You Want Some of This?
You Want Some of This?
With the world’s premier sport car makers rolling out their latest GT artillery, the Rolex 24 at Daytona entry list for the GT Le Mans class is a who’s who in GT sports car racing: Aston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche and SRT Viper.
Each enters 2014 with a storied history, a powerful line-up and a strong team as evidenced by the fact that all six manufacturers celebrated 2013 victories in the predecessor American Le Mans Series or FIA World Endurance Championship.
It is an axiom in sports that to be the champ, one must beat the champ. That makes Corvette Racing, home to both the 2012 and 2013 ALMS champions the ones to beat in 2014. With nine wins in the final 19 ALMS races, Pratt and Miller extracted great performances from its highly developed pair of Corvette C6.Rs.
Now, the team enters 2014 competition with the exciting new Corvette Stingray C7.Rs, cars that will turn their first race miles here in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The new Corvettes have been testing on track since a surprise appearance at the Monterey Reunion in August, but testing and simulations are not the same as racing and a 24 Hour race is an especially difficult opening act.
Porsche also debuts new cars as it launches a new Porsche North America factory team with CORE autosport. An impressive 1-2 finish at Le Mans last June leaves little doubt that the latest 911s are well developed and proven at this distance.
Poised for another title run after a pair of victories in its inaugural season with the Z4 in 2013, are the 2010-2011 ALMS champions from BMW Team RLL – led by Bobby Rahal and Jay Connell.
A championship run is exactly what the SRT Viper team has in mind for 2014. The Bill Riley led team had a breakout season in 2013, with three poles and its first win since returning to competition in mid-2012.
Ferrari is always a major threat, especially at the longer races. The Ferrari 458 Italia from mega successful Risi Competizione Ferrari of Houston will be a formidable competitor. The team came on strongly in the final events of 2013, claiming a victory at VIR and the pole at Road Atlanta.
Joining the Daytona party is the Aston Martin factory team from Britain’s famed Prodrive team with the stunning and quick Aston Martin Vantage.
With six prestigious marques, including five full-on factory teams, and outstanding engineers and drivers, no one can afford to go a lap down, so expect them to be in total attack mode for the entire 24 Hours.
What a great way to start the 2014 season. And, yes, race fans definitely want some of this!