Two mighty Aston Martin's amongst a healthy Rolex 24 grid of 50 cars

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Straight off the back of that sizeable news earlier today from TF Sport competing again within the 2021 World Endurance Championship with one Ben Keating, today also sees the official entry list released for next weekend’s Rolex 24 from Daytona within which Keating again figures highly with the Aston Martin Racing Partner Team.

Like last year, two AMR Vantage GTD (GT3) again feature within this year’s opening round of the IMSA sanctioned Weathertech Sportscar Championship with the charitable fund raising Heart of Racing team return for a second year with their Aston and TF Sport’s first visit to the USA and the IMSA series with one of their own Vantage GTD’s.

These two cars join a further eighteen cars within the GTD class to form another impressive grid of fifty cars spread across the new five class arrangement of GTD/GTLM/LMP3/LMP2/Dpi classes.

As previous announced, the #23 Heart of Racing AMR returns with its two drivers of last season in Roman de Angelis and Ian James and they will be joined this year again by Darren Turner for the longer endurance rounds with Ross Gunn for the Rolex 24.

With none of the above being strangers to the event now and with a full year’s worth (and two races at the Florida circuit) now firmly under their belts, the #23 will be expected to run to run further forward to what they did last year before an unfortunate accident going into the deceleration lane for the pit lane put them out of the race during the night.

First time to the USA for TF Sport but not so for most of their four driver line up. 2020 Le Mans GTE Am winner Charlie Eastwood will race his first experience of the Daytona Speedway banked oval and infield 3.6mile circuit this weekend at the Roar before the 24 (as all entries are mandated to do by Regulation) but it will not be the same for the rest as Richard Westbrook, Ben Keating and Max Root have all been there before. Also like last year, Keating will again be running a dual GTD/LMP2 race programme at the Rolex 24 with the #52 PR1 Mathiasen team.

The Roar before the 24 for these guys will of course involve some private testing sessions across the weekend – where data will also be used by the race organisers to validate their earlier Balance of Performance settings apportioned to each make/marque of car but to also set the Qualifying positions for the Rolex 24 the weekend after an inaugural 'Qualifying Race' on Sunday.

Photo credits - IMSA/HoRT/TF Sport

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