Sharing time behind the wheel of the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost prototype will be the proven lineup of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray. The quartet won the race last January and will return to defend their crown. But they're also tremendously accomplished drivers in their own right: Dixon is a former IndyCar Series champion, as is Kanaan who also won the Indianapolis 500 in 2013, Larson is a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, and McMurray is one of only three drivers (alongside Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt) to have won both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Daytona 500.
Equally exciting is the roster that Ford and Ganassi have lined up for the No. 1 car, bringing in accomplished and up-and-coming drivers from the international circuit racing scene. Former F1 driver and two-time Le Mans winner Alex Wurz will come out of retirement for the one-off drive at Daytona. He'll partner with reigning FIA WEC champion Brendon Hartley, F1 hopeful Lance Stroll, and three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx (who recently left BMW after 13 years).
Once the racing season kicks off in earnest, Hartley will be tied up at Porsche and Stroll will be splitting his time between Formula 3 and his new role as a development driver at Williams. Wurz will likely return to retirement and his advisory/ambassadorial role with Toyota. But we wouldn't be surprised to see Priaulx sign on with Ganassi for a full-time drive in the Ford GT in the WEC. Aside from his European Touring Car Championship leading back-to-back with his three WTCC titles, Priaulx is the reigning winner of the Race of Champions, and took class wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011 and the European Le Mans Series race at Estoril earlier this year.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing To Field Two EcoBoost Prototype Entries for 54th Rolex 24
Seven-time IMSA Champions and six-time and defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (FCGR) announced today that they will field two Prototype (P) class entries at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2016. The addition of the No. 01 and No. 02 Ford EcoBoost Prototypes brings the FCGR car count to a team-record four entries for the race after previously announcing a pair of Ford GTs last month. Partnership details and car liveries for the two Prototype entries will be announced at a later date.
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' (CGRT) four-time and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon joins teammates Tony Kanaan (2004 Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner), Kyle Larson (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2014 Rookie of the Year) and Jamie McMurray (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 Winner) in the No. 02 car to defend their 2015 win, while FCGR newcomer and FIA European Formula 3 Championship race winner Lance Stroll will join former Formula One driver Alex Wurz, reigning WEC (World Endurance Championship) LMP1 Champion Brendon Hartley and three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx in the No. 01 machine.
The 2016 FCGR Rolex 24 At Daytona driver roster is an impressive group of international racing Champions representing two Indianapolis 500 titles (Dixon-2008, Kanaan-2013), Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 wins (McMurray-2010), five Verizon IndyCar Series Championships (Dixon-2003, 2008, 2013, 2015 and Kanaan-2004), five Rookie of the Year Winners in their respective series (Kanaan-1999, Dixon-2001, McMurray-2003, Larson-2014, Stroll-2008), and two wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Wurz-1996, 2009).
NOTES OF INTEREST:
Rolex 24 Run: FCGR has the greatest stretch in Rolex 24 At Daytona history highlighted by six wins and two second-place finishes from 2006-2015. The team also has seven Championships (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) and 46 race wins to their credit since their introduction to sports car racing in 2004. Chip Ganassi is the only team owner in history to win three-straight Rolex 24 At Daytona events (2006-2008).
Scott Dixon: Dixon has been a permanent fixture at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) for 14 years and has been on the Rolex 24 At Daytona roster for FCGR since the team's inception in 2004. The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner was a part of the 2006 and 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning teams for FCGR. Dixon holds the distinction of being the winningest active Indy car driver with 38 victories, which ranks him fifth on the all-time win list.
Tony Kanaan: The 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark Kanaan's third race with FCGR after winning the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 02 car, and also competing with the team in 2014. The 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner, 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion and 17-time racewinner joined CGRT in 2014. Kanaan is the all-time Indy car leader in consecutive starts with 249 consecutive starts dating back to the Portland race in 2001. In 2004, he became the first driver to complete every possible lap in a season en route to winning the championship.
Kyle Larson: The 2014 NSCS Rookie of the Year will be racing for the third time in the Rolex 24 At Daytona after winning the event in 2015 alongside teammates Dixon, Kanaan, and McMurray. In his two-year career at CGRT, Larson has 75 NSCS starts in which he has earned one pole, 10 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes, while leading a total of 169 laps. Larson also has three career wins in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Jamie McMurray: McMurray has competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona seven times with FCGR (2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and had his best finish in 2015 with an overall win alongside teammates Dixon, Kanaan, and Larson. With his victory in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, McMurray joined the exclusive company of two other racing legends, Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt, as the only drivers to win both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Daytona 500. The 2003 NSCS Rookie of the Year has been a full-time fixture in NASCAR's top division for 13 years with 474 career starts resulting in seven wins, 56 top-five finishes, and 131 top-10 finishes. McMurray is only one of three drivers to have won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in a single season (2010).
Lance Stroll: The 17-year-old Canadian entered his first kart race at the age of eight and claimed his first championship two years later. Stroll won the 2014 Italian Formula 4 Championship in his first year of single-seater racing and then the 2015 Toyota Racing Series before contesting the FIA Formula 3 European Championship last year. He recorded 17 top-six finishes, including one win, in 33 starts and will continue in the Series this year. Stroll, who also competed in the 2014 Florida Winter Tour, was selected in to the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2010 and last November was chosen by the Williams Martini Racing Formula One Grand Prix team to join its Young Driver Development Program.
Alex Wurz: Retired Austrian Formula One driver Wurz started his driving career at the age of 15 in karts and worked his way up the ladder before making his debut in Formula One in 1997 with Benetton-Renault. Prior to his 11-year Formula One career, Wurz won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1996 and again in 2009. Wurz has also recorded wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2010, Petit LeMans in 2011 and at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in 2011. Most recently Wurz drove in the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2012-2015 for Toyota Racing and has recorded five wins in 28 starts.
Brendon Hartley: Hartley began his racing career in karts at the age of six and quickly moved up the New Zealand racing ladder before moving to Europe in 2006 to enter the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series. Over the next two years, Hartley recorded 10 wins in various series throughout Europe before being asked to become a test driver for Formula One team Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2008. Hartley remained Scuderia Toro Rosso's test driver as well as Formula One's Red Bull Racing team's reserve driver through 2010. He continued to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and the GP2 Series and was asked to be a test driver for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team from 2012-2013. Hartley made his debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2013 in the P class recording one win before moving to the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The New Zealander won four races in 2015 with Porsche Racing and captured the 2015 LMP1 championship title.
Andy Priaulx: Priaulx is a British professional driver who started his racing career in karting at the age of eight and most recently served as a BMW Factory driver. Throughout his extensive racing career, Priaulx has claimed a European Touring Car Championship, three FIA World Touring Car Championships, and is the only FIA Touring Car Champion to win an international level championship for four consecutive years (2004-2007). Most recently, the British driver recorded wins at the Race of Champions in 2015 and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011. He has won over 50 races and drove as a factory driver, which included Formula 1 testing, DTM and Sports Car programs.
Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: "We're proud to have the defending Prototype Champions from last year, along with the excitement worldwide with the reintroduction of the Ford GT. I think we've built a very strong effort for the 2016 race in the Prototype class, which gives us two more solid chances to get to Victory Lane."