No Team Returns Same Driver Lineup from Last Year’s Iconic Around the Clock Race, set for Jan. 29-30; Cars on Track This Weekend During The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2022) – It began with one team’s decision, but it didn’t end there.
It continued with one driver’s decision to join another team. One by one, the dominoes began to fall, each move affecting another. By the time everything was sorted and signed, the driver lineups for the final season of the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class were different than just a few months ago.
Of the 10 fulltime drivers in the class, only five will return to their 2021 seats when the Roar Before the Rolex 24 Presented by INX kicks off the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Only one car – the defending Rolex 24 At Daytona winner – returns with the same two fulltime drivers.
The other lineups are different to some extent. One team, Mazda Motorsports, is gone. Another team, Chip Ganassi Racing, added an entry. Other teams have slightly different lineups with some elements of 2021 remaining. One team has a completely different set of drivers. The song has stopped in the ever-present musical chairs of DPi, and things have been a bit rearranged as the class prepares for its final season.
Wayne Taylor Racing is the only entry that returns its two fulltime drivers from last year to the 60th running of the Rolex 24. Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque also happen to be the defending race winners in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05. Only natural that they would want to continue.
“We were lucky with how me and Ricky worked with (WTR technical director) Brian (Pillar) and Wayne,” Albuquerque said. “It was fantastic. It just made sense to continue.”
The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX this weekend will consist of practices on Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s 100-minute qualifying race at 2:05 p.m., determining the lineup for North America’s most prestigious sports car race.
Tickets are available for both The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX and the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA. Single-day tickets for this Friday and Sunday are just $15 for adults and kids 12-and-under are FREE. Single-day tickets on Saturday are $20 while kids 12-and-under are FREE. To be a part of The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX or the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, log onto www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
As far as the other 2022 DPi lineups (and their changes from 2021) they are:
- No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Felipe Nasr has joined Team Penske’s Porsche LMDh program, replaced by Tristan Nunez as Pipo Derani’s new fulltime driver with the Action Express Racing entry that won the 2021 DPi championship. Mike Conway returns as the endurance specialist.
- No. 01 Cadillac V-Performance Academy Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. Renger van der Zande stays, while his fulltime co-driver last year, Kevin Magnussen, moves to an endurance role in the team’s new No. 02 entry. Sebastien Bourdais joins van der Zande in the No. 01, with Scott Dixon and Alex Palou as endurance drivers.
- No. 02 Cadillac Accessories Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. The new-for-2022 entry features Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn in the fulltime roles, with Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson filling in for longer races.
- No. 5 Mustang Sampling JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac DPi-V.R. Tristan Vautier returns to join Richard Westbrook, replacing Loic Duval, who moves to the endurance spot filled last year by Bourdais. Ben Keating, fresh from his Le Mans Prototype 2 championship in ‘21, joins for Daytona.
- No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05. Taylor, Albuquerque and Alexander Rossi return for the Rolex, with Will Stevens joining in the endurance role. Helio Castroneves, the team’s fourth driver at Daytona last year, moves to a similar role with Meyer Shank Racing.
- No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-05. Full revamp here. Gone from last year’s Rolex entry are Dane Cameron, Olivier Pla, Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger, replaced by Oliver Jarvis, who led the No. 55 Mazda DPi to victory in its final race, the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in November. Joining Jarvis in the fulltime seat is Tom Blomqvist, with Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud in the endurance roles.
- No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R. The IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup entry returns three of its drivers from last year – Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller – with Jose Maria Lopez replacing Pagenaud.
The final season of the DPi format, which will be replaced next year by LMDh, is as busy as ever in terms of driver movement.
The overall field for the Jan. 29-30 race includes 61 entries in five classes, up from 48 in 2021.
For the team that stays mostly the same, the motivation for the Rolex comes from the disappointment of Petit Le Mans, where the championship slipped away on the final lap.
“It still was a successful year,” Albuquerque said. “Sometimes in racing we just want more and more and more. We forget that we won Daytona and we won the endurance championship. We just missed the championship by half a second, which would have been the hat trick. We cannot ask so much of ourselves. It’s still very positive.”
In addition to cars on track this weekend during The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX, Daytona International Speedway will host Scout Days at DAYTONA, where thousands of scouts from across the nation take part in garage tours, track walks, and STEMWERX activities. STEMWERX inspires and equips bright young minds to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Their mission is to inspire students to choose careers in STEM fields and become the next generation of innovators.
The Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA Presented by INX kicks off 10 days of on-track activity, culminating with the Jan. 29-30 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
Once the checkered flag falls on the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the World Center of Racing will begin its focus on DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth (Feb. 15-20) and the 64th Annual DAYTONA 500. The week will feature six days of incredible on-track action with practices, qualifying and a total of six races among four different series. It will allow fans several possibilities to see the NASCAR Cup Series’ Next Gen car, plus some of the greatest drivers in the world in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, as well as the ARCA Menards Series.
For ticket information on Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth events, log onto www.DAYTONA500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. If fans are looking to buy or sell reserved seats for the DAYTONA 500, please visit SeatGeek, the Preferred Ticket Exchange of the DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training. The iconic venue will be the site of a host of motorsports events early in 2022, beginning with AHRMA Classic Motofest and the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in January, and the 64th DAYTONA 500, which will debut the first points race for NASCAR’s ‘Next Gen’ car as part of Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth in February. The tradition-rich 81st Annual Bike Week At DAYTONA returns in March, featuring DAYTONA Supercross and the DAYTONA 200, and in May with the Heroes Honor Festival. Later in the summer during Independence Day weekend, the track, in association with Torneos, will host Soccer Fest before the NASCAR Cup Series returns for the final race of the regular season with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 27.