Stars from F1 and IndyCar Named to Driver Lineups for January’s Twice-Around-The-Clock Classic
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If you’re looking for star power in the 2024 Rolex 24 At Daytona, you’d be wise not to overlook the LMP2 class, as several big-name drivers were recently added to driver lineups for the twice-around-the-clock battle coming up on the weekend of Jan. 25-28.
Brazilian former Formula One star Felipe Massa surprised his 1.3 million Instagram followers on Wednesday afternoon with a video announcement from pit lane at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta that he would be making his Rolex 24 At Daytona debut in the No. 74 Riley ORECA LMP2 07 alongside co-drivers Gar Robinson, Felipe Fraga and Josh Burdon.
“I’ve always tried to do one of these races in my career, and it will be the first time that I will race the 24 Hours of Daytona with Riley Motorsports,” said Massa, an 11-time F1 Grand Prix winner. “It’s a very great and important team here in the U.S. I wanted to say thank you very much to Gar Robinson for the invitation to be part of your team, together with my brother, Felipe Fraga.
“We are racing Stock Car (in Brazil), and it will be the first time that we are together in this very important team. Also, Bill Riley, who is the owner of the team and we also have Josh (Burdon). We’re going to be four drivers here racing and I’m so happy. I’m sure it will be a great experience for me to be part of this important race together with all of you.”
On the heels of Massa’s announcement, a trio of IndyCar stars were named to LMP2 driver lineups on Thursday morning.
New Zealand’s Scott McLaughlin, who made his IMSA debut in 2023 and won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the LMP2 class, is returning to the No. 8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 in the 2024 Rolex 24. He’ll be sharing the car at Daytona with team owner and full-season driver John Farano, as well as American racer Michael Dinan and Ferdinand Habsburg, a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 champion.
“I am thrilled to be back with John, Rick (Capone, team manager) and the Tower Motorsports team for the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” McLaughlin said. “It was great to win at Sebring together in 2023, and it was certainly a big highlight, but I definitely feel like we have unfinished business at Daytona. We had tremendous pace in the car and an outstanding strategy from the team in 2023, and I have full faith that this will be the case once again in 2024 as we aim to compete for the win. That’s truly what it’s all about; winning one of the biggest sports car endurance races in the world.”
In addition to the Rolex 24 lineup, Tower Motorsports confirmed its full-season plans for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. For all races after Daytona, Farano will team with Charlie Eastwood – who will drive in the GTD class at Daytona in one of the new AWA Corvette Z06 GT3.Rs. Dinan will be in the No. 8 car’s lineup for all five IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races.
Shortly after Tower’s lineup news broke, an announcement came from United Autosports that IndyCar race winner Felix Rosenqvist would be joining the team to share the No. 22 ORECA alongside co-drivers Daniel Goldburg, Paul di Resta and another driver to be announced. It will be the Swede’s third Rolex 24 appearance, but first since 2018.
“I’m super excited to be back in sports car racing,” Rosenqvist said. “It’s been five years since I did a sports car race… I used to do it a lot back in the day. But it’s been put on pause recently because I’ve been focusing on my IndyCar career. It’s something I love doing and to be racing with United Autosports is really cool. This team has won a lot of LMP2 races before, so they’re coming in with the expectation to do well – which matches my goals.”
While the Rosenqvist announcement was big news in its own right, United Autosports wasn’t done. Half an hour after the Rosenqvist announcement, the team revealed that IndyCar star Pato O’Ward – a previous WeatherTech Championship PC class champion and a two-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner – would be hunting for another Rolex Daytona Cosmograph this coming January.
This time, he’s joining co-drivers Ben Keating, Ben Hanley and Nico Pino in the No. 2 United Autosports ORECA.
“We want some shiny Rolexes on our wrists when we’re done with that race weekend!” exclaimed O’Ward.
The LMP2 finish in the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona was a nail-biter, with James Allen drafting past Hanley coming to the stripe to win by just 0.016 seconds. With an expanded, 12-car field and global racing superstars signed up to race, it could be another thriller again in 2024.
The 2024 WeatherTech Championship kicks off with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona from Jan. 19-21. Rolex 24 race week action runs Jan. 25-28. For ticket information, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.