234_Anthem Annual 2017 February Edition.p1

2017 Anthem Annual February

Fueled by “Fresh from Florida” before embarking on its WEC campaign. The team that has won the last three IMSA WeatherTech championships and the last three North American Endurance Championships — Action Express Racing — returns to Daytona with a brace of Cadillac DPi-V.R. chassis, which are powered by a 6.2-liter Cadillac V-8. Drivers Eric Curran and Dane Cameron won the WeatherTech title in 2016 on board a Corvette DP while Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi finished third in the Rolex 24 last year and took home the IMSA title based on its major endurance races. Gary Nelson, the team manager at Action Express, won a NASCAR title as the crew chief for Bobby Allison and scored two DAYTONA 500 victories before turning his attention to sports car racing. His teams have won the Rolex 24 twice, most recently with Action Express in 2014. After so much success, he is ready for the challenge of the new era of prototypes. “We wanted to get to the racetrack and start testing our Cadillac DPi- V.R as soon as we could, and we already have a couple of tests under our belt,” Nelson said in December. “Our early testing is showing some great results. We’ve learned a lot about a high downforce race car — a car that instantly grabs the track. Our drivers are learning about the new car 234 ANTHEM MOTORSPORTS ANNUAL and whether they have to make any adjustments to their driving style to accommodate the new race car. In addition, our engineering staff is also learning about the new car and how to best tune the car.” Teams are eligible to race in the Rolex 24 with the standard LMP2 chassis that is also being introduced in 2017. Powered by a 3.8-liter Gibson V-8 engine, these prototypes compete with the same chassis as the DPi. The key differences are the use of the standard Gibson engine and the bodywork generic to builders Riley/Multimatic, Ligier and ORECA, a French firm. Among the teams racing the LMP2-Gibson in the Rolex 24 are WeatherTech series regulars VisitFlorida.com and Starworks Motorsport (Riley/Multimatic), PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports (Ligier) and JDC-Miller Motorsports (ORECA). European teams that will try to win the Rolex 24 on board ORECA chassis include Rebellion Racing and DragonSpeed. Rebellion is one of the most decorated prototype teams in the world in recent seasons, annually winning the LMP-1 privateer title in the WEC. Its first race at Daytona is symbolic of the excitement and opportunity generated by the next generation of prototypes. SunEnergy1 Racing will field the No. 75 Mercedes led by owner/driver Kenny Habul in the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Brian Cleary


2017 Anthem Annual February
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