Aspiring F1 driver Alexander Rossi to drive DeltaWing in Rolex 24 DeltaWing Racing Cars announced their 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona driver lineup today, with young American F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi joining Andy Meyrick and Katherine Legge for the endurance classic.
The trio will share driving duties in the revolutionary DeltaWing coupe at the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event. The new sports car racing circuit unites the former Grand-Am and American Le Mans Series. British drivers Meyrick and Legge return to the team from the 2013 season, with Caterham’s 2013 GP2 and F1 reserve driver Rossi joining the roster. The California native gained his first sports car racing experience this past June, finishing 11th in class at Le Mans in a combined Greaves Motorsport/Caterham LMP2 effort.
“The 24 Hours of Daytona is an important motorsport event and I’m honored to be driving for Don Panoz and his DeltaWing project,” said Rossi. “Being able to race and work with Panoz is a bit surreal for me, as I grew up karting and watching his rich history in American motorsport and the cars he designed. I’m fairly new to endurance / sports car racing, but after the success of Le Mans I’m looking forward to the new challenge of Daytona. It’s also a privilege to work with experienced teammates like Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick. I especially want to thank Don Panoz and David Price for their confidence in my abilities.”
Both Meyrick and Legge were pleased with the DeltaWing coupe’s performance at the Daytona test session last month, putting in 131 laps and a quick time of 1:40.883. This will be Meyrick’s first race at Daytona, while Legge looks forward to her second Rolex 24, having driven a Daytona Prototype in 2007.
“We had a good test last month,” said Legge, “so the car does seem to do well there. I think that we can be competitive in terms of speed and if the reliability is there, we can really be competitive. Andy and I are very excited to be working with Alexander – it will be great to see his reaction to the car, as I’m sure it was to see mine back in May! The team has worked extremely hard and is looking to come back and prove what we’re made of in Daytona, to start the season on a high note.”
“Katherine and I are looking forward to having Alexander join us at Daytona,” agreed Meyrick. “He’s one of the most promising single seat drivers in the world and it will be fascinating to see him in the DeltaWing. As an American driver, it will be great for him and for the team. We had a very strong test in November; we set some good times, very consistent times, especially since it was our first time on the banking. The Roar gives us a great chance for the three of us to work together, to continue to learn about the Continental tires, make sure the car is reliable and to work on performance and consistency. I'm very excited.”
Team manager David Price was happy to add Rossi to the DeltaWing team – and especially pleased with how quickly the deal came together.
“It wasn’t complicated,” said Price. “I asked him if he wanted to do Daytona and he said yes! There are not an abundance of American drivers in Formula One right now, so to have someone of his ability to drive for us is significant. Daytona is a circuit that suits the characteristics of this car; we were competitive at the test last month so we will focus on reliability and build on that going forward.”
DeltaWing Racing Cars Managing Partner Don Panoz, who founded the ALMS in 1999 and was instrumental in uniting North American sports car racing, is enthusiastic about the team’s prospects for Daytona.
“We’re really looking forward to running at Daytona and we’re very excited about our driver lineup,” said Panoz. “Alexander has a lot of experience. He’s well known on both sides of the Atlantic and in addition to his great reputation, he has some terrific skills. We look forward to having him on the team, joining Katherine and Andy, who know this car so well. We had a very good showing at the test last month, with some good times so we look forward to confirming the car’s performance in January.”
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