The 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grid

The 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona gets closer everyday, with the event taking place on the 28/29th of January. 49 entrants have already been confirmed for the Daytona 24, with more expected to join the grid before the event. Last year, 54 cars participated and classified for the 54th running of the prestigious event. It was Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, and Pipo Derani who took the overall win in a Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier JS P2. They return to try and defend their title for the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Below is the confirmed grid, so far, to start off Speed Chill's Roar before the 24.

Daytona Prototype Internationals

The end of 2016 saw the end of an era for the Daytona Prototype, the class has been merged with LMP2 in the hope of expanding the grid and attracting factory-backed entries across North America. Petit Le Mans 2016 saw the final race in the category as we knew it, where the Daytona Prototype cars raced alongside the LMP2 specification of prototypes since 2014. The new legislation means that the Daytona Prototype of 2017 is a re-engined LMP2 chassis with custom body work. 2017 sees seven next generation cars on the grid run by four different teams with 3 different manufacturers, Nissan, Mazda and General Motors.

The next generation Nissan DPI will be run using the new Ligier chassis, the JS-P217. The car turned its wheels for the first time in a private test at Sebring late 2016. The car will be run by Extreme Speed Motorsport who return to IMSA after their 2016 success at Daytona and will contest the full season after several years in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Scott Sharp will race alongside Ryan Dalziel in the #2 car with Pipo Derani stepping in as the third driver for Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta as part of the North American Endurance Cup. The #22 car will have Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown as the full season pairing along side Bruno Senna for the North American Endurance Rounds and Porsche factory driver Brendon Hartley at Daytona.

Mazda brings the new RT24-P to the 2017 championship in partnership with Riley Multimatic. Speedsource is running two cars in 2017 with Jonathan Bomarito, Tom Long, Tristan Nunez, Spencer Pigot and Joel Miller on board for the full season. The car has a four cylinder 2.0L turbo charged engine developing nearly 600 horse power.

General Motors have three cars lined up for the championship running the Chevrolet 6.2 Litre V8, two cars will run under the Action Express banner with a third car entered by Wayne Taylor Racing, all three are running the Dallara chassis. The Action Express team have retained their 2016 line up, the #5 car will be run by Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa for Daytona with the 2016 championship winning #31 car of Eric Curran and Dane Cameron joined by Toyota factory star Mike Conway and the 2016 Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner Seb Morris, who in 2016 drove alongside Rick Parfitt Junior for Team Parker Bentley in the British GT Championship.

Wayne Taylor Racing once again, sign on for the full season with their 2016 line up of Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor. Max Angelleli joins the pair for the endurance races along side Nascar super star, Jeff Gordon.

LMP2

There are a number of teams who have confirmed to be running the next generation of LMP2 cars in IMSA Competion alongside the factory backed Daytona LMP2 cars.

Visit Florida Racing will be running a Riley Multimatic Gibson with Marc Goossens and Renge van der Zande on board for the full season. Team Manager Troy Flis is also targeting a run at Le Mans in 2017.

After announcing their switch to LMP2 for the World Endurance Championship, Rebellion Racing also announced they would be mounting a challenge on the North American Endurance Cup with Nick Heidfeld, Neel Jani, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin at the wheel of the next generation Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2.

JDC Miller will be running a full season campaign in the Oreca 07 but the driver line up is as yet un-announced.

PR1 Mathiasen will be running the next generation Ligier JSP217 Gibson with Tom Kimber-Smith and Jose Gutierrez the full season contenders. Mike Guasch will join the duo for the four NAEC rounds.

Dragonspeed will also compete at Daytona in their upgraded Oreca 05 with the ELMS trio of Nicolas Lapierre, Ben Hanley, and Henrik Hedman. The trio will be joined by Loic Duval.

GT Le Mans

Corvette Racing return to the IMSA championship with a two car line up and an unchanged driver line up. Tommy Milner/Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia are on board for the full season, looking to defend the championship. Audi stars Mike Rockefeller and Marcel Fassler also return for Daytona and Sebring.

Porsche North America run by CORE Autosport will debut the new 911 RSR with Laurens Vanthoor, Kevin Estre, Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner piloting the new mid engined 911 for the season. Richard Lietz and Fred Makowiecki join the team for Daytona.

BMW have gone under a substantial reshuffle with Martin Tomczyk and Alexander Sims joining the squad alongside John Edwards and Bill Auberlen. Nicky Catsburg and Kuno Wittmer will join BMW for the North American Endurance Cup rounds with Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler also onboard for Daytona.

Ford returns to IMSA with the 2017 GT without any major changes. Joey Hand/Dirk Mueller and Richard Westbrook/Ryan Briscoe will take on the full season with the FIA WEC cars also joining the squad for Daytona. The first time all four cars have run together since Le Mans 2016.

GT Daytona

GT Daytona, the IMSA equivalent of GT3, will see Scuderia Corsa, the class champions of 2016 return with the Ferrari 488 GT3 for 2017 with Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen at the wheel. Matteo Cressoni will join the duo for the NAEC races. Michael Shank will contest the season with the new Acura (Honda) NSX GT3 with Jeff Segal, Ozz Negri, Katherine Legge and Andy Lally on for the whole season, Mark Wilkins and Tom Dyer for the NAEC races and Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay in for Daytona.

3GT Racing will bring out the Lexus RC F GT3 with two cars featuring FIA WEC driver Gustavo Menezes for the endurance rounds. Riley Motorsport makes the jump from Dodge to Mercedes with the new AMG GT3, they field two cars in a season long campaign with Thomas Jaeger and Shane van Gisbergen on board for Daytona. Sun Energy1 Racing, a new team to the IMSA paddock are also running the AMG GT with a full season entry, the driver line up is not yet complete at time of writing.

Core Autosport, Park Place, and TRG are all set to run the Porsche 911 GT3R program for season long campaigns in GT-D with a number of Porsche factory drivers spread throughout the lineup and a number of drivers still to be confirmed.

Lamborghini returns to the grid with one car entered by Paul Miller Racing and one under the banner of Change Racing, both for full season campaigns. The two season entry Lamborghinis are also set to be joined by Dream Racing for the endurance races as part of the NAEC and Grasser Racing Team, the highly successful European team making its debut in the United States at Daytona. Grasser will be bringing with them their highly successful lineup of Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart, Rolf Ineichen and Ezequiel Perez Companc with them to Daytona. Future plans are yet to be confirmed. Ebimotors will field an additional Lamborghini at Daytona and Sebring with Fabio Babini and Emanuele Busnelli confirmed so far.Sole Daytona entries include Aston Martin Racing with a Vantage GT3 run by Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Laura and Pedro Lammy with Niicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen both possibilities for the 24. Konrad Motorsport will return to Daytona with a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with potential for further appearances later in the year. Manthey Racing will field a customer entered Porsche 911 GT3 R; Land Motorsport Audi fresh from claiming the ADAC GT Championship will make a one off appearance at Daytona and AF Corse Ferrari will enter one 488 GT3 with an unannounced lineup.