PR1 Motorsports finalizes Rolex 24 roster

Defending Rolex 24 at Daytona PC winners PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports have confirmed a heavily revised driver lineup to defend its crown.

Returning to defend their win is Tom Kimber-Smith who will be joined by Robert Alon for the full WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season, Jose Gutierrez joining for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship (TPNAEC) and Nick Boulle who will complete the driver lineup for the Rolex 24.

After testing several drivers to fill the open positions, team principal Bobby Oergel is happy with the combination who will compete at the Rolex 24 and throughout the season.

"We've had a really busy off season testing a lot of really good, young talent," explained Oergel. "The group that we've assembled is going to be a lot of fun to work with. We're blessed to be able to have a group of guys who are extremely talented and all have a common goal which is to defend our win at Daytona and hopefully add another championship."

"We're very pleased to have Tom (Kimber-Smith) return to the team, and excited to add a lot of fresh blood to the program as well. Robert Alon, who we've seen progress through the Cooper Tire Prototype Lites, will join Tom for the full season in the WeatherTech Championship, and Jose Gutierrez will help us at all of the long races. Nick Boulle will be a great addition to the team in Daytona, and now we're ready to get to the Roar and have all the guys together in one place and see what they can really do."

Kimber-Smith, 31, of Wokingham, England, returns to PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports after winning the TPNAEC in the PC Class in his debut season with the team.

"It's great to be back with PR1. I got to know everyone over the last year, and it feels like everyone there is family, so it's really an honor for me to be back again for 2016," said Kimber-Smith.

"I met Robert Alon for the first time last week and didn't know a ton about him, but knew he was coming up through the ranks rather quickly and successfully and have to say I was very impressed and am really looking forward to sharing a car with him for the entire season. I also met Nick, who will be with us at Daytona, who's very fast, extremely intelligent, and I think he's going to do a great job for the 24. The only driver I didn't meet, who I've heard a lot about, is Gutierrez. I have seen a bit of his history and think he's going to be a dark horse who's really going to shine next year."

Robert Alon, 25, of Encino, California has been racing competitively for the past five years. During his time on track he has quickly moved up the junior ranks and enjoyed great success in the Cooper Tire Prototype Lites Championship. Alon, who brings a full season Professional Security Consultants sponsorship to the team is anxious to begin the season with PR1 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 and compete in his first full WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season.

"To say I'm ready to get the 2016 season started would be an understatement. I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of the PR1 car," stated Alon.

"This will be my first season in the big leagues, and I'm honored to have the privilege of driving with PR1. This year will be a big challenge for me stepping up from the Cooper Prototype Lites to the PC car, especially with the added weight, downforce and overall performance from the Lites car to the PC. I'm definitely up for the challenge, and I'm beyond ready to race at the Rolex 24. We have a really great group of drivers for the 24, and I think we're going to bring some tough competition to Daytona in January."

Jose Gutierrez, 19, of Monterrey, Mexico hails from a family of successful racers and hopes to continue that success at the TPNAEC races in 2016.

"I'm very excited to join PR1 for four of the biggest US races of the year. I'm training at the gym twice a day to get in shape for the 24 hour and am really looking forward to racing at Daytona and at night as well, as this will be my first time racing at night," said Gutierrez.

"I think we have a great group of guys for the 24 hour race. I met Robert and Nick at the test and look forward to meeting Tom at the Roar. I think there are a lot of things I can learn from Tom and each of the other drivers, so I'm ready to get to work at Daytona."

26-year-old Nick Boulle of Dallas, TX will complete the driver line up at the Rolex 24. Boulle, representing de Boulle Motorsports Marketing and Meridian Realty Advisors, is thrilled that his first race in a prototype challenge car will be at the Rolex 24.

"It's a dream come true to be racing a prototype challenge car at Daytona. It's a sport that I've always admired and loved growing up and having the chance to race at one of the biggest races in the world in this type of car is just unbelievable," stated Boulle.

"It's been several years since I've raced a proper sports car, but I couldn't be happier to come back to the sport with PR1 at Daytona and have the opportunity to raise awareness about 'Lost Key' where Vista del Mar is being built, a luxury condominium in Perdido Key, Florida."

The final round of testing before the Rolex 24 is set for January 8-10, 2016 at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

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