The official entry list for next month’s third running of the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA has been released, and event organizer Historic Sportscar Racing has confirmed that more than 150 cars will compete in the day-long race for vintage and historic racecars from the last half century.
“We are once again honored by the fantastic participation the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA has received from competitors from around the world,” said HSR President David Hinton. “The quality of the historic racecars and the incredible lineup of legendary stars and historic sports car racing drivers that are once again ready to take on the challenge of the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona is amazing.”
Heading that list is a 2000 Doran/Lista Racing Dallara-Judd LMP (above, photo courtesy of HSR) to be co-driven by 2002 Grand-Am champion and 1986 Super Vee titlist Didier Theys and co-driver Fredy Lienhard. The Dallara is the sister car to that driven by Theys, Lienhard, Mauro Baldi and Max Papis to overall victory in the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Doran Racing owner Kevin Doran and his team took the Dallara to Daytona International Speedway last week where Theys put it through two days of testing.
“It’s always good to come back to Daytona after many years of good memories here,” said Theys. “The last time I drove here was in 2005, and the car we will race this year in the Classic 24 is a 2000 chassis LMP Dallara-Judd that we raced in 2002. We won the Daytona 24 Hour that year, but this is the car that at mid-season at Watkins Glen we started to race with a bigger five-liter Judd. We finished the season that year with this car and won the championship.”
While the 2002 Daytona winner is on display in Leinhard’s museum in Switzerland, the Dallara that will be in the spotlight at the Classic 24 Hour never left the U.S. It will be racing for the first time in more than 14 years.
“This car has actually been sitting in my shop since it last raced in mid-2003,” noted Doran. “We did a full restoration after that season, with the intention of running it, but Fredy was racing in Europe and doing different things, and we never got around to running it. Now it’s going to run in the Classic 24 Hour this year and we will see what we can do with it.”
Beyond the Doran Dallara, famed BMW racer Dieter Quester has decided what to drive for his return to the Classic 24. After running a BMW-based Alpina B6 GT3 in 2015’s most recent running, Quester will race a BMW M1 “Procar” adorned in Red Bull colors. Quester’s co-driver at the Classic 24 will be Luca Riccitelli, with whom he drove in the 2000 Rolex 24 At Daytona where they finished 2nd in GTU.
Run Group E is home to the fastest racecars of the Classic 24, and returning will be two-time and undefeated class winners Rogers Motorsports, looking for their third-straight victory in the team’s 2005 Audi R8 LMP. Doug Smith and Andy Wallace, winners in 2014, co-drive again this year.
Other famous names on the entry list are those of Adrian Newey, Ray Evernham, Patrick Long, Joao Barbosa, Butch Leitzinger, Lyn St. James, Eric Curran, Jules Gounon, Jim Pace, Terry Borcheller, Kees Nierop, Bruno Junqueira, Eric Van de Poele, Gunnar Jeannette, John Fergus and Carlos de Quesada, among others.
HSR’s Classic 24 Hour gives those cars that were driven to glory at Daytona in the last few decades another chance to shine on the high banks. At the same time, HSR’s competition class structure gives others a chance to make their own history in the Classic 24 Hour. For further information please visit www.hsrrace.com/events/