Two-Time Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Returns to Daytona with Eight-Man Roster Ganassi Lineup Represents Six Countries, 12 Series Championships, 133 Wins, Three Indy 500 Championships and Five ...
Two-Time Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Returns to Daytona with Eight-Man Roster
Ganassi Lineup Represents Six Countries, 12 Series Championships, 133 Wins, Three Indy 500 Championships and Five Rolex 24 Wins
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (December 10, 2007)--Defending Grand-Am Rolex 24 At Daytona winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today a two-car effort for the Rolex Sports Car Series' 46th running of the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers representing some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas will unite for the twice-round-the-clock classic to form the driver lineup in the No.01 TELMEX/Target Daytona Prototype, while Team Target IndyCar pilots Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon join Salvador Duran and Alex Lloyd in the No.02 Target/TELMEX Daytona Prototype.
After winning the 2006 and 2007 events, CGRFS will look to become the first team in history to win three consecutive overall titles in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"Everyone knows how special this race is and how much of a team effort it takes to win at Daytona," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. "I'm extremely proud of the effort put forth by our organization the last two years, and we have another great opportunity this year with the addition of Dario and Alex to the lineup. It is a tremendous feeling to know that we have this many talented drivers on our teams to pick from."
The CGRFS roster is an impressive group of international racing champions representing three Indianapolis 500 titles (Montoya-2000, Wheldon-2005 and Franchitti-2007), five open wheel championships (Montoya-1999, Dixon-2003, Wheldon-2005, Lloyd-2007 and Franchitti-2007), two Daytona Prototype championships (Pruett-2004 and 2006) and five former Rolex 24 winners.
"Chip and his teams have worked extremely hard over the past few months with TELMEX personnel to assemble a competitive lineup which puts two Mexican drivers in a position to challenge for the Rolex 24 title," said Carlos Slim Domit of TELMEX. "Our relationship remains strong with the team, and we look forward to continued success in the Rolex Series in the season-long fight for the championship."
Daytona Prototype team anchorman Pruett returns to the Rolex 24 as the series' winningest driver in the No.01 TELMEX/Target Riley, along with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Montoya and the team's newest Cup driver Franchitti. After a successful six-race stock car transition period to close out the season, the reigning Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar champion is set to make his third-career Rolex 24 start (2005-2006) before competing in NASCAR's 2008 Sprint Cup (No.40 Dodge) and Nationwide (No.40 Fastenal Dodge) Series seasons. Pruett's full-time co-driver Rojas rounds out the foursome, returning again for another full season as teammates in the No.01 car.
The 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona champions Team Target return in the No.02 Target/TELMEX Daytona Prototype, making its fourth-straight start. Target IndyCar pilots Dixon and Wheldon again make up half the driver roster, with Duran rejoining CGRFS as a defending race winner after the Mexico City native combined with Pruett and Montoya to win the 2007 race in his first attempt. Recently signed Ganassi development driver Lloyd will complete the lineup coming off of his 2007 Indy Pro Series Championship.
Last year Pruett, Montoya and Duran led 468 of 668 laps to win CGRFS' second straight Rolex 24 At Daytona. Pruett was behind the wheel when the car rolled off the grid in 12th, and sealed the flawless drive as he crossed the stripe 1:15.842 seconds over his nearest competition. The team's sister car with Dixon, Wheldon and Rojas started eighth overall and finished 21st in class, leading seven laps and running in the top-five for the majority of the race before an on-track incident on lap 538 relegated them to the garage for the remainder of the event.
Finally, the team's full season Rolex Series effort will again be contested by Pruett and Rojas in the No.01 TELMEX Riley. Last season the duo's consistency put them atop the point standings for the majority of the 14-race season, with Pruett finishing second overall in the driver championship.