Saturday, January 28, 2023

ROLEX 24: IndyCar Drivers Guide

As just over One Third of this year’s IndyCar field will go Sports car racing this weekend…


Perusing the cavernous No Fenders Archive vault, I came across a story that made me ponder if Thar’s anybody on this year’s Rolex 24 Grid that makes fellow competitors as nervous as when ‘Ol superTex’, nee Anthony Joseph Foyt Jr. “terrorized” Day-Toners’ High Banks in an All conquering Porsche 962 Panzerwagen? Hey after all, some IndyCar Rookie’s honouring His Bosses turning 88 this year with His car number…


As Here’s a list of the 10 IndyCar Drivers that are racing at Day-Toner’ this year. Excluding both Chip Ganassi Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing’s IndyCar Development Drivers and Indy NXT Competitors Kyffin Simpson and Josh Pierson respectively. Nor Christian Rasmussen and Rasmus Lind. With All four NXT Drivers comprising nearly Half of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing’s nine car Indy NXT Armada’s…


Andretti Autosport

(Driver/IMSA Class/Car#/Racing Team/Chassis)

(#26) Colton Herta

Class: GTP, Nos. 24-25 Team BMW M RLL; BMW M Hybrid V-8


(#27) Kyle Kirkwood

Class: GTD, No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Racing; Lexus RC F GT3


(#28) Romain Grosjean

Class: GTD Pro, No. 63 Iron Lynx; Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2


(#29) Devlin DeFrancesco

Class: LMP2, No. 51 Rick Ware Racing; Oreaca 07


Chip Ganassi Racing

(#9) Scott Dixon

Class: GTP, No. 01 Cadillac Racing; Cadillac V-LMDH


Ed Carpenter Racing

(#21) Rinus VeeKay

Class: LMP2, No. 11 TDS Racing; Oreca 07


Meyer Shank Racing

(#06) Helio Castroneves

Class: GTP, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing; Acura ARX-06


(#60) Simon Pagenaud

Class: GTP, No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing; Acura ARX-06


Team Penske

(#2) Josef Newgarden

Class: LMP2, No. 8 Tower Motorsports; Oreaca 07


(#3) Scott McLaughlin

Class: LMP2, No. 8 Tower Motorsports; Oreca 07


Thanks to Raymond Hando’s For The Love of Indy’s comprehensive Car-by-Car preview of the entire 61 Car Grid for this year’s Rolex 24. I learned that there’s actually five Indy NXT Drivers participating this year.


With No Disrespect towards Danial Frost who’s part of the No. 43 MRS GT-Racing’s LMP3 line up, who I missed during my Mondo’ Rolex 24 previews. With Frost’s inclusion seeing more than Half of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing’s Indy NXT Squad “Tuning Up” at Daytona.


Also, Colton Herta is indeed driving in both of BMW M Team RLL ‘s GTP Prototypes, albeit primarily in the #24 entry.


Which although rare, Driver’s have raced two cars before. As this year’s LMP2 Pole Sitter Ben Keating comes to mind. Although Keating raced for two different teams in two different classes from what I remember.


Also believe Thars a Maximum Drive-time that Herta, or Any competitor cannot exceed more than Four hours in any Six Hour period… 

ROLEX 24:Final Race Nuggets Before the Green Flag Flies

As just playing Ketsup’ with the Nonstop changing Teams and Drivers announcements…


The veritable IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship landscape keeps Ah-Chaingin’ on a weekly, or is that daily basis? Since I just cannot keep up with the Shear volume of never ending Changes! To the following updates to my ever growing No Fenders 24 Hours of Daytona Preview stories.


Like having learned during the Roar that Michelin was joining the “Green Brigade!” By introducing it’s newest “Eco-Friendly” racing tyres. But even more important was the fact that tyre allocation has been reduced from 38 sets to only 20 sets of tyres during the race! Or at least I believe that’s “Race Allotment,” i.e.; Thursday thru Sunday? And we’ll be hearing a lot about Double Stinting tyres…


Naturally, I’d Arse-sumed that Andretti Autosport IndyCar Driver Kyle Kirkwood would continue as part of the winning #14 Lexus RC F GT3 Vasser Sullivan Racing GTD Pro entry that won last year’s Petit Le Mans race He Co-Drove.


Yet instead, Kirkwood’s been announced as the fourth Pilote of the team’s No. 12 GTD entry. Joining Franky Montecalvo, Aaron Telitz and Parker Thompson in what should be a pretty Stout GTD line-up.


Initially IMSA had Capped this year’s 61st running of the Rolex 24 to 60 entries, due to the new GTP Prototypes and GT3 Spec machinery? Needing slightly larger Pitboxes.


Yet on January 5th, IMSA announced the addition of the No. 75 sunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to the GTD (Daytona) Class, enlarging the GTD category to what initially appeard to be 25 entries. Which is now only 24 thanks to Turner Motorsport’s GTD Pro entry, noted below.


As the team’s owned by Australian Businessman Kenny Habul, and I suspect the real reason this entry was “shoehorned” onto the grid was revealed just five days later. When it was announced that fellow Aussie’ will Power would be making His Rolex 24 Debut as one of it’s four drivers. With Power joining Habul, Axcil Jefferies and Fabian Schiller.


Obviously Power’s recovered fully from His Broken Ribs Go Karting escapade last fall. And Will mused how He used to be competing against Team Boss Kenny Habul Wayback during His Formula ford days Down Under.


As Habul’s crowning moment in formula ford appears to be finishing on the Podium with Will at the 1999 Australia Formula ford support race at Surfers Paradise. Where Kenny finished third in a Sprint Qualifying race for that year’s Gold Coast Indy 300 which Power won. Although Kenny’s No slouch behind the wheel, having won the Bathurst 12 Hours last year.


Whilst I was unawares that Power had spent time racing in the V8 Supercars series. So DJ willyP’s not completely a stranger to Tintops machinery, albeit it’s Power’s Rookie foray as a IMSA GTD Pilote.


Then on the evening of January 17th, albeit I didn’t get the memo until the next morning. Power has had to withdraw from his Debutante Rolex 24 outing in order to care for His wife Liz. Whose had some setbacks from recent surgery, with a long recovery period ahead, and Will obviously needs to take care of Her.


Thus Power will be replaced by GT Veteran Luca Stoltz, who I’ve never heard of before. With DJ WillyP’ Hoping to be able to do something at Daytona with Kenny in the future…


Although it had been rumoured for several weeks, or was it months? Finally on Friday, January 6th, Rick Ware Racing announced it was running a Full season LMP2 campaign with the de rigour Oreca 07 chassis. With it’s full season drivers being Eric Lux and Pietro fittipaldi. While Pietro will also contest the entire FIA World Endurance Championship season aboard an LMP2 entry.


But it’s Andretti Autosport IndyCar Driver Devlin DeFrancesco who will be the team’s third driver at All of the Michelin Endurance Cup (MEC) rounds that had long been rumoured to have an IMSA LMP2 ride this year.


Team Penske NASCAR driver and reigning Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric will round out the RWR entry’s Drivers lineup for Daytona. As the Rolex 24 seems to be becoming Team Penske’s Playground, with it’s two Porsche 963 GTP entries,

All three of it’s IndyCar Drivers at one point, and a Cup Driver for good measure competing.


Interestingly, I noticed when beginning my Mondo’ Rolex 24 previews, that Turner Motorsport’s had split up it’s winning Driver tandem. With Robby Foley now Headlining the team’s traditional #96 BMW M4 GT3 GTD entry. Whilst Bimmer Billy’, aka Bill auberlen Spearheads it’s new #95 GTD Pro entry for the four Michelin Endurance Cup (MEC) events.


As Auberlen’s joined in the cockpit with the unknown of Chandler Holl for Mwah. Along with John Edwards, longtime Team BMW RLL Hotschue’, who I’d been wondering where He’d gone this year? With the trio being joined at Daytona by Bruno Spengler, who I tend to recall also drove for Team BMW RLL previously…


And lastly, word finally came 24 Hours before the Roar before The 24 three day test commenced that Kevin Magnussen had indeed withdrawn from this year’s Rolex 24 due to His recent Hand surgery. As Kevin will be replaced by MDK Motorsports Porsche Carrera Cup driver Jason Hart. Who’ll join Mark Kvamme, Trenton Estep and Jan Magnussen aboard the team’s No. 53 Porsche 911 GT3 R GTD entry.


Whilst Thar seems to be some Cornfuzion’ over which of the BMW M Hybrid V-8 GTP Prototypes Colton Herta will be driving? Having even read that Colton will drive both the #24 and #25 entries.


But I’ll let all of Yuhs with Eyes Sharp as Rats figure it out instead of relying on Ye Blind Word Butcher to tell Y’all which car Colton’s in… 

Friday, January 27, 2023

ROLEX 24: Iconic German Brands Join the GTP Polka!

Although No idea if we’ll be Rolling Out the Barrel for either of them in Daytona’s Victory lane…


These two legendous’  German marques have joined the Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) revolution, which allows for competing for Overall victories at all of the iconic Endurance Sports Car races around the globe. Such as Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans for starters.



BMW M Hybrid V-8

Engine: 4.0-litre V-8 Twin Turbo


Nos. 24-25) BMW M Team RLL

Longtime BMW runners Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will continue their association as the Factory BMW Squad in IMSA, joining the super anticipated GTP Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) Prototypes category, Ja Volt!


As Connor De Philippi and Mick Yelloly will campaign the No. 24. And Augusto Farfus and Philipp Eng the No. 25 for the Full season Campaign. With Sheldon van der Linde and Marco Wittmann being the Nos. 24-25 Endurance Specialists respectively.


Yet many IndyCar Fans will be watching the #24 closely, since it’s fourth Driver for Daytona is Andretti Autosport’s “Team leader” Colton Herta. As Herta will be aiming for His third Rolex wristwatch! With the first two coming from GT Le Mans and LMP2 Class victories.


Although I’m not sure if the new BMW Hybrid racecar will go the full distance, since the new Bimmer’ was the last GTP Challenger to get On-track. And they’ve had the most intensive development programme, essentially playing Ketsup’ with Thar competition…


Yet I seem to be most fascinated by this racecar, notably it’s motivating power. As BMW Dusted Off it’s old P66 DTM motor for the basis of it’s new Hybrid motor. Beginning with the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated 90-degrees V-8 lump’ from 2012-2018, which is now known as the P66/1.


Then BMW “re-engineered” this engine with the addition of two turbochargers, in what I believe became known as the P66/2 internally. Before the current 2022 spec P66/3 unit which is now mated to the spec Hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS) and spec Xtrac sequential Gearbox, which All manufacturers incorporate into their designs.


As Racer’s Marshall Pruett notes that the BMW is the Quietest GTP Chassis on the Grid, along with the lowest revving at 8,000 RPM’s…


So I’ll be interested to “See” how the new BMW racer performs at Daytona. Which Marshall claims took it’s individual styling ques to the maximum limit. And Nobody won’t know who’s behind them when seeing BMW’s iconic Kidney shaped nostrils flashing it’s High Beams at them!


As here’s the second of Marshall’s GTP 101 Tech videos, where He goes over the basics of the BMW M Hybrid V-8 racecar…



Porsche 963

Engine: 4.6-litre V-8 Twin Turbo

TEAM: Nos. 6-7) Porsche Penske Motorsport

Presumably everyone knows about El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske’s lengthy association with Porsche. Stretching Wayback to those All Conquering 917/10, 917/30 Can Am Panzerwagen Days over a Half Century ago! Along with a very successful partnership when campaigning the Porsche RS Sypders during the American Le Man Series (ALMS) years.


As Penske has reunited with Porsche as it’s Werks’ team with it’s brand new Porsche 963 Hybrid Prototype. Arse-sumedly the GTP Chassis that’s logged the most testing mileage, since they were the first to reveal and test their GTP racecar last year. With it’s public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ironically where Roger Penske Himself was running His Team Penske’s 2008 Sebring 12 Hours Overall winning RS Spyder.


Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy are the No. 6 regular season Chauffeurs, with Dane Cameron joining them during the Endurance events. While the No. 7 entry sees Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr for the Full IMSA GTP season, with Michael Christensen running the Endurance races.


Naturally, I became curious about the 963’s motivating power aftert what BMW decided to utilize. Which reportedly the new 4.6-litre Twin Turbo V-8 lump’ is a development of the Porsche 918 Spyder’s engine. Which in turn is a derivative of the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 that powered the RS Spyder racecar.


Meaning Thar new “Quad Valve” (32 valve) V-8 “Thumper” 963 Panzerwagen which seems to have the most testing mileage? Having Debuted over one year ago, could very well find it’s way into victory lane on Sunday.


Ah contraire, Mon Sheree! As I’ve just learned via Marshall Pruett’s GTP Tech 101 videos. That Porsche is actually using it’s RS Spyder’s old 3.4-litre normally aspirated race motor as the basis for the 963’s engine. With it having been Up-stroked to 4.6-litres and twin turbocharged, revving to an 8,150RPM Redline.


As Porsche takes a page out of it’s Bavarian rival BMW, or was that visa-versa? By Dusting Off one of it’s old racing engines and modernizing it…


But Porsche’s Customer 963’s won’t be present at either Daytona of Sebring. With JDC Miller Motorsports, the first customer announced eagerly awaiting the delivery of it’s $2.9 million Porsche 963!


Whilst JOTA and Proton Competition also await arrival of their 963’s. With Porsche originally aiming for delivery in April, but I’ve read that seems unlikely now, and presumably more likely May instead… 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

ROLEX 24: 2023 Sees Debut of New GTP Hybrid Class

In what’s a veritable Two-by-Two Congo line of four Manufacturers…


This year’s Rolex 24  sees the unveiling of IMSA’s brand new Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) Prototypes Class called GTP making it’s debut. Where nine Shiny new GTP entries will vie for Overall victory. Since Cadillac’s bringing three cars to the party!


While I’ve tried previewing the four major Manufacturers in a previous No Fenders tome below.


With two supporting Prototype classes, i.e.; LMP2 and LMP3 comprising of a further 19 entries, for a total of 28 Prototypes in this year’s 61st running of the 24 Hours of Daytona.


Whilst another Mega’ Saloons’ grid of 33 GT3 Spec machinery is split between the GTD Pro Class and Thar “Kissing Cousin’s” GTD (Daytona) entrants, giving us a total Grid of 61 racecars! Magically matching this year’s 61st Rolex 24 running.


But as Always, I prefer listening to the race via IMSA Radio with it’s lead announcer John Hindhaugh & Company. Arse-sumedly Y'all can catch the start of the race, along with multiple hour's television coverage once again  on Big NBC and USA Network,. Along  with the majority on that Dreaded, Nasty Paywall service called Peacock, Cock Ah Do-little doo! And Yes, it really is a Paywall!


As I’ll leave it up to Y’all to Check Your local listings for TV/Streaming Broadcast times.


(GTP) Grand Touring  Prototype Class


Acura ARX-06

Engine: 2.4-litre V-6 Twin Turbo


#10) Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport

#60) Meyer Shank Racing


Seventy-two Hours after Christmas, Wayne Taylor and Mikey A’ announced that Andretti Autosport had bought an Ownership Stake in Wayne Taylor Racing. (WTR) Hence the rebranding to Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport. With plans to presumably move the WTR Operation in House to Andretti Global’s new Fisher’s Mega Complex by 2025. Although WTR will run it’s Acura Sports Car programme virtually unchanged this year.


Thus Honda continues with it’s split strategy for it’s two Acura’s between the Defending Race winner, IndyCar’s Meyer shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing, the 2021 Rolex 24 winner.


Beginning with the Defending Champs Meyer Shank Racing, (MSR) the Ohio based Squad sports another  new Driver line-up for 2023. With former DTM racer Tom “the bomb” Blomqvist being partnered by longtime Sorts Car Ace Colin Brown as the No. 10’s  regular season HotSchues’. With the Duo being joined by MSR IndyCar Drivers Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud during the Endurance rounds.


Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport will once again field Ricky Taylor with Filipe Albuquerque as its regular season drivers. While WTR-Andretti comes loaded for Bear once again this January! As Kiwi’ Bad Arse Sports Car Driver Brendon Hartley and Louis Deletraz fill out it’s Daytona lineup. As Deletraz will serve as it’s Endurance Specialist. While Hartley will “Moonlight” at Daytona, since His “Day Job” is being a Toyota Werks’ FIA World endurance Championship (WEC) Pilote.


Meanwhile, the Acura ARX-06 chassis features the Sewing Machine-like 2.4-litre Twin Turbo v-6 powering it’s rear wheels, being the smallest displacement engine on the GTP Grid. Although I think it’s the Highest Revving lump’ competing? Revving to 10,000RPM. Which I’m guessing is the IMSA GTP Class’s maximum RPM limit?


Although Racer’s Marshall Pruett notes that the Acura is the highest revving lump’ on the grid, screaming to 9,500 RPM’s in His GTP 101 Tech videos…


As Honda Performance Development (HPD) had originally produced the AR24E engine to serve as both Honda’s future 2.4-liter IndyCar engine and current Acura Sports Car engine, before IndyCar was forced to Pull the Plug upon it’s upcoming new 2.4-litre engine formulae.


As here’s the first of Marshall Pruett’s GTP 101 Tech videos, which gives a great look and description of the ARX-06’s key elements…



Cadillac V-LMDH

Engine: 5.5-litre normally aspirated V-8


Nos. 01-02) Cadillac Racing

#31) Whelen Engineering Racing


IndyCar diehards should also already know that Chip Ganassi Racing, (CGR) a la their longtime IndyCar rival Team Penske. Will campaign two LMDH Prototypes this year, as the Werks’ Cadillac Racing organization. With one apiece in IMSA GTP and the WEC’s Hypercar Classes.


As Cheeps’ #01 IMSA GTP entry’s season regulars will consist of Renger van der Zande and the former Sealmeister B’, aka le Hamburgular’, nee SeaBass’ or simply Sebastien Bourdais. Whilst Scotty Thee Iceman 2.0' Dixon will once again Continue his Enduro' Specialist role he's enjoyed for years in the #01 Cadd-Oh-lacc’. With Dixon aiming to claim His fourth Rolex wristwatch Overall. To Potentially join the rarefied company of Peter Gregg, Rolf Stommelen and Bob Wollek.


The Seester’ #02 FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) Fulltime Chauffeurs will be Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn. With “Westie,” aka Richard Westbrook sliding over from JDC Miller Motorsports to be it’s Endurance Specialist.


Perennial IMSA Prototype Champions Action Express Racing (AXR) will only run one brand new Cadillac V-LMDH Prototype this year, having “Parked” it’s second No. 48 Endurance Rounds Only entry for now.


And I have to say I’m most intrigued by the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Caddy’s Drivers lineup for Daytona and beyond. With the team making it’s 24 Huers du Mans Debut this June


As the No. 31 sports it’s third new Full season Drivers lineup in the past year, with Pipo Derani being the only constant. With the Brazilian Speedster now being joined by Alexander Sims. But it’s their new Endurance Specialist Jack “Achey Breaky” Aitken whom I’m most interested in.


As Aitken currently served as the Williams F1 Reserve Driver and is a former FIA Formula 2 race winner, with a best Overall finish of fith. Aitken also races in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the ACAC GT Masters.


Alexander Sims has previously driven for Corvette Racing and BMW Team RLL in GT Le Mans. Along with a four year stint in Formula E.


As Cadillac is the only competitor running a normally aspirated engine. Sporting  a brand new version of It’s tried and true past 5.5-litre Small Block V-8 motors. As I’m guessing that the GM designed 32 valve DOHC lump’ utilizes the current Flat plane Crank technology, mated to the new spec Energy Recovery System. (ERS)


With the Caddy’s lump’ revving to 8,800 RPM’, the second highest revving engine according to Marshall Pruett, who boldly claims it’s the Bruiser of the GTP category which pays Homage to Eddie Van Halen with it’s “Flying V” rear wing appendages. Which Marshall points out in the following video… 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

ROLEX 24: Can an LMP2 Prototype Pull Off a Shock win at this year’s Daytona 24 Hours race?

Which would be an unexpected triumph. Since somehow I’m sorta expecting one of the Cadillac V-LMDH’s to be victorious instead…


As Y’all should know? This year sees the introduction of the vaunted GTP Hybrid Prototypes class. For which part of me is wishing for a repeat of History. When twenty years ago a Corvette GT1 “Saloon” won Overall when All of the brand new Grand Am (DP) Daytona Prototypes failed to win!


As it would be fun to see an tried ‘N true LMP2 chassis unexpectedly win Overall, a la the Good ‘Ol Dazes of ALMS when Roger Penske’s Porsche RS Spyders played Dragon slayers over the vaunted LMP1 machinery…


And although they’ll definitely be overshadowed by the Headlining GTP Class. You’d have to argue that this year’s initial LMP2 Classes very small four car field of published entrants when I began this in Mid-December, was certainly Chock Full of Driving talent!


Although reportedly Rick Ware Racing was planning to join the party prior to The Roar Before Daytona, which took us to five LMP2 entries. Before it was reported on December 15th that the LMP2 Class would be comprised of a total of 10 (presumably) Oreca 07/Gibson V-8 chassis, for which I’ve got No Clue who they are?


But it’s funny how the info’s being dribbled out via Intravenous Drip…


Since after IMSA announced it’s initial 60 Car lineup, the #04 CrowdStrike Racing by ATR, #18 Era Motorsport, #20 High Class Racing, #51 Rick Ware Racing, #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, #55 Proton Competition and #88 AF Corse remaining unnamed LMP2 entries were revealed. With the previously revealed Racing for Turkey entry being scratched.


Whilst I know absolutely Nothing about the LMP3 Classes nine car entry. Other than it’s reportedly split with four Duqueine M30’s vs. five Ligier JS P320 entries. For which presumably one of those nine LMP3 entries is for Andretti Autosport and Jarett Andretti…


But more than Half of the field’s original 60 entries Drivers rosters were TBA, which we’ll have to wait until the Roar to be certain who’s driving what in this year’s field of now 61 entries.


(LMP2) Le Mans Prototype 2

Obviously the Biggest News in this Supporting class field is the inclusion of two-thirds of Team Penske’s IndyCar lineup making Thar Rolex 24 Debut’s. As Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin will Co-Drive with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR( Development Driver and Indy NXT competitor Kyffin Simpson aboard Team Owner John farano’s No. 8 Tower Motorsports entry.


But the Tower Boyz’ will have Thar Hands Full with reportedly Stout Competizione from the #11 TDS Racing entry. Which features Ed Carpenter Racing’s (ECR) IndyCar Driver Rinus VeeKay joining Scott Huffaker, Mikkel Jensen and Steven Thomas.


As TDS Racing, who’s the only two car LMP2 entry, sees it’s Seester Car #35 with former Formula 1 Bad Boy “Guido the Dutchman,” aka Giedo van der Garde spearheading it’s Driver lineup. With Francois Heriau and local Homeboy’ Indy NXT Rookie Josh Pierson behind it’s Keyboard. As I was surprised to read Pierson’s name on it’s Drivers rostrum. Whilst I’ve never heard of the second “Dutchie” Driver Job van Uitert before.


Meanwhile the #18 Era Motorsport entry also fields a Stout lineup. Led by regular season Drivers Ryan “Razzle Dazzle” Dalziel and Dwight Merriman. The pair will be joined at Daytona by Defending Overall winner Oliver Jarvis and Indy NXT Driver Christian Rasmussen.


The Rick Ware Racing (RWR) #51 entry was initially slated as the only Non Oreca LMP2 chassis in the field. As RWR was said to be running the solitary Ligier JS P217 chassis instead.


Yet when finally learning who the RWR Drivers Quartet was on January 10th, the team had apparently switched over to an Oreca 07/Gibson V-8 entry instead. While Eric Lux is probably the most unheralded of it’s four drivers, even if He is the defending Class winner…


Can only Arse-sume that both Proton Competition and AF Corse are using Daytona as a tune-sup for their forthcoming Big boyz’ future Prototypes campaigns. As Proton Competition will field a customer Porsche 963 in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year. Most likely at the Six Hours of Spa on April 29th.


While AF Corse will become la Scuderia’s Factory teamwith it’s Brace of Werks’ Ferrari 499P’s also in the WEC, which will make their competizione Debut at this year’s 1,000 miles of Sebring race on March 17th.


(LMP3) Le Mans Prototype 3

Yes indeed! The No. 36 Andretti Autosport LMP3 entry is on the Grid again, sporting a very interesting line up. With Andretti namesake Jarett being joined by former IndyCar driver Gabby Chaves, Dakota Dickerson and Rasmus Lind.


As Dakota won the 2018 U.S. formula 4 and 2019 FR3 Americaas Championships before focusing on the lower tier LMP3 Prototypes. While Rasmus has struggled to find the necessary funding to keep His Single Seaters career going. And currently is part of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing’s nine car Indy NXT Armada, making Him our fourth Indy NXT driver on this year’s grid.


Whilst Y’all can never count out the #33 Sean Creech Motorsports entry of Joao Barbosa Along with Lance Willsey, Nico Pino and Danny Sofi. As Barbosa’s simply a Bad Arse Racer whose won Daytona Overall three times! Who along with Willsey combine to be 108 years Old, Youza! Although I know Nothing about His co-Drivers, especially the two “Young Pups” on the squad.


While another Driver from Up North Eh! Who’s got a great name is Garett Grist, who’s Open Wheel Racing career never quite panned out. As the former Indy Lights competitor Grist as part of Junior III Motorsports #30 entry. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

ROLEX 24: 2023 Saloons classes look to Show Off at Daytona

Especially with Thar three Brand New, Shiny Competitors…


Although they’ll definitely be overshadowed, a la All “supporting” Classes by the Headlining GTP Category.


But much excitement, like the Brand New GTP Class machinery has to be in the Tintops’ category. With initially two brand new, shiny Gran tourismo chassis, i.e.; Ferrari and Porsche.


Since I didn’t know who the third GT3 Manufacturer taking part in IMSA’s mandated test last December was? Where IMSA wanted to capture “Baseline” performance Data for it’s Dreaded BoP, aka Balance of Performance regulations.


Turns out Thars actually two new Italian marques vs. Germany’s lone entry. With Ferrari’s new 296 GT3 model. Lamborghini rolls out it’s new Huracan GT3 Evo2 model. While Porsche joins the party with it’s latest 911 GT3 R iteration, with All three debuting at Daytona.


(GTD) Grand Touring Daytona Saloons’

For which Y’all Arse-sumedly know is split into two classes, i.e.; GTD Pro an GTD. With All Competitors utilizing GT3 Spec’ racecars. And the easy difference is that GTD Pro consists of All Professional Drivers, Hence it’s Name vs. GTD running Amateur Drivers.


As once again, this will be the largest field overall at Day-toner’, with a total of 32 entries originally. Before IMSA granted an extra GTD entry on January 5th, bringing the total up to 33. Hmm, where have I heard that number 33 before, Eh?


The GTD Pro field comprises of eight cars, and GTD has more than triple that amount, i.e.; 25.



From what I could tell originally in Mid-December, before IMSA announced it’s initial 60 Car lineup. Thar were supposedly going to be nine GTD Pro entries for this year’s Rolex 24. Although I’ve since learned that the class has shrunk to eight entries. With one of the new Lambo’s and a Acura NSX being scratched, with a second Aston being added, Cornfuzed?


But we’ll had to wait until January’s Rolex 24 Entry list being confirmed to figure out who All of the Drivers are. Not to mention what categories everyone’s competing in!


Thus the GTD Pro field is comprised of the following Car numbers: #3 Corvette Racing: Corvette C8.R, #9 Pfaff Motorsports: Porsche 911 GT3 R, #14 Vasser Sullivan Racing: Lexus  RC F GT3, #23 Heart of Racing: Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3, #62 Risi competizione: Ferrari 296 GT3, #63 Iron Lynx: Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2, #64 Team TGM with TF Sport: Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 and #79 WeatherTech Racing: Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.



Ironically, I heard Graham Doodwin pleading with both the FIA and IMSA to quit putting out a Kuhzillion Entry list Press Releases. Since this then entails a million more Press releases from each individual racing team and a never ending game of Wackam-ahmole!


Since on Friday the 13th, turner Motorsports announced that it was now fielding one of it’s two BMW M4 GT3 entries in GTD Pro for the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds. Being the team’s No. 95 entry. Giving us a new total of nine GTD Pro entries.


Obviously this field is Stacked! And I have Zero Clue who to pick for winner! Although I suppose I’d have to lean towards either the No. 3 Corvette with Antonio Garcia, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor. Or the Defending Rolex 24 Class winning No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports entry. Whilst the #14 Lexus could be a Sleeper, since it won the final round last year, the Petit Le Mans with presumably the same Driver lineup of Jack Hawksworth, Ben Barnicoat and Kyle Kirkwood. Yet strangely Kirkwood’s been shifted to the team’s No. 12 entry instead. With Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway being tabbed as the third driver at Daytona.


And while I’ll forever be a Fan of Prancing Horses, I’m wondering it the #62 Risi competizione will suffer from Brand New Car Gremlins?


Which Ditto could be said about the #63 Iron Lynx Lambo’, which I’m Arse-suming many IndyCar Fans Eyeballs will be focused upon. Since Thar’s some Frenchman named Romain Grosjean as part of it’s Drivers Quartet.


Oh Yeah, how could I leave out what will forever be considered my Homeboyz’ entry? The No. 23 Heart of Racing with Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas and newcomer David Pittar.



This category is simply too large to completely go thru All of it’s first 24, then 25 and now back to 24 entries! And Arguably will feature some of the fiercest competition. Thus Thar will be several cars of interest for Mwah.


Beginning with two new team entries this year, both being Porsche 911 GT3 R customers. As I just learned about Kelly Moss Racing thanks to Marshall Pruett’s interview with Female Team Owner Victoria Thomas last October.


As they’ve teamed up with Riley Technologies and will run a two car entry at Daytona, and All four Endurance events with the Nos. 91-92. While it’s the #91 entry’s Drivers I’m most curious about, since Kelly Moss is running a Femme Fatale Driver Full Season this year.


Although the team’s now finalized it’s two cars line-ups, along with upgrading the #92 to a Full season effort. The Femme Fatale in Question is Sabre Cook, who’ll be chauffeuring Kelly Moss’s 911 Panzerwagen in the North America Porsche Carrera Cup series this year instead…


The No. 53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 entry will be a fun one to keep track of. Specifically since Half of it’s Drivers are Magnussen’s. With Father Jan and Son Kevin teaming up again. This time joining Trenton Estep and Mark Kvamme.


Unfortunately, just a Fortnight prior to the race. Kevin announced He would be having surgery performed to His left wrist to remove a syst causing it to be painfully sore. And most likely would have to miss racing at Daytona in order to Heal 100% for His upcoming Formula 1 season with Haas F1…


Also before Christmas was Ah-waitin’ to find out which Femme Fatals would be piloting the All Female No. 83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2?


As the team’s finally revealed that Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah bovy will be joined by Doriane Pim. As Pim Deputized for Bovy last May at the Six Hours of Spa, making Her FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) GTE Am Debut. And the 19yr Old Teenager Pim who Hails from Ivry-Sur-Seine, Paris (France) is the reigning Ferrari Challenge Europe series Champion. Whilst Frey, Gatting and Bovy have all raced together previously in WEC, including last season aboard the Iron Dames No. 85 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo…


As the Diversity of this class is wonderful! With nine different Manufacturers: Acura, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche.


Thus the three BMW M4 GT3’s shouldn’t be overlooked. With the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing and Turner Motorsport No. 96 entries in the GTD class. Having already mentioned the late news of Turner entering it’s #95 in the GTD Pro category above.


And Yuhs should never count out Magnus Racing. As it’s No. 44 Aston Martin is stacked with Andy “The Enforcer” Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and John Potter. Plus Nicki thiim for Daytona.


And since I’m running long here, just a few more quick Jots’. As I’ll expect SuperMarioII’ to be back in Gradient Racing’s 66 Acura NSX. As Mario Farnbacher, Kyffin Simpson and Till Hechtolsheimer won last year’s Petit Le Mans season finale aboard this Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. Although Kyffin Simpson’s moved up to the LMP2 Prototypes category this year.


As Gradient’s announced an All Femme Fatale regular season line-up with Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge being joined by IMSA GTD Rookie Sheena Monk. With the Duo being joined at Daytona by Mario Farnbacher and Marc Miller.


While the No. 93 WTR-Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX sees Former IndyCar Star Ryan Briscoe as part of the Quartet at it’s controls, as it’s Biggest “Name” Driver.


As Arse-sumedly both the #93 and #66 Acura NSX GT3 Evo22’s are the ex-Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX’s…


And I always have a “Soft Spot” for former Champ Car racer Jan Van Hagar’ Heylen and the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.


And most definitely cannot forget the other Half of my perennial Homeboyz’ Squad Heart of Racing’s No. 27 Aston Martin. With GTD Champion Roman De Angelis at the wheel, along with new Full season Co-Pilot Marco Sorenson. With Team leader Ian James and Darren Turner joining at Daytona.


“As let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Lamborghini’s latest Sports Cars Endeavours

As the Raging Bull joins the Party with two new Studs…


Guessing it’s Old News for Y’all, if you’re a Sports Car Aficionado. That Lamborghini Squadra Corse has chosen Iron Lynx to be it’s Factory Team for when the new, yet undesignated Lamborghini Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) competitor debuts one year from now at the 2024 Daytona 24 Hours. With Lamborghini Iron Lynx set to compete in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTP class, and the FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) Hypercar category.


What little that’s known about the new LMDH project is that it’s chassis will be produced by Ligier and that it will utilize a Twin Turbo V-8 for it’s motivating power, coupled to the Spec Hybrid Energy Recovery System. (ERS)


As I’d Arse-sume this will be a Badge Engineered version of the same 4.6-litre twin turbo V-8 underneath the Porshce 963’s Bonnet. Since after all, Lamborghini is part of the Volkswagen Group, i.e.; Parent company of Porsche…


The Cesena, Emilia-Romagna based Italian team began competing in 2017, and has traditionally campaigned Ferrari’s. As I only became aware of them upon their Iron Dames project commencing in 2019. Thus the team has made great strides to becoming the Werks’ Lamborghini Squadra Corse team in 2024.


Interestingly for Mwah, according to Racer’s Richard S. James, Swiss based DC Racing Solutions Ltd owns the Iron Lynx Motor Lab team, it’s Iron dames outfit and Prema, presumably the Championship winning Italian Prema Racing team that competes in FIA Formula 2 amongst other racing series.


Lamborghini Squadra Corse will collaborate with Iron Lynx thru a technical partnership with Prema engineering, making this sound like a fairly serious effort. And Iron Lynx will campaign Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2’s in this year’s IMSA’s four Endurance rounds, along with the European GT World Challenge Endurance Cup.


All of which brings us to Lamborghini Squadra Corse announcing it’s latest Factory Driver, an Andretti Autosport IndyCar Driver named Romain Grosjean. As the Frenchman will contest this year’s Rolex 24 in the No. 63 Iron Lynx GTD Pro Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 with Lamborghini’s previously announced Factory HotSchues’ Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli. Along with Jordan Pepper.


As Grosjean will also be involved as a Development Driver for the yet unnamed LMDH racecar during the summer, when not busy with His “Day Job” in IndyCar or contesting the IMSA Endurance Cup events…


Meanwhile, lost in all of this LMDH Prototype Noise is the fact that Lamborghini will debut it’s brand new, latest iteration of it’s winning Huracan GT3 racecar, the Evo2 at Daytona this January. Where Iron Lynx will be running the aforementioned No. 63 GTD Pro entry.


As the Evo2 is a brand new racecar that has much to live up to. As the first Huracan GT3 Evo racecar has won more than 40 races Internationally, multiple Championships and three consecutive Rolex 24 GTD Class victories from 2018-2020!


The Evo2 features all new Bodywork front and rear, i.e.; new front Splitter and rear wing. Along with an all new carbon fiber floor, and I’d guess revised overall Aerodynamics.


But reportedly, it’s most striking visual change is the new Hexagonal shaped engine air intakes. With “Snorkels” directing Air into it’s 5.2-litre normally aspirated V-10 engines ten individually electronically actuated throttle Bodies for better engine response.


Arse-sumedly the Evo2 focuses upon Drivability for better overall performance in the Dreaded era of (BoP) Balance of Performance regulations. Along with featuring a new, upgraded braking system for improved stopping when Whoaing Down the Lambo’.


As Lamborghini will have five Huracan GT3 Evo2’s on Daytona’s Rolex 24 Grid. With the lone No. 63 GTD Pro entry along with the #19 Iron Lynx and #83 Iron Dames GTD (Daytona) entries. Plus the No. 42 NTE Sport/SSR and NO. 78 SADA Systems/USRT GTD entries. Having never heard of either of these latter two, presumably new GTD Race Teams… 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

IMSA: Two Iconic GT Marques Debut their latest GT3 Challengers at Daytona

As their Decades long struggle for Supremacy continues…


Although I cannot See ‘em. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to these two iconic marques latest GT3 Challengers facing off beginning at Daytona…


Ferrari 296 GT3

Engine: 3.0-litre Twin Turbo V-6

In apparently what’s become di riggour Design Philosophy in the modern BoP (Balance of Performance) Sports Cars regulations era. Faster is Not necessarily Better, albeit it’s still a key Design element.


As I’m noticing that Drivability is the Key Buzzword that All of the Sports Car Manufacturers are using now…


The Ferrari 296 GT3 has some big shoes to fill, since it’s predecessor the 488 GTE/GT3 won some staggering 500+plus victories around the Globe!


Obviously the 296 GT3 sports all new Bodywork, which is said to be lighter and produces up to 20% more Downforce than the 488. All of which is intended to aid it’s overall Drivability. And like it’s rivals, it’s cockpit surroundings have been redesigned for better ergonomics.


While the biggest change has to be the new 3.0-litre V-6 engine. With it’s “Wide-track” 120 degrees Vee angle allowing for both turbochargers to be nestled inside of it, resulting in better overall packaging.


While the car reportedly uses fewer parts overall. And is basically designed in three major sections, i.e.; front, center and rear. With both ther front and rear sections being able to be completely unbolted easily for ease of repair/maintainability.


As I’ll be interested to learn what the Horsepower outputs are for the 296 GT3 vs. the 488’s 3.9-litre twin turbo V-8? And which car had a Higher top speed?


But the 296 GT3 wasn’t necessarily built to be faster than the 488, just to outperform it overall! And with it’s price tag being North of $600,000, it’ll definitely need to perform! Although reportedly Maranello’s already Sold some 200 or more 296 GT3 models…


Porsche 911 GT3R

Engine: 4.2-liter Flat-6 Turbo

Perhaps I’m easily swayed? But I’m just marveling over Porsche’s “Engine-nuity” of raising it’s iconic Boxster engine some 5-5.5 degrees upwards at the rear of the engine bay in order to allow for a steeper, more inclined rear Diffuser! Not to mention moving the ancillaries forwards in order to improve the Almighty “CG,” i.e.; Center of Gravity.


As presumably, the most notable change to Porsche’s latest 911 GT3R which was unveiled at last year’s Spa 24 Hours race. Is the increased size of it’s iconic Flat Six lump’ from 4.0 to 4.2 litres, that reportedly produces some 557Bhp. With the new car retailing for some $567,000 plus!


Yet refinements abound in this 992 based model Porsche 911. From an slightly increased Wheelbase to refined Aerodynamics. Along with the Driver’s Seat being repositioned, redesigned Seatbelt buckles and new digital Dash, etc.


Yet what I’m Arse-suming is occurring at All of the Manufacturers competing in the Global GT3 Spec” series, is the refinement of Drivability in their models vs. outright Horsepower/Speed.


As Porsche noted that it really doesn’t make sense to try producing the most Horsepower since the Dreaded BoP (Balance of Performance) regulations will arguably Cut that down! So instead, Porsche just tried to make the new 911 GT3R easier to drive for All of it’s Clients. Along with making the new engine’s torque cirve and output smoother over it’s entire RPM range. Coupled with it’s revised suspension that’s intended to allow the rear tyres to last longer and hopefully improve tyre stints overall.


As Porsche’s latest 911 racecar iteration which first appeared On-track exactly six Decades ago, should be well prepared to continue it’s winning ways…


Whilst it will be interesting to see who comes out on top at the 24 Hours of Daytona, IMSA’s “super bowl” event, albeit it’s a long season and not only will Ferrari have something to say, but I’m sure Corvette, BMW, McLaren, Lamborghini, Austin Martin, Lexus and Acura will be bringing Thar “A Game” against Porsche, the reigning GTD Pro Champions, and GT Daytona (GTD) Stalwarts…