Sant’Agata Bolognese/Daytona, January 8th, 2017.
After its debut in 2016, Lamborghini will return to the 24 Hours of Daytona with a record-breaking line-up: last year there were 5 cars at the start, whereas at the 55th edition of the most famous American endurance race, scheduled from 26-29 January, there will be as many as 8 Huracán GT3s on track, therefore Lamborghini will be the manufacturer with the highest number of cars in the GTD class (GT Daytona).
This is the category for Gran Turismo cars with GT3 homologation and the most competitive one, considering the 29 cars at the start out of the 55 entered in the four classes admitted to the race.
From January 6-8, the teams had the opportunity to become familiar with the 3,26-mile-long tri-oval track of Daytona International Speedway during “The Roar Before the Rolex 24”, the usual collective tests preceding the endurance race that opens the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. These tests were particularly useful for the Lamborghini customer teams taking part in this fascinating competition for the first time, such as Grasser Racing Team, Ebimotors, Dream Racing and DAC Motorsports. But this is also true for some young drivers from the one-make series Lamborghini Super Trofeo, who, for the first time, will have the chance to participate in one most challenging endurance races in the world.
Here are the Lamborghini customer teams taking part in the 24 Hours of Daytona with their Huracán GT3s
Grasser Racing Team - Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #11 and #61
In 2015, the Austrian team led the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 into the motorsport scene by debuting in the Blancpain GT championship. The team is now going to face the 24 Hours of Daytona with two cars at the start: the numbers 11 and 61. The driver line-up is the same as the one of the European races, with the Factory Driver of Lamborghini Squadra Corse Mirko Bortolotti supported by Christian Engelhart and Rolf Ineichen; they will be also joined by the Argentinian Ezequiel Perez Companc. On the second car, there will be three expert drivers from the one-make series Lamborghini Super Trofeo, such as Milos Pavlovic, Roberto Pampanini and Christoph Lenz.
Change Racing – Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #16
The American team is renewing its commitment in the IMSA series with a driver line-up of all respect. The Huracán GT3 number 16 will participate both in the 24 Hours of Daytona and in the whole WeatherTech SportsCars Championship with a new pairing behind the wheel: the two GT3 Junior Drivers of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, both of whom with some experience in the one-make series Super Trofeo, Corey Lewis and Jeroen Mul. In Daytona, they will be joined by the Nascar driver Kaz Grala and Brett Sandberg, the latter participated in 2016 in the most important IMSA endurance races with Change Racing.
DAC Motorsports – Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #18
DAC Motorsports, one of the leading teams in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, is going to make a qualitative leap by taking part in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Behind the wheel of the Huracán GT3 number 18, there will be drivers already participating in the American series of the Lamborghini one-make championship, such as Emmanuel Anassis, Brandon Gdovic and Anthony Massari, as well as the Indy driver Light Zach Claman.
Konrad Motorsport – Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #21
The German team has a long experience in endurance races and is getting back to the 2017 edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona with a partially revised crew. The team principal Franz Konrad and Lance Willsey, who already took part in last year’s race, will be joined by two young and fast drivers: the Italian Lamborghini tester Marco Mapelli and the GT3 Junior Driver of Squadra Corse Luca Stolz.
Dream Racing – Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #27
The Italian-American team, which already participated in the Super Trofeo North America and in the IMSA WeatherTech in 2016, is now going to debut in the 24 Hours of Daytona. The cockpit of the Huracán GT3 number 27 will be shared by a tested crew formed by Lawrence DeGeorge, Luca Persiani, Paolo Ruberti and the GT3 Junior Driver Cedric Sbirrazuoli. The novelty is the addition of the skilled Italian driver, Raffaele Giammaria, expert in endurance races. Giammaria, in addition, starting from 2017 will be the supervisor of Lamborghini Squadra Corse’ Youngster Programs, on behalf of the federal school Aci Sport of which he is the director.
Ebimotors - Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #46
The Italian team, which has been taking part with their Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in GT championships (International GT Open, Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup) since last year, is going to participate in the 24 Hours of Daytona for the first time. Currently, the confirmed drivers are the Italian duo formed by Emanuele Busnelli and Fabio Babini, expert in endurance races.
Paul Miller Racing - Lamborghini Huracán GT3 #48
This is the American team that obtained the best results during the past season, with the third place in the GTD class in the IMSA championship. Paul Miller Racing, expert in US races and in the 24 Hours of Daytona, will line up the Huracán GT3 number 48 with the drivers who raced the 2016 full-season: Bryan Sellers and the GT3 Junior Driver of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Madison Snow. The two American drivers will take part in the whole 2017 North American championship, whereas they will be joined during the four classic endurance races (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans) by Bryce Miller and a new entry, the young Italian driver Andrea Caldarelli.
The 55th edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona will start on January 26, with free practice and qualifying sessions on Thursday and Friday. As usual, the race will kick off at 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday, January 28.