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Rolex 24 At Daytona Friday Notebook

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), announced Friday before the Rolex 24 At Daytona that both sanctioning bodies are converging the top categories of endurance racing.

Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, and Jim France, IMSA Chairman, unveiled the guiding principle for the platform – the introduction of the top category of competition LMDh, which will be eligible for both the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The convergence will allow auto manufacturers to compete with the same car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, at SuperSebring or at Spa-Francorchamps, at the Motul Petit Le Mans or even Silverstone.  The future top category of endurance racing will include both LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar.  A balance of performance (BoP) system will ensure fair competition.

“When my father, Bill France Sr., brought the first Daytona Continental SportsCar race here to Daytona International Speedway back in 1962, he wanted to bring together sports car drivers, teams and manufacturers from around the world,” said Jim France.  “With the ACO, IMSA and manufacturers aligned, today’s announcement proudly takes my father’s vision to the next level.”

“This announcement today is the crucial starting point for a joint endurance racing future, supported by both the ACO and IMSA,” said Fillon.  “We can’t emphasize enough, as it’s exceptional, how many opportunities this long-term sporting and marketing vision will open up.”

“The big winner today is endurance racing as the door is now opened to many additional competitors to compete at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic with the same car,” said Gerard Never, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship.  “The two sanctioning bodies should be congratulated for their vision and spirit of collaboration.  Le Mans Hypercars and the new LMDh cars racing together at Le Mans or Daytona will be an incredibly exciting prospect for endurance fans across the world.”

 

RILEY MOTORSPORTS MERCEDES-AMG WINS MICHELIN PILOT CUP CHALLENGE ENDURANCE RACE

The Riley Motorsports No. 34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Dylan Murry, Jim Cox and Jeroen Bleekmolen took home the Gran Sport victory in the BMW Endurance Challenge on Friday.  The win is Riley Motorsports second consecutive endurance win in IMSA. The same trio of drivers also won last summer’s four-hour race at Watkins Glen International – and Murry and Cox also won November’s four-hour Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring.

“We’re petitioning IMSA to make all races four hours now,” said Cox.

The Winward Racing No. 57 Mercedes-AMG driven by Philip Ellis and Bryce Ward claimed the runner-up spot while their sister car, the No. 4 shared by Indy Dontje and Russell Ward finished third to make it a podium sweep for the German manufacturer.

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ROAD SHAGGER RACING AUDI WINS TAKES TCR CLASS VICTORY

The No. 61 Road Shager Racing Audi RS3 LMS took home the victory in the TCR class.  The victory was the second for the team, who won last year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Mikey Taylor and William finished second in the No. 32 Speed Syndicate Motorsports Audi while Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson finished third in the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi, giving another German manufacturer a podium sweep.


 

CHALLENGING DEBUT FOR HAILIE DEEGAN

Ford Performance development driver Hailie Deegan’s first foray into IMSA sports cars and endurance racing proved to be eventful for the 18-year-old rising star.

Deegan was running as high as 12th when her No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang suffered a pair of mechanical issues, at one point requiring about half an hour of work in the garage. But after driving more than two hours, Deegan brought the car into the garage for work and a driver change, leaving Ford teammate Chase Briscoe to finish the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge.

“I feel like I just gained a lot of experience,” Deegan said after climbing out of the car. “I’m here to gain experience after that three-day road test, coming here and practicing for two days. I just feel like I know a lot more about racing than I did before and that’s why I’m here and supposed to be doing.  I’m gaining experience and that’s what I’m here to do.’’

Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Cindric To Attempt Daytona 500; Chase Elliott Gets A New Paint Job; Huset Added To DIRTVision and more

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – This edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details about Austin Cindric’s Daytona 500 attempt plus the defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion’s ride gets a new paint job. DIRTVision adds another track to their FAST PASS subscription; Tony Stewart Racing unveils some new colors; The Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania needs your help and Alexander Rossi leads day two of NTT INDYCAR SERIES testing at Sebring.

Austin Cindric To Make Daytona 500 Attempt:

  • Defending NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion Austin Cindric will attempt to make the Daytona 500 field next month.  Cindric will make the attempt in the No. 33 Ford Mustang for Team Penske. Miles Stanley, who has worked as race engineer for Team Penske’s No. 12 and No. 22 Cup Series teams, will serve as crew chief for Cindric and the No. 33 Ford team in 2021.  Cindric will compete in select Cup Series races in the No. 33 Ford Mustang before he joins the series full-time in 2022, driving for Wood Brothers Racing.

New Look For Chase Elliott’s No. 9 NAPA Chevy:

  • Defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott will be sporting a new look on the No. 9 NAPA Camaro in 2021.  NAPA used their social media accounts to show fans the subtle change:

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DIRTVision Adds Huset Speedway To FAST PASS:

  • DIRTVision FAST PASS – Subscribers will see another iconic track join the impressive schedule of live weekly racing when the 2021 season kicks off at Huset’s Speedway. Huset’s Speedway joins the growing list of historic tracks like Attica Raceway Park, Knoxville Raceway and Williams Grove Speedway which will see their weekly racing broadcast LIVE on DIRTVision with the annual Platinum FAST PASS subscription for $299/year -OR- the monthly FAST PASS subscription for $39/month.

New Looks For Tony Stewart Racing:

  • The Sprint Cars of Donny Schatz and Tony Stewart will be sporting different looks in 2021.  Carquest and Ford Performance will return to sponsor Schatz, who’s No. 15 will feature Ford’s Iconic Silver as the primary color to commemorate Schatz’ 25-years in racing.  Stewart’s No. 14 will be primarily Black & Red with sponsors Rush Truck Centers and Advance Auto Parts returning as sponsor.  Curb records returns on both cars. Schatz and Stewart’s 2021 seasons will start at Arizona Speedway’s Wild Wing Shootout on January 21-24.

Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania Begins Survey Process:

  • The Motorsports Council of Pennsylvania (MCP) is sending out economic impact surveys to Pennsylvania race tracks, teams and racing related entities.  The data collected from the surveys will be compiled by Washington & Jefferson College professors Rob & Leslie Dunn, who along with the MCP, will produce a study on the range and economic impact of the racing industry in the Keystone State.  For complete details and survey links click here.

Alexander Rossi Fastest In Day 2 Of INDYCAR Testing At Sebring:

  • Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi posted the fastest lap in Tuesday’s INDYCAR team testing at Sebring International Raceway.  Times were unofficial as a handful of teams including Andretti Autosport, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Meyer Shank Racing, A.J. Foyt Racing and Carlin Racing took to the circuit.  The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opening race is April 11, 2021 at Barber Motorsports Park.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: IndyCar And IMSA Testing At Sebring; Jamie McMurray To Run Daytona; A Female-Led Ownership Group Starts IndyCar Team and more!

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Chip Ganassi Racing

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – IMSA and NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams take to Sebring for pre-season testing plus Jamie McMurray to run Daytona 500 with help from Chip Ganassi Racing and Spire Motorsports. A female-led ownership group launches a new NTT INDYCAR SERIES team and Jarett Andretti continues building his sports car team, all in the latest edition of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook.  This edition is brought to you by our new partner DIRTVision!

NTT INDYCAR SERIES AND IMSA TEAMS TEST AT SEBRING:

  • Five of Chip Ganassi Racing‘s cars took part in testing the past two days at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.  Defending and six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon put the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda through the paces and had the unofficial fast time of Monday’s session.  Dixon was joined at the test by Marcus Ericsson in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda, Alex Palou in the No. 10 NTT Data Services Honda and Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Carvana Honda (pictured above).  Ganassi’s Daytona Prototype IMSA entry, the No. 01 Cadillac hit the track on Tuesday for it’s inaugural run with Renger Van Der Zande and Kevin Magnusson sharing the driving duties.  They’ll be joined by Dixon at the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

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Jamie McMurray To Compete In The Daytona 500:

  • Longtime Chip Ganassi Racing driver and current Fox Sports broadcaster Jamie McMurray is going to race in this year’s Daytona 500.  McMurray will drive the Spire Motorsports No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro with sponsorship from Chip Ganassi Racing partner Advent Health.  McMurray won the Daytona 500 in 2010, which took place on February 14th.  This year’s race coincidentally takes place on February 14th.

Paretta Autosport To Compete In Indy 500 With De Silvestro:

  • Paretta Autosport is entering the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 with driver Simona De Silvestro.  Paretta Autosport is led by automotive and motorsport executive Beth Paretta, who plans on integrating women into the team’s competition, operations, logistics, marketing and public relations departments.  The team is an extension of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway‘s “Racer for Equality & Change” announced last July.  Team Penske will provide technical support to the team in preparation for the race, which takes place Sunday, May 30.

Tristan Herbert Joins Andretti Autosport LMP3 IMSA Program:

  • Tristan Herbert will co-drive the No. 18 Gallant Ligier JS P320 along with Jarett Andretti in the IMSA Prototype category. Herbert currently competes on and off the track while managing Audi Sport customer racing U.S. for the last seven years.  Andretti is also adding another partner to their sports car program. Unite Health Share Ministries (UHSM) will be an associate sponsor on the Andretti Autosport No.18.
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Racing Notebook: Scott Dixon To Run IMSA Enduros For Ganassi; Marco Andretti’s 2021 Plans and more

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon will be the third driver for Chip Ganassi’s Sports Car team, running the endurance events.  CGR also revealed the livery for the No. 01 Cadillac.  Lots of news from Andretti Autosport as Marco Andretti releases his 2021 plans and Ryan Hunter-Reay is returns for the 2021 season with backing from DHL plus Jarret Andretti continues to add sponsorship for his Sports Car effort.  Last but not least, Pitbull joins the ownership group of Trackhouse Racing.

Dixon To Run Endurance Events For CGR Sports Car:

  • Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon is going to the 3rd driver for Chip Ganassi’s IMSA program.  Dixon will run the endurance events along with driver Renger Van Der Zande and Kevin Magnussen, the drivers who will run the entire IMSA schedule.  Dixon drove for Wayne Taylor Racing last year and competed in Ganassi’s previous sports car entries in GTLM and DPi.

Marco Andretti Announces 2021 Plans:

  • Marco Andretti is not going to run the full 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule, opting to focus on winning the Indy 500 as well as looking into running some IMSA races with his cousin Jarett.  Here is Marco’s full post:

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Ganassi Unveils Sports Car Livery Ahead Of Rolex 24 At Daytona:

  • Chip Ganassi Racing used their social media channels to unveil the livery of the No. 01 Cadillac that the team will campaign on the IMSA circuit in 2021.

Ryan Hunter-Reay To Return To Andretti In 2021:

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay will be back behind the wheel of the No. 28 Honda for the 2021 season.  Andretti Autosport made the announcement that DHL will return as RHR’s sponsor. Hunter-Reay has collected 15 race wins with the team, for a total of 18 overall INDYCAR career victories. His most notable accolades including his 2012 championship title and 2014 Indianapolis 500 victory. The 2021 season will mark Hunter-Reay’s 15th season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, and his 12th as part of the Andretti Autosport stable.

Jarett Andretti Adds Sponsorship For Sports Car Program:

  • Jarett Andretti, who recently announced his plans to race full-time in the IMSA LMP3 series with Andretti Autosport and manufacturer, Ligier, announced that he’ll have continued support from long-time partner, Window World. Window World will serve as a co-associate sponsor for Andretti.  Additional support will come from Window World vendor – MI Windows and Doors, who are headquartered in Gratz, PA.

Pitbull Joins Trackhouse Racing Ownership Group:

  • Grammy award winner Pitbull is joining the ownership group of Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks new team.  Daniel Suarez is the driver and former DEI executive Ty Norris is the team president.  Trackhouse has formed a technical and operational partnership with Richard Childress Racing.
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