Race Weekend Central

Entry List: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Roar Before the 24

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about which teams will attempt the Rolex 24 in 2018.  The mandatory Roar Before the 24 test sessions in early January give viewers a look at who will be there.  As of Wednesday, there are 50 teams entered for the three-day test.

On paper, it is a stacked 50-car entry.  However, based on the comments previously made by IMSA officials that hinted at the race being “oversubscribed,” it is a little disappointing.  Of note, IMSA has set the maximum field size for the Rolex 24 at Daytona at 60.

As expected, there has been a lot of growth in the Prototype class.  Last year, only 12 Prototypes competed in the Roar and the race itself.  In 2018, there will be 20.  The entry list itself clears up a number of questions.

For Tequila Patron ESM, the list shows that Olivier Pla has been assigned to the No. 2, while Nicolas Lapierre has been assigned to the No. 22.  Previously, the endurance racers had not been assigned cars.  Joel Miller is the only driver listed in BAR1 Motorsports’ No. 20 Riley Mk. 30-Gibson.  He’ll bring his knowledge of the Riley Mk. 30 (which the Mazda RT24-P is based on) to the team.

Performance Tech Motorsports has not officially announced their driver lineup as of yet, but James French and Kyle Masson are listed as drivers for the Roar.  Both have experience with the team.

AFS/PR1-Mathiasen Motorsports has added Nick Boulle to their team for the test.  He has two previous starts with the team, most recently at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park back in July.  That race ended with Boulle’s teammate, David Ostella, flipping the car in the final minutes after sliding into the tires.

JDC-Miller MotorSports has a couple of additions.  Austin Cindric has been added to the No. 85 “Banana Boat.”  Meanwhile, Gustavo Menezes has been added to the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon.”

The GT Le Mans class has nine entries with no European teams making the trip.  Most of the changes of note have already been announced.  Nick Tandy returning to the No. 911 and Earl Bamber to the No. 912 was announced in November.  However, the assignments for BMW’s endurance drivers were revealed in full here.  Nicky Catsburg and Augusto Farfus will drive the No. 24 while Philipp Eng joins Bill Auberlen in the No. 25.

For Risi Competizione, they only have Alessandro Pier Guidi listed as a driver for the No. 62 Ferrari at the moment.  That could change.

In GT Daytona, there are 21 teams entered with a couple of surprises.  One, Risi Competizione has entered a Ferrari 488 GT3 in the class with the all-Mexican lineup of Santiago Creel, Martin Fuentes and Ricardo Perez de Lara.  Creel and Perez de Lara drove together for The Racers Group in the Rolex 24 at Daytona back in January, while Fuentes has spent the past couple of years racing in Pirelli World Challenge.

Spirit of Race is back with a Ferrari 488 GT3 of their own with the lineup of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Daniel Serra.  On paper, the lineup sounds solid.  In practice, the idea of this group of drivers racing a Ferrari is unusual.  All four drivers raced for Aston Martin this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship.  Dalla Lana, Lamy and Lauda shared a car and won the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Am Drivers.

In the Audi camp, Magnus Racing’s return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship appears to be official (although the team has not produced a press release indicating it as of yet).  The No. 44 Audi is entered with Andy Lally, team owner John Potter, Andrew Davis and Markus Winkelhock driving.  They’re joined by Montaplast by Land-Motorsport.  They return two of their drivers (Christopher Mies and 18-year old Sheldon van der Linde) from their class victory at Road Atlanta in October.  Joining them are Kelvin van der Linde (Sheldon’s older brother) and Jeffrey Schmidt.

Scuderia Corsa has added Gunnar Jeannette to the No. 63 Ferrari, while Tim Pappas will drive Park Place Motorsports’ No. 73 Porsche.  Finally, Jens Klingmann will play it alone in the No. 96 BMW for Turner Motorsport.  It should be noted that Klingmann was the sole driver at the Roar in 2017 for the team.

In addition to Spirit of Race, there are three more European teams entered.  Manthey Racing is back with their Porsche 911 GT3 R with the same driver lineup (minus Reinhold Renger) as 2017 led by Matteo Cairoli.  GRT Grasser Racing Team has also entered two Lamborghini Huracan GT3s.

2018 WeatherTech Championship Roar Before the 24 Entry List

Prototype2 - Tequila Patron ESMRyan Dalziel
Olivier Pla
Scott Sharp
Nissan DPi
GT Le Mans3 - Corvette RacingAntonio Garcia
Jan Magnussen
Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
GT Le Mans4 - Corvette RacingMarcel Fässler
Oliver Gavin
Tommy Milner
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
Prototype5 - Action Express RacingFilipe Albuquerque
Joao Barbosa
Christian Fittipaldi
Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Prototype6 - Acura Team PenskeDane Cameron
Juan Pablo Montoya
Simon Pagenaud
Acura ARX-05
Prototype7 - Acura Team PenskeHelio Castroneves
Graham Rahal
Ricky Taylor
Acura ARX-05
Prototype10 - Wayne Taylor RacingRyan Hunter-Reay
Jordan Taylor
Renger van der Zande
Cadillac DPi-V.R.
GT Daytona11 - GRT Grasser Racing TeamMirko Bortolotti
Rik Bruekers
Rolf Ineichen
Franck Perera
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
GT Daytona14 - 3GT RacingDominik Baumann
Bruno Junqueira
Kyle Marcelli
Lexus RC F GT3
GT Daytona15 - 3GT RacingDominik Farnbacher
Jack Hawksworth
David Heinemeier Hansson
Scott Pruett
Lexus RC F GT3
GT Daytona19 - GRT Grasser Racing TeamChristian Engelhart
Christopher Lenz
Louis Machiels
Ezequiel Perez Companc
Max van Splunteren
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
Prototype20 - BAR1 MotorsportsRyan Cullen
Joel Miller
Marc Drumwright
Riley Mk. 30-Gibson
Prototype22 - Tequila Patron ESMPipo Derani
Nicolas Lapierre
Johannes van Overbeek
Nissan DPi
Prototype23 - United AutosportsFernando Alonso
Phil Hanson
Lando Norris
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
GT Le Mans24 - BMW Team RLLNicky Catsburg
John Edwards
Augusto Farfus
Jesse Krohn
GT Le Mans25 - BMW Team RLLBill Auberlen
Connor De Phillippi
Philipp Eng
Alexander Sims
GT Daytona29 - Montaplast by Land-MotorsportChristopher Mies
Jeffrey Schmidt
Kelvin van der Linde
Sheldon van der Linde
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Prototype31 - Action Express RacingMike Conway
Eric Curran
Stuart Middleton
Felipe Nasr
Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Prototype32 - United AutosportsHugo de Sadeleer
William Owen
Bruno Senna
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
GT Daytona33 - Riley MotorsportsJeroen Bleekemolen
Adam Christodoulou
Ben Keating
Luca Stölz
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Prototype37 - Jackie Chan DC Racing JOTARobin Frijns
Daniel Juncadella
Felix Rosenqvist
Lance Stroll
ORECA 07-Gibson
Prototype38 - Performance Tech MotorsportsJames French
Kyle Masson
Patricio O'Ward
ORECA 07-Gibson
GT Daytona44 - Magnus RacingAndrew Davis
Andy Lally
John Potter
Markus Winkelhock
Audi R8 LMS GT3
GT Daytona48 - Paul Miller RacingAndrea Caldarelli
Bryce Miller
Bryan Sellers
Madison Snow
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
GT Daytona51 - Spirit of Race (AF Corse)Paul Dalla Lana
Pedro Lamy
Mathias Lauda
Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GT3
Prototype52 - AFS/PR1-Mathiasen MotorsportsNick Boulle
Roberto Gonzalez
Sebastian Saavedra
Gustavo Yacaman
Ligier JS P217-Gibson
Prototype54 - CORE autosportJon Bennett
Colin Braun
Romain Dumas
Loïc Duval
ORECA 07-Gibson
Prototype55 - Mazda Team JoestJonathan Bomarito
Spencer Pigot
Harry Tincknell
Mazda RT24-P
GT Daytona58 - Wright MotorsportsMathieu Jaminet
Patrick Long
Christina Nielsen
Robert Renauer
Porsche 911 GT3 R
GT Daytona59 - Manthey RacingMatteo Cairoli
Sven Müller
Harald Proczyk
Steve Smith
Randy Walls
Porsche 911 GT3 R
GT Le Mans62 - Risi CompetizioneAlessandro Pier GuidiFerrari 488 GTE
GT Daytona63 - Scuderia CorsaAlessandro Balzan
Gunnar Jeannette
Cooper MacNeil
Jeff Segal
Ferrari 488 GT3
GT Daytona64 - Scuderia CorsaTownsend Bell
Sam Bird
Frankie Montecalvo
Bill Sweedler
Ferrari 488 GT3
GT Le Mans66 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSASébastien Bourdais
Joey Hand
Dirk Müller
Ford GT
GT Le Mans67 - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing IMSARyan Briscoe
Scott Dixon
Richard Westbrook
Ford GT
GT Daytona69 - Honda of America Racing Team (HART)Ryan Eversley
John Falb
Chad Gilsinger
Sean Rayhall
Acura NSX GT3
GT Daytona71 - P1 MotorsportsRobby Foley
Kenton Koch
JC Perez
Loris Spinelli
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GT Daytona73 - Park Place MotorsportsJörg Bergmeister
Patrick Lindsey
Tim Pappas
Porsche 911 GT3 R
GT Daytona75 - SunEnergy1 RacingMaro Engel
Mikael Grenier
Kenny Habul
Thomas Jäger
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Prototype77 - Mazda Team JoestOliver Jarvis
Tristan Nunez
René Rast
Mazda RT24-P
Prototype78 - Jackie Chan DC Racing JOTAAlex Brundle
Antonio Felix da Costa
Ferdinand Habsburg
Ho-Pin Tung
ORECA 07-Gibson
GT Daytona82 - Risi CompetizioneSantiago Creel
Martin Fuentes
Miguel Molina
Ricardo Perez de Lara
Ferrari 488 GT3
Prototype85 - JDC-Miller MotorSportsRobert Alon
Austin Cindric
Devlin DeFrancesco
Simon Trummer
ORECA 07-Gibson
GT Daytona86 - Michael Shank Racing with Curb-AgajanianAJ Allmendinger
Trent Hindman
Àlvaro Parente
Katherine Legge
Acura NSX GT3
Prototype90 - Spirit of Daytona RacingEddie Cheever III
Matt McMurry
Tristan Vautier
Cadillac DPi-V.R.
GT Daytona93 - Michael Shank Racing with Curb-AgajanianLawson Aschenbach
Mario Farnbacher
Côme Ledogar
Justin Marks
Acura NSX GT3
GT Daytona96 - Turner MotorsportJens Klingmann
Mark Kvamme
Don Yount
Prototype99 - JDC-Miller MotorSportsMikhail Goikhberg
Gustavo Menezes
Chris Miller
Stephen Simpson
ORECA 07-Gibson
GT Le Mans911 - Porsche GT TeamFrédéric Makowiecki
Patrick Pilet
Nick Tandy
Porsche 911 RSR
GT Le Mans912 - Porsche GT TeamEarl Bamber
Gianmaria Bruni
Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR

Teams will have seven on-track sessions starting Friday, Jan. 5 and running through Sunday, Jan. 7.  Session No. 6 will be crucial because it will set garage and pit assignments for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.


About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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