Race Weekend Central

RWR Eurasia Adds Austin Dillon, Salih Yoluc for Rolex 24 at Daytona

RWR Eurasia announced Thursday (Dec. 31) that Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon will drive for the team in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona alongside full-season driver Cody Ware.  In addition, Salih Yoluc will also join the team.  The team previously announced that they will field a Ligier JS P217-Gibson in the LMP2 class.

For Dillon, the Rolex 24 at Daytona will mark his debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.  Generally speaking, road courses have not been his forte in the NASCAR Cup Series.  In 15 career starts on road courses, he has no top 10 finishes.  His best runs have been a pair of 16ths at Watkins Glen (2014) and Sonoma (2018).  In addition, Dillon will not have the advantage of experience on Daytona International Speedway’s infield road course.  Back in August, Dillon tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss the Go Bowling 235.  Kaz Grala was drafted in to replace Dillon and finished seventh.

In the Xfinity Series, Dillon had a little better luck.  He has two top 10 finishes there on road courses with a best finish of ninth at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal in 2012.  Dillon’s time in the Truck Series predates the series traveling to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, so he has no road course starts there.  In addition to his NASCAR road racing experience, Dillon has also competed in the Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli’s TA2 class in order to get more seat time in the past, most notably at Mid-Ohio.

In Yoluc, the team gets a driver that has primarily competed in GT cars in recent years.  He has raced in major series since 2015, mostly with TF Sport in Aston Martin Vantages.  For the past two years, Yoluc has been teamed up with Charlie Eastwood in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Am class.  They finished second in points during the 2018-19 season with four second-place finishes.  The 2019-20 season season saw the team (with Jonny Adam added to the lineup) take four class wins, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  A retirement in Bahrain in December of 2019 left the team 11 points shy of the championship in second.

RWR Eurasia’s press release makes note of the fact that Yoluc does have LMP2 experience from his time racing for United Autosports in the Asian Le Mans Series during their 2018-19 season, sharing a car with Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo.  The team’s best finish was third in the 4 Hours of Shanghai and they eventually finished sixth in points, best of the LMP2 Am teams.  However, LMP2 teams in the Asian Le Mans Series at the time raced the previous generation LMP2 cars that were down roughly 150 horsepower on the current ones.

The team still has one open seat for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  According to their press release, they are still “assessing options” for the remaining seat.

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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