24 Hours of Daytona Audi R8 LMS Customer Teams Details:
- Audi R8 LMS GTD driver line-ups announced for the 2014 24 Hours of Daytona in late January
- 4 Audi Sport customer teams, 5 R8 LMS race cars and 20 drivers begin testing at the Roar Before Daytona
- New liveries created for debut race of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC) series
- R8 LMS GTD drivers will defend last year's grand touring class triumph for Audi
As we say "So long" to 2013, we also bid adieu to the old sports car racing paradigm in the U.S., which had two major championships - the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am's Rolex Sports Car Series - vying for what is essentially a single audience. Any racing fan not living under a rock would know 2014 marks the beginning of the unified TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC), bringing the two bodies together, and today Audi Sport customer racing announced its GTD Class team and driver lineups for the season-opening 2014 24 Hours of Daytona in Florida set for later this January.
A combination of 20 drivers representing four teams will look to defend last year's Daytona win for Audi. Fall-Line Motorsports, Flying Lizard Motorsports, GMG Racing and Paul Miller Racing make up the five-car R8 LMS squads, which will debut at this weekend's Roar Before the 24, January 3 to 5 at Daytona International Speedway.
Fall-Line Motorsports aims to field the No. 46 R8 LMS, with aces Charlie Putnam, Charles Espenlaub, James Walker, and Oliver Jarvis sharing driving duties. Jarvis is a works pilot for Audi Sport and was on last year's Daytona-winning team.
Two Audi R8 LMS vehicles will be carrying the Flying Lizard livery. Driver and team owner Seth Neiman will pilot the No. 35 R8 LMS and will be joined by Alessandro Latif, Dion von Moltke and Audi Sport factory driver Filipe Albuquerque. Dion and Filipe were both part of the winning team to be first to the checkered flag at last years' race. Nelson Canache Jr., Tim Pappas, Spencer Pumpelly, and Markus Winkelhock are set to drive the second No. 45 R8 LMS.
GMG Racing will run the No. 32 R8 LMS. James Sofronas, who took second place in the drivers' championship of the Pirelli World Challenge, will join owner Alex Welch. Audi Sport customer racing drivers Frank Stippler, who came in the third place in last year's race, and Marc Basseng also join the team.
Paul Miller Racing will make its race debut in the No. 48 R8 LMS. The team brings a wealth of experience to the campaign that includes the return of Bryce Miller, Paul Miller's son. Matt Bell, Christopher Haase and Rene Rast round out the team.
Last year in only its second running at the legendary race, Audi R8 race cars were the first two GT entries to cross the finish line at the Rolex 24. The teams and drivers will look to make history once again on January 25 to 26, as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship makes it competition debut. Testing and preparations continue at this weekend's Roar Before the 24.
Images provided by Audi