Middleton Secures Rolex 24 at Daytona Drive With Sunoco Whelen Challenge Win

by James Thompson

Reigning British GT4 champion Stuart Middleton will take part in the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona after becoming the youngest driver ever to win the Sunoco Whelen Challenge.

The 17-year-old has a a fully funded prize drive with the Action Express Racing #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi, a front running contender for victory in the world famous enduro.

Middleton clinched the challenge when his only remaining rival, Stuart Moseley, was unable to score enough points to dethrone Middleton during the final round of the Radical European Masters season last weekend.

Middleton will join ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Nasr, Toyota World Endurance Championship driver Mike Conway and 2016 IMSA Champion Eric Curran in the 600bhp Dallara Cadillac, a completely different beast to the Ginetta G55 GT4 he drove in British GT this year.

“I’m ecstatic, speechless to be honest,” said Middleton.

“This is such a huge prize and an incredible opportunity for me so early in my career, I can’t thank Anders Hildebrand and everyone at Anglo-American Oil enough.

“Being part of the Action Express team with Felipe, Mike and Eric is just amazing… it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

“This is a huge step-up for me: not only will it be my first ever 24-hour race but it’s going to be in one of the biggest and most demanding races in the world with some of the very best drivers and teams on the planet. 

“I never realistically thought might happen in my career – this is such a special moment for me and I’m absolutely delighted.” 

He will test the car prior to the the official ‘Roar Before the Rolex 24’ test in early January, with the race itself taking place on January 27/28.

Last year’s challenge winner was current British GT Champion Seb Morris, who put in an sensational performance early in the race before the car was slowed by electrical problems, eventually finishing 14th and 20 laps down.

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