Rolex 24 winner among the lineup when he was with PMR in 2020. “I am also really happy to do it in GTD PRO next year with my long-time teammates. It is (our) first time with TR3, so we will have to work very well during the Roar (Before the Rolex 24 test) to prepare the race as much as possible. I am really confident that we can achieve a good result at the end.”
The TR3 GTD entry features veterans Segal, a 12-time IMSA race winner and two-time season champion, and Sweedler, who has three career wins and one title. Altoe, the 21-year-old factory driver, qualified fourth for the 2019 Rolex 24 in his only previous experience at the race that annually kicks off the international motorsports season.
“I’m stoked to be back racing at the Rolex 24 Hour of Daytona for my second time, after my debut in 2019,” Altoe said. “It’s one of the most iconic races in the world and it will be for sure one of my highlights of the season. Lamborghini has always been really strong here, so I’m very much looking forward to start working with all the TR3 family and get our job done!”
The Roar Before the Rolex 24 runs Jan. 21-23 and includes three days of testing and the qualifying race to set the starting grid for the 24-hour race. Action for the historic 60th Rolex 24 runs Jan. 27-30, with the race starting at 1:40 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 29. Tickets are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.