Team Sahlen will make the step from the GT class of the Rolex Series to the Daytona Prototype ranks in 2013 with the announcement that they will field a pair of BMW-Riley in the Rolex Series next season.

The move will be the latest for the team which has progressed through the Grand-Am series. After winning both the 2001 and 2002 titles in the ST class of the Continental Tire Series before graduating into the GS class to win the championship in 2003 and 2004.

The team then moved into the Rolex Series itself, becoming regulars in the GT class running a pair of Mazda RX-8.

“This is a very proud moment for both Team Sahlen and myself personally to make our announcement of our transition from the GT to the DP class,” said Joe Sahlen. “The Daytona Prototype class is the premier level in Sports Car racing, and to have Team Sahlen competing in the class will be an honour.  And personally, for myself, to get to drive a Daytona Prototype will be an apex to my racing career that started 8 years ago with the Nonnamaker family.  I can hardly wait not only for next year, but especially the 2013 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when the Sahlen Daytona Prototypes take to the track.”

The two BMW-Riley – the same engine and chassis combination that has powered Chip Ganassi Racing to consecutive title victories – will be staffed by the same drivers as the current Team Sahlen GT machines.

The #42 car will be shared between pro driver Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker, while the #43 will be driven by the trio of Joe Sahlen, Joe Nonnamaker and Will Nonnamaker. The latter combination will – compared to the current entries – the only all gentlemen driver  team, with all three men entered for the Jim Trueman Award for sportsmen drivers.

“I never imagined that over 40 years after starting my racing career that I would be driving a Daytona Prototype,” enthused Joe Nonnamaker. “I can remember going to Mid-Ohio in the 60’s to watch the legendary Can-Am racers go through thunder valley and just wondering what that would be like.  Several years later I was racing at Mid-Ohio myself, but it was not quite the same in a Ford Pinto.  But now to reach these heights of getting behind the wheel of the ancestor to the Can-Am racers is a dream come true.”