Jan 25 | McMurray, Part Of All-Star Effort, Becomes 3rd Driver to Win Rolex 24 and DAYTONA 500

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Dixon, Kanaan and Larson Join McMurray In Rolex 24 Gatorade Victory Lane. Patrick Dempsey Co-Drives To 2nd Rolex 24 Class Podium Finish

CGR Win

An all-star race fittingly was won by an all-star team, which had to battle from flag-to-flag to deliver a milestone victory.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona – where champion drivers from various racing disciplines come to make history – had another of the down-to-the-wire finishes that have become commonplace in this sports car endurance test. Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, co-driving the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost DP of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates,  captured the Rolex 24’s 53rd running on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway by a mere 1.333 seconds over the race’s defending champions, No. 5 Corvette DP drivers Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais.

The Prototype class/overall podium was completed by the trio of Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli, who finished third in the No. 10 Corvette DP. All three podium teams finished on the lead lap – the 740th of the race, on the 3.56-mile DIS road course.

Regarding history: McMurray became only the third driver to win both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the DAYTONA 500 (2010), joining Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt on that most elite list. It also continued a career-long pattern for McMurray of success in major events. He also has won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

“To be in that group with Mario and A.J. … it’s some feeling,” said McMurray, who will try to win the DAYTONA 500 for the second time on Feb. 22.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the annual season-opening event for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, a series in its second year of existence following the 2014 merger of the former GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón. The Rolex 24, though, dates to 1962 with an original three-hour incarnation won legendary driver Dan Gurney – the start of a progression into its current status as North America’s premier sports car race with international renown.

And with that has evolved an annual pilgrimage to the “World Center of Racing” by drivers with NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One on their résumés, joining regulars from sports car racing.

That’s what the No. 02 brought to Daytona this weekend. Dixon is a three-time IndyCar Series champion and won the Indy 500 in 2008; Kanaan likewise has won both the Indy Car Series title and the Indy 500 (2013); Larson was last season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

Ganassi, a winning Rolex 24 owner for the sixth time, annually fields lineups like this. His other entry this year, the No. 01 which finished 25th, was co-driven by five-time Rolex 24 champion Scott Pruett, premier road racer Joey Hand, IndyCar regular Charlie Kimball and former Indy Lights champion Sage Karam.

Ganassi appreciates versatility, saying he grew up in a time that he “respected race car drivers who could drive lots of different cars. And I think all the drivers on our team look at opportunities [to diversify] if there’s an opening on their schedule.”

Added McMurray: “It’s pretty unbelievable to get to come down to Daytona and have the opportunity to run for Chip and Felix, and know you have a chance to win it every year you’re here.”

In addition to the headlining Prototype class, three other class championships were contested in the Rolex 24:

  • In the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, Mike Guasch, Andrew Novich, Andrew Palmer and Tom Kimber-Smith won in the No. 52 Chevrolet/ORECA FLM09;
  • In GT Le Mans (GTLM) Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and IndyCar veteran Ryan Briscoe co-drove the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R to victory;
  • In GT Daytona (GTD), Ben Keating, Dominik Farnbacher, Al Carter, Kuno Wittmer and Cameron Lawrence triumphed.

The production-based GT Daytona class also featured a second career Rolex 24 class podium finish for actor-driver Patrick Dempsey, who co-drove to a third-place finish in the No. 58 Porsche 911 with Madison Snow, Jan Heylen and Philipp Eng.

Tickets for the remainder of 2015 Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway are available for purchase on-line at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans also can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 23 | Plumb Brothers Co-Drive To Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Win

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular AJ Allmendinger Leads Final Rolex 24 Practice

Rolex 24 Day 2

Brothers Matt and Hugh Plumb co-drove the Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911 to victory in Friday’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway, the season-opening race for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

The Plumbs started second in the field of 56 production-based sports cars. They claimed the Grand Sports class and overall title, beating the second-place Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R of Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis by 6.972 seconds. The duo of Lawson Aschenbach and Matt Bell, also in a Camaro, rounded out the podium.

For Matt Plumb, it was a third Daytona victory. For his brother, it was a Daytona breakthrough.

“And it was business as usual for our guys,” Matt said. “The pit work, the strategy, the preparation – all of that was at the top of the charts. Hugh and I had to just do our job and not let them down.”

The Street Tuner class was won by Luis Rodriguez Jr. and Spencer Pumpelly in a Porsche Cayman. Finishing second were Jeff Mosing, Eric Foss and Justin Piscitell, also in a Cayman; the ST podium was completed by Ted Giovanis and David Murry who co-drove a BMW 328i. 

The No. 60 Honda HPD/Ligier JS P2 prototype of Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian completed a “sweep” of pre-Rolex 24 At Daytona on-track action Friday, with AJ Allmendinger posting the fastest lap – 127.046 mph/1:40.877. On Thursday, the No. 60 led all three practices sessions, dominance sandwiched around Ozz Negri taking the pole for the 53rd running of the Rolex 24. Negri and Allmendinger are joined by co-driver John Pew and Matt McMurry this weekend.

Prior to this weekend, the two Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates cars entered were considered overwhelming favorites given the all-star flavor of the two respective driver lineups. In Friday’s last practice, the Ganassi No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/DP was second-fastest (126.635/1:41.204) with former Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon the wheel-man. Dixon, former DAYTONA 500 champion Jamie McMurray, 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and another past Indy 500 champ, Tony Kanaan, are in the No. 02. A “super team” to say the least.           

Kanaan has his eyes on a race victory – and the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona awarded winners.“Aside from the prestige of the race, I’m a big fan of watches,” Kanaan said. “I collect watches and bought my own Daytona a few years ago and I still have it; to win the race and get an extra one would be the top. Winning one of the most prestigious events in history and getting a watch too – that’s pretty cool.”

Saturday’s Rolex 24 rolls off at 2:10 p.m. ET (TV - FOX Sports). Tickets are available for purchase on-line at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (@UnitedSportsCar). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 23 | Rolex Extends Partnership With Daytona International Speedway

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Partnership Includes Extension of Entitlement Sponsorship of Prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona and Branded Presence Associated With Historic DAYTONA Rising Project

Rolex Lounge

Two world-class organizations, Daytona International Speedway and Rolex, announced today a partnership that extends the iconic watch brand’s role as the title sponsor of the annual Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car race and Official Timepiece of Daytona International Speedway. The expanded partnership will also afford Rolex with naming rights for the new frontstretch lounge and suite level associated with the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project (scheduled to open in January 2016) and enhanced branding opportunities throughout the redeveloped Speedway. 

Rolex has been indelibly connected to the Speedway’s rich history since 1963 when it began dedicating its Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona to winning drivers at “The World Center of Racing.” The Cosmograph Daytona still remains the face of the legendary Rolex 24 At Daytona as Rolex prepares to celebrate its 23rd year as title sponsor of the race. Both organizations are eager to accelerate the next chapter of their partnership, one that has stood the test of time.  

“Rolex and Daytona International Speedway remain committed to innovation and excellence,” said Stewart Wicht, President and CEO of Rolex Watch USA. “Expanding our partnership to include the DAYTONA Rising project provides us with an unprecedented platform to showcase our brand.”

“We’re so proud of our history with Rolex and look forward to creating more memorable experiences in the years ahead,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “We’ll continue to push the boundaries and elevate the overall experience for our guests through DAYTONA Rising.”

 Rolex Lounge

About DAYTONA Rising

DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. Construction of DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a primary source of expected growth in the Deltona, Fla., MSA as part of ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey. 

Toyota and Florida Hospital are Founding Partners of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through more than 40,000 total square feet of engagement areas, branding rights for two of the injectors/entrances and two of the new neighborhoods.  

Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl. 

ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site. 

Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.  

About Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway is the home of "The Great American Race" - the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Sprint Cup event garners most of the attention - as well as the largest audience in motorsports - the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of "World Center of Racing." In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.

Jan 22 | Former Champion Negri Takes Rolex 24 At Daytona Pole

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BMW Performance 200 Pole Goes To Ford Mustang of Maxwell and Johnson

Rolex 24 Grid Set

Times have changed at the highest levels of sports car endurance racing, with reliability requiring healthy doses of flat-out speed, no matter an event’s duration. That reality has transformed North America’s premier sports car race, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, into a veritable sprint, which means pole qualifying has never been more important.

With that modern reality a top-line concern, IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship teams rolled out their top guns for Thursday’s qualifying session, to set the field for the 53rd running of the Rolex 24, which rolls off on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. ET (TV - FOX Sports). When the 90-minute session involving four classes was complete, former Rolex 24 champion Ozz Negri had the No. 60 Honda HPD/Ligier JS P2 on the pole via a 129.201 mph lap (1 minute, 39.194 seconds) on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. Significant but hardly shocking; the No. 60 – which will be co-driven by Negri, NASCAR star AJ Allmendinger John Pew and Matt McMurry – was the fastest car in both of Thursday’s practices, leading both the headlining Prototype class and overall.

Post-qualifying, Negri tried to downplay the importance of winning the pole – “the race is the real deal” – but only after emphasizing how much effort his Michael Shank Racing team had put into qualifying.

“We worked pretty hard [for this],” Negri said and we thought we had a good [qualifying] package. I used up everything the car had [today].”

Starting alongside Negri on the front row Saturday will be another former Rolex 24 winner who’s also a former Indianapolis 500 champion, Scott Dixon, co-driver of the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost/Riley with Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and former DAYTONA 500 champion Jamie McMurray. Dixon qualified at 129.061/1:39.302.

The three other respective class pole winners:

Prototype Challenge: Johnny Mowlem, No. 16 Chevrolet/ORECA FLM09 (125.257/1:42.318).

GT Le Mans: In a class record run, Oliver Gavin, No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R (123.840/1:43.488).

GT Daytona: James Davison, No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage (119.472/1:47.272).

Also Thursday, Scott Maxwell put the No. 15 Ford Mustang Boss 302 R on the pole for Friday’s BMW Performance 200, the season-opening race for the production-based IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Maxwell, who will co-drive with Billy Johnson in the two-hour, 45-minute event (starting at 1:45 p.m. ET), had a fast lap of 109.990 mph (1 minutes, 56.520 seconds) to lead the Grand Sport class and the field overall. The other front-row spot was claimed by Hugh Plumb (109.746/1:56.779), co-driver of the No. 13 Porsche 911 with his brother Matt.

In the Street Tuner class, the pole went to the No. 56 Porsche Cayman (102.157/2:05.454) of Jeff Mosing, Eric Foss and Justin Piscitell, with Piscitell at the wheel.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend are available for purchase on-line at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter at TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (@UnitedSportsCar). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.

Jan 20 | Rolex 24 An International Showcase For Drivers, Teams, Manufacturers

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Global Television Distribution, IMSA TV To Showcase Rolex 24 Worldwide

Keeping true to its name as the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) will spotlight a robust contingent of international drivers, teams and manufacturers on the world stage for the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25.

Global television coverage of the Rolex 24 will be available in more than 300 million homes across more than 130 countries. In addition to television coverage, IMSA TV on IMSA.com will offer worldwide streaming of TUDOR Championship qualifying, as well as the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season-opening BMW Performance 200 on Friday, Jan. 23.

A broadcast stream for all 24 hours of the Rolex 24 will be available to viewers outside of the United States with audio from the new IMSA Radio, via a partnership with Radio Show Limited. IMSA Radio also will provide live audio coverage of each practice, qualifying and race session on IMSA TV and RadioLeMans.com.

Domestically, viewers can stream IMSA Radio and on-board cameras throughout the race, as well as access the broadcast stream during the overnight hours from 10 p.m. ET through 7 a.m. ET.

"The Rolex 24 At Daytona is truly one of the world’s most iconic endurance sports car racing events, as evidenced by the melting pot of drivers, teams and manufacturers entered for this year’s event," said David Pettit, IMSA VP of Marketing. "More than half of the Rolex 24 field was born outside of the United States, each bringing its own unique fan base. We are proud to give fans from those countries the opportunity to follow all of the action from Daytona International Speedway, whether it be practice, qualifying or the race itself via worldwide television distribution and IMSA TV."

Of the 196 drivers entered for the Rolex 24, 117 drivers from 27 different countries were born outside of the United States. In addition, eight of IMSA’s 10 official automotive partners have world headquarters outside of North America.

The Rolex 24 At Daytona also is the opening round of the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. The Patrón Endurance Cup allows international competitors the opportunity to race against full-time TUDOR Championship teams and drivers in a four-race competition that includes the series’ four marquee endurance events: the Rolex 24, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida (March 21), Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (June 28) and Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta (Oct. 3).

More than 15 hours of live FOX Sports coverage will be available to viewers in the United States beginning with a two-hour FOX broadcast network beginning at 2 p.m. ET on Jan. 24. It is the second consecutive year that the Rolex 24 telecast has opened on the broadcast channel, which is available in approximately 115 million homes in the United States.

Jan 19 | More Than 15 Hours Of Live Coverage Opens With Two-Hour FOX Broadcast Network Block

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FOX Sports’ coverage will total 15.5 hours across the FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 television platforms. In addition, FOX race coverage streams live on FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on-the-go. - See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/fox-network-broadcast-highlights-fox-sports-coverage-53rd-rolex-24-daytona#sthash.Z62wH45L.dpuf

IMSA Article

A two-hour FOX broadcast network telecast kicks off more than 15 total hours of live FOX Sports television coverage of the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25.

The FOX telecast begins at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 24, moments before the green flag waves for the first round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup. It is the second consecutive year that the Rolex 24 telecast has opened on the broadcast channel, which is widely distributed in approximately 115 million homes in the United States.

“The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the center of the motorsports universe each January, attracting attention from fans of many different racing series,” said David Pettit, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) vice president, marketing. “FOX network television coverage enables us to reach those fans and introduce new viewers to our unique and exciting brand of motorsports. We are grateful to our partners at FOX Sports for helping us maximize this opportunity for all our stakeholders.”

FOX Sports’ coverage will total 15.5 hours across the FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 television platforms. In addition, FOX race coverage streams live on FOX Sports GO, the app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on-the-go. The complete schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Jan. 24 (All times ET)

2-4 p.m. - FOX Network

4-8 p.m. - FOX Sports 2

8-10 p.m. - FOX Sports 1

Overnight (Jan. 24-25)

10 p.m.-7 a.m. - IMSA TV on IMSA.com (live video streaming and commentary)

Sunday, Jan. 25

7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. - FOX Sports 1

The Rolex 24 will be the third consecutive TUDOR Championship event to feature FOX Network coverage. The inaugural season in 2014 closed with back-to-back FOX telecasts of events at Circuit of The Americas and Road Atlanta around the network’s NFL programming. Each telecast averaged more than one million viewers, with peak audiences in excess of two million which were notable high points in viewership.

IMSA.com will provide live high definition streaming coverage of the overnight hours, as well as live in-car camera footage and IMSA Radio commentary throughout the race. IMSA Radio will feature the broadcast team of John Hindhaugh from Radio Le Mans as well as Jeremy Shaw and Greg Creamer.

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