IMS veterans to start Daytona 24-hour race

More Than 40 IMS Veterans Hitting Road in Rolex 24 at Daytona INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Feb. 4, 2005 -- More than 40 drivers who have competed in oval or road-course events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will race in the most prestigious...

More Than 40 IMS Veterans Hitting Road in Rolex 24 at Daytona

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Feb. 4, 2005 -- More than 40 drivers who have competed in oval or road-course events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will race in the most prestigious American sports car race, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, on Feb. 5-6 at Daytona International Speedway.

A total of 43 drivers with starts in the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400, and United States Grand Prix Ferrari Challenge, Formula BMW USA and Porsche Supercup support races will compete in the round-the-clock endurance race.

The 43rd Rolex 24 starts at noon (EST) Saturday, Feb. 5 and ends at noon, Sunday, Feb. 6. Teams of drivers take shifts on the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona, which includes segments in the infield and on the famed 2.5-mile, high-banked oval.

Speed Channel will provide live coverage from noon-7 p.m. and 8-11 p.m. (EST) Saturday and from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Seventeen drivers with Indianapolis 500 experience are scheduled to start the Rolex 24, the largest group of Speedway veterans participating in the race this weekend. All of the Indy 500 veterans will race in the premier Daytona Prototype class.

Among the veterans of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" competing at Daytona are defending champion Buddy Rice and current IRL IndyCar® Series drivers Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Bryan Herta, Darren Manning, Scott Sharp and Dan Wheldon.

Rice is the first defending Indianapolis 500 champion to compete in the Rolex 24 since Arie Luyendyk drove on the winning team in 1998.

Dixon, Manning and brickyard 400 veteran Casey Mears comprise an all-Indy veteran team in the No. 03 Target Lexus Riley car fielded by Target Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing, while Franchitti will team with his brother, Marino, and Wheldon and female Grand-Am series standout Milka Duno in the No. 2 Citgo Pontiac Crawford.

Herta will team up with 2000 Brickyard 400 winner Bobby Labonte and his brother, Terry Labonte, and Formula One veteran Jan Magnussen in the No. 44 Doran Racing Pontiac Doran.

Tony Stewart and Scott Pruett, veterans of the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400, will race in the Daytona Prototype category. Pruett won the pole Feb. 3 in his No. 01 CompUSA Lexus Riley fielded by Target Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing at 119.856 mph.

Stewart just missed winning the race last year, crashing only 20 minutes from the finish due to a broken suspension. Stewart will pair again this year with Andy Wallace, with Jan Lammers also in the driving lineup for the No. 20 Citgo Pontiac Crawford.

Brickyard 400 veterans Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth will comprise three-fourths of the driving team for the No. 49 Crown Royal Ford Multimatic Daytona Prototype. Sports car veteran Scott Maxwell will join them behind the wheel.

All 11 of the Brickyard 400 veterans in the Rolex 24 will race in the Daytona Prototype category.

Notable IMS veterans in the GT production car category include multi-time United States Grand Prix Porsche Supercup support series winners Jorg Bergmeister, Wolf Henzler and Sascha Maasen. Henzler won the pole for the GT class Feb. 3 at 110.523 in the No. 71 Farnbacher Racing USA Porsche GT3 Cup car, the same type of car that competes in the Porsche Michelin Supercup series during the United States Grand Prix.

A rundown of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway veterans in the Rolex 24, by event, with the class in which they are competing this weekend in parentheses:

Indianapolis 500 (17 drivers): Scott Dixon (Daytona Prototype), Dario Franchitti (DP), Stephan Gregoire (DP), Hurley Haywood (DP), Bryan Herta (DP), Roberto Moreno (DP), Stefan Johansson (DP), Darren Manning (DP), Max Papis (DP), Scott Pruett (DP), Buddy Rice (DP), Scott Sharp (DP), Tony Stewart (DP), Didier Theys (DP), Paul Tracy (DP), Johnny Unser (DP), Dan Wheldon (DP).

Brickyard 400 (11): Greg Biffle (Daytona Prototype), Kurt Busch (DP), Wally Dallenbach Jr. (DP), Jimmie Johnson (DP), Matt Kenseth (DP), Bobby Labonte (DP), Terry Labonte (DP), Jamie McMurray (DP), Casey Mears (DP), Scott Pruett (DP), Tony Stewart (DP).

United States Grand Prix Ferrari Challenge (4): Darius Grala (Daytona Prototype), Mark Patterson (DP), Doug Peterson (DP), Quentin Wahl (DP).

United States Grand Prix Formula BMW USA (1): Brian Frisselle (Daytona Prototype).

United States Grand Prix Porsche Supercup (12): Jorg Bergmeister (Daytona Prototype), Timo Bernhard (DP), David Donohue (DP), Dominik Farnbacher (Grand Touring), Patrick Flanagan (GT), Wolf Henzler (GT), Steve Johnson (GT), Darren Law (DP), Patrick Long (GT), Sascha Maasen (DP), Randy Pobst (GT), Cyrille Sauvage (GT).

-ims-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Jan Lammers , Darius Grala , Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Darren Manning , Stefan Johansson , Jan Magnussen , Didier Theys , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Stephan Gregoire , Scott Sharp , Arie Luyendyk , Max Papis , Roberto Moreno , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Scott Pruett , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Randy Pobst , Dan Wheldon , Scott Maxwell , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , David Donohue , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Patrick Long , Buddy Rice , Chip Ganassi , Patrick Flanagan , Mark Patterson , Johnny Unser , Wolf Henzler , Steve Johnson , Brian Frisselle , Quentin Wahl , Cyrille Sauvage , Felix Sabates , Doug Peterson
Teams Doran Racing