Monday, January 25, 2016

ROLEX 24: All eyes focused upon the Shiny, New Gran Tourismo Daytona class Competitors in 2016...



Hurrah! It's almost time to G-O RACING! As engines roar to life at Daytona International Speedway in earnest this coming weekend! (Jan 30-31)

Suppose it's got something to do with primarily focusing upon Open Wheel Racing vs. Tintops, eh? Since I'd totally missed the announcement last year regarding the sweeping rule changes for the GT Classes commencing at this year's 54th running of the Rolex 24.


GT DAYTONA
(GTD: 22-entries)
As typical, this category features the most entries, for which I'll just highlight some of my favourites, instead of trying to profile A-L-L 22 entries; CRIKEYS!

Was totally unawares' that IMSA had adopted the European FIA GT3 specifications for its lower-tier Tintops' category, nee GT Daytona), (GTD which features the most variety of chassis makes. As Lamborghini joins the party with its beastly Huracán propelled by a 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V-10, whilst its Seester' Audi focuses upon its R8 - Since apparently the two cars are related, sporting the same V-10 engine and All-wheel drive technology. As NO idea if they're allowed to race in this configuration?

Porsche brings its latest iteration of the venerable 911, which gives a glimpse between the GTE vs. GT3 categories as the GTD cars run with a 4.0-liter Flat-6 engine vs. the (GTE) GT Lemans larger displacement lump. Whilst longtime fierce rival Ferrari debuts it's twin-turbo 488 GT3, along with its Big Brother, Thy 488 GTE.

Aston Martin and Dodge join Lamborghini and Audi by running engines with the most cylinders, i.e.; Aston's Vantage classic sports the V-12cylinder arrangement for its six-litre lump', with the Viper's having ten in its massive 8.3-litre powerplant. And BMW's M6 GT3 coupe lies somewhere in the middle with its 4.4-litre V-8 racing car.

Porsche
Always a good bet for victory in endurance races, not sure how many 911 GT3R Panzerwagons' will take the green flag in the GTD category. Yet I'll be pullin' for my two local Homeboyz' entries, the No. 23 Team Seattle Alex Job Racing and the No. 73 Park Place Motors racecar to sweep to victory.


Aston Martin
Probably the story garnering the most Attenzione thanxs to some of its media Headlines clever wording... That Force India F1 Pilote' Sergio Perez is backing the entry of the A-L-L Mexican driver line-up of the iconic #007 entry under The Racer Group's (TRG) management - With Sergio's older brother Antonio part of the Quattro Mexicali's. As it's too bad that Sergio's not able to compete, which is probably excluded in his Formula 1 contract, Ci?




As team principal Kevin Buckler drafted in the services of IndyCar and Indy 500 competitor James Davidson, past driver of the #007 to add a proven talent behind the wheel just prior to this year's qualifying. As Davidson previously drove the same Aston Martin to a record consecutive five poles last year...
 
Dodge
Although they're the defending class winners, I doubt that Riley Motorsports will garner much Attenzione, unless obviously they're back at the sharp end of the grid. And even though it's not the original A-L-L conquering top flight GT Class winning entity, still always enjoy seeing the Viper's racing! As I'll be pulling for the #33 entry since I'm a fan 'O 'Der "Neederlander," nee Jeroen Bleekemolen - Whilst Thy Seester' #93 has an unheralded lot of Yanks at its controls.

Lamborghini
NO! That #11 O'Gara entry that Indy 500 racer and "Peacock-lite" (NBCSN) IndyCar TV Announcer Townsend Bell's co-driving AIN'T the O'Gara family you may be thinking 'bout Yuhs IndyCar Fans, aka Sarah Fisher's Hubby Andy O'Gara!

But its Tom O'Gara instead, who's the owner of O'Gara Coaches in Beverly Hills, where his Lamborghini Huracán, which is El Spanol for Hurricane comes from - After success competing in the European Lamborghini Blancpaine Super Trofeo racing series the past few years.

Pity Townsend, who along with Bill Sweedler, his longtime Sports Car co-driver previously romped around in a Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia last year en route to winning the GTD class North American Endurance Cup (NAEC) and now find themselves racing a "Lamborgenie!"

As Bell, Sweedler and a Playah' to be named later will be jousting for supremacy of Thy Lambo's alongside Change Racing and Paul Miller Racing's single car efforts; both teams I've never heard of before.

Franz Konrad is a longtime endurance racing competitor who once campaigned the Saleen S7 to great results and is no stranger to Daytona, as his Konrad Motorsports will campaign a pair 'O Huracán's in this year's event.

As some Cat named Richard Antinucci
has joined the O'Gara Lamborghini entry. As perhaps you've heard of his Uncle? Y'all know, somebody named Eddie Cheever, who won the 1998 Indy 500! 

Ferrari
It's 'Uber annoying how difficult I found it upon Zed Intrawoods' (internet) when trying to find any definitive technical information upon the Scuderia's new 488 GT3 racecar! Other than its the successor to the 458 Italia, although its reverted back to twin turbo-charging which was last seen in production on the F40!

Denmark's Christina Nielsen, previously an Aston Martin driver moves into Townsend Bell's old ride. As Alessandro Balzan of Italy along with American Jeff Seagall - Who's name sounds familiar,  like didn't he drive with "Dr. McDreamy" (Patrick Dempsey) in a Team Seattle Mazda? Will be the chauffer's of the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, while Spirit of Race will campaign a year old 458GT Italia.

Others
It occurred to Mwah whilst perusing the entry list that just the drivers in the GTD class alone would put on a Barn Burner of a race! As the names of A-L-L the winning competitors is simply too long! But a few of interest are "The Giz!" As Kiwi Shane Van Gisbergen of Australia V8 Supercars fame is back again at Alex Job Racing's other entry, the No. 22.

Most interesting is Scotty "Scooter" Pruett's name being listed on the driver rosters of  two separate categories. Filling in during endurance events aboard the Top Banana Daytona Prototypes this year for Action Express Racing. With his "Day Job" being one of F Performance Racing's brand new Lexus GTD chauffeurs.

And like I said, too many names to try typing, but Andy "Mad Dog!" Lally; stole that nickname from "Mr. Excitement," aka Pete Carroll who christened one of our Seattle Seahawks backup Offensive Line players during the regular season finale! Patrick Long and Spencer Pumpelly come to mind as Contendahs'

Whilst after finishing this ever expanding tome, and upon my return from Arizona after The Roar Before I learned that Tristan Turbo' Vautier would be teaming with Boris Said and others aboard the #9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8...

Sentimental Picks
1) #23 Team Seattle; (Alex Job Racing) Porsche 911
2) #73 Park Place Motorsports; Porsche 911
3) #11 O'Gara Motorsport; Lamborghini Huracán

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