Sunoco Rolex 24 at Daytona Challenge winner Ivan Bellarosa will take his prize drive in this weekend’s race as part of a five strong international driver line-up in the #8 Starworks Ford-Riley.
The Italian, who earned his place at Daytona with a dominant year in the SPEED EuroSeries, will be joined by American gentleman driver Scott Mayer – despite his crash during the ‘Roar Before the 24’ test.
Jan Charouz and Brendon Hartley, both converts from single-seater to the prototype sportscars of European series will each make their first Daytona Prototype start with the team having also tested with the squad at Daytona earlier this month. The team is completed by Grand-Am regular Gaetano Ardagna Perez. Alex Tagliani, who completed the team’s testing line-up misses out on a race seat.
“I am really looking forward to the race; it will be my first time doing the race in a DP,” said Charouz, who was part of the ADR-Delta team that finished second in the LMP2 class in last year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. “I am also proud to be part of such a great team as Starworks and would like to thank them for this opportunity. The car is prepared very well, and I am sure we can fight for a good result with our driver line-up.”
“I’m really excited to see the #8 car drivers in the race,” said team owner Peter Baron. “We have a line up that is under the radar compared to some others, but should be in prime contention come Sunday afternoon. It’s always rewarding to bring in new drivers from other series and get them a taste of Daytona Prototype racing.”
While the quintet will race in the #8 car the team will also be represented in Daytona by the formidable team of Allan McNish, Ryan Dalziel, Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais in the #2 Ford-Riley.
The 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona begins on Saturday January 26 at 3:30pm local time (8:30pm UK).