USRRC ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA UPDA
Over the weeks leading to the 37th Annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, USRRC will provide entry update information, driver and team profiles, and any other points of interest regarding America's biggest sports car race.
FIRST ENTRY DEADLINE DECEMBER 15: The first Rolex 24 At Daytona entry deadline is December 15. After this date, the USRRC will issue a preliminary entry list for both the test and race. The other entry deadline (for a price reduction) is January 4 for test days and January 15 for the race.
TRV MOTORSPORT FIRST TEST AND RACE ENTRY: Tom Volk, owner of TRV Motorsport, submitted the first official entry for the 1999 race. Volk, who along with teammates Jeret Schroeder, Lyn St. James and Pete Halsmer, finished seventh in the 1998 Rolex 24 At Daytona and 11th in 1998 Can-Am points, has acquired a Riley & Scott Mk. III, and will utilize Chevrolet V-8 power in the No. 95 Supreme Exhaust Systems/Purity Farms entry. Drivers for the car include Volk, Schroeder, Paul Debban and a driver to be named later.
DOYLE-RISI RETURNS: 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Wayne Taylor has been entered as the lead driver for the No. 7 Toshiba/Lease Plan/Danka/Pirelli Ferrari 333 SP. Taylor, who has two IMSA WSC Championships to his credit, was a top contender for the 1998 Rolex crown, leading 39 laps with teammates Fermin Velez and Eric van de Poele before van de Poele was involved in a ninth-hour accident. Taylor's co-drivers have yet to be announced.
WHITTINGTONS RETURN WITH HAYWOOD IN CAN-AM: Making their return to Daytona for the first time since the mid-1980s are Don and Dale Whittington. Joined by five-time overall Rolex 24 At Daytona Champion Hurley Haywood, DLW Racing Inc. has acquired two Ford Riley & Scott cars from Jim Matthews, retaining the services of Mike Colucci as Crew Chief for January. A former overall pole-sitter for the 24 Hour (1980) and Le Mans winner (1979), Don Whittington also was a sporadic Indy car driver with 11 starts from 1979 through 1985, including five Indy 500s. This will be Don's first major professional race since the 1985 Phoenix CART race. Dale Whittington is a veteran of Super Vee and has extensive road racing experience, primarily in the 1980s. Dale competed in four Rolex 24 races, all in Porsches with a best finish of sixth (1983, GTP). Dale has one IMSA win to his credit (Watkins Glen, 1984). Joining the Whittingtons is five-time (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1991) overall winner and racing legend Hurley Haywood. Haywood drove one of the two cars out of Matthews' stable last year, finishing eighth in Can-Am. This will be Haywood's 26th Daytona start.
CORVETTE'S FACTORY DEBUT OFFICIAL: Chevrolet's factory return to sports car racing was made official with the entry of the No. 4 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Corvette C5-R in GT2. Riley & Scott, which won the 1996 Rolex 24 and Sebring 12-hour events and the IMSA WSC Championship will run the effort. Drivers of the No. 4 entry include Scott Sharp, Andy Pilgrim and John Heinricy. Sharp was part of the 1996 winning effort for R&S at both Daytona and Sebring, and also took the 1996 IRL Championship with A.J. Foyt Enterprises. Pilgrim, whose record of 116-consecutive IMSA/PSCR finishes was snapped last year, returns to Chevrolet at Daytona after three-straight Porsche drives — including a GTS-1 class win in 1996. Heinricy, a General Motors' engineer, has won nine 24 hour races in his career, but none at Daytona. A second car, run under the same Corvette Racing Team banner, but with Pratt & Miller personnel, has reserved No. 2 for its car with drivers Ron Fellows, Chris Kneifel and John Paul Jr.
SCHUMACHER AND SEIKEL FIRST GT2 PORSCHE ENTRIES: Top GT2 Porsche privateer Schumacher Racing has entered one car for the Test Days and is expected to enter the race as well. Three-time IMSA and PSCR Champion and the winner of the 1998 Mid-Ohio USRRC GT2 race Larry Schumacher leads the team and will be joined by veteran Porsche driver John O'Steen (who finished second in Can-Am at the 1998 Rolex) and Martin Snow. German-based Seikel Motorsport has also entered a twin-turbo Porsche in GT2 for England's Robert Nearn and Italian Anssi Múnz.
MARCOS SET FOR FIRST ROLEX RUN: Cor Euser's Marcos Racing team has submitted an entry for the No. 70 Eurotech Marcos LM600 in the GT2 class. A limited-production car, Marcos Racing, which has contested the FIA GT Championship the past three seasons, lists Euser, Herman Buurman and Christian Vann as drivers for the Test Days. Euser finished second in the LMWSC class at the 1995 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
A.R.E LOOKS TO REGAIN PODIUM FORM: Richard Ramist and Team A.R.E. had top-three Rolex 24 At Daytona GT3 finishes in both 1996 and 1997, but retired due to transmission problems in 1998, finishing 22nd. The team returns with its No. 76 A.R.E./Yokohama/Motul Porsche 911 and drivers Peter Argetsinger, Richard Polidori and Steve Hill.
SPIRIT OF DAYTONA MAKES RETURN: Craig Conway and Todd Flis will again carry the local torch for Daytona Beach residents with Flis' entry of the No. 09 Daytona Mitsubishi/Spirit of Daytona Mitsubishi Eclipse. This is the third time the duo has teamed up, and the second time with Eric Van Cleef. The trio finished 10th in GT3 last year.
ENTROPY RACING FIRST GTT ENTRY: New Jersey-based Entropy Racing is the first entrant in the new GTT class for tube-frame cars with the No. 22 Entropy Racing Chevrolet Camaro. Making its first run at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Entropy lists east-coasters Gerry Green, Rich Bell, Scott Brunk, Tony Tola and Keith Fisher as its driver line-up.
TWENTY-FIVE NUMBERS RESERVED: In addition to the entries received for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Daytona Test Days, 15 other numbers have already been reserved through Vehicle Registration. Among the teams reserving numbers: Prototype Technology Group (GT3), Toad Hall Motor Racing (GT3), Michael A. Jacobs (GT3 and Can-Am), Goldin Brothers (GT3), Lister Storm (GT2), Easton Properties Corporation (GT2), Kopf Precision Race Products (Can-Am), The Racers Group (GT3) and Carl E. Evans (Can-Am).
GREGG AND HOLBERT HONORED: In memory of the accomplishments and contributions to the Rolex 24 At Daytona and endurance racing by Peter Gregg and Al Holbert, car numbers 59 and 14 have been retired by the USRRC.
HSR TO SUPPORT ROLEX 24: A Historic Sportscar Racing two-hour race will be the main support race on the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend. In addition to the Friday afternoon race, the traditional 24 Minutes of Daytona will precede the start of the Rolex 24 At Daytona Saturday morning.