Who's Who in the 2012 Rolex Daytona 24: Audi Perspective + Andy Blackmore Spotter Guide Released
by, 01-24-2012 at 09:25 AM (12035 Views)
We're very pleased and privileged to announce another year of association with Andy Blackmore Design and those uber handy spotter guides. First up for the 2012 season and just in the nick of time is the guide for the 2012 24 Hours of Daytona. We've used Andy's guide to help put together this quick rundown of who Audi enthusiasts will want to watch battle it out this coming weekend in Daytona. Download your own high-res two-page guide as well as a 2012 racing season schedule HERE or via the link at the bottom. Special thanks to SPEED.com for title sponsoring this critical tool for racing fans.
All praise to the talented Mr. Blackmore complete, here's a quick guide to the race from the Audi Perspective.
Audi R8 GRAND-AM From APR Motorsport and Oryx Racing
No doubt the biggest news at Daytona this year for Audi fans is the presence of the new Audi R8 LMS on the grid. Though the "Captain of America" stars and stripes test car Frank Stippler has been testing will be in town, it won't be on the grid as it's always been a development car. Even still, two seasoned teams have stepped up to the Audi plate.
One look no further than the circuit board stripes to know that #51 is run by long time Audi tuning house and more recent Grand-Am alum APR Motorsport. With a five man team lead by Audi works driver Emanuele Pirro and bolstered by North American sportscar veterans Ian Baas, Dion von Moltke, Jim Norman and Nelson Canache, expectations are high for the APR crew's new R8 GRAND-AM.
APR is also fielding their Audi S4 in the supporting Continental series as well, alongside four other Volkswagens. All of this effort will make one very busy schedule for the Alabama-based crew.
Stepping out from a 2011 run in the American Le Mans Series, Oryx Racing fields the second Audi R8 GRAND-AM on the grid. A three man driver team will field the newly yellow R8, including Humaid al Masood, Saeed al Mehairi and Steven Kane. We've heard a rumor that the Oryx crew originally spoke to APR about a partnership but the deal fell apart and the team went solo. If that rumor is true it could drive a healthy rivalry between the two Audi entrants.
ALLAN MCNISH AND LUCAS LUHR TRADE RINGS FOR AN OVAL IN BID FOR OUTRIGHT WIN
Audi works regulars present and past are making a bid for an outright win at Daytona this year. Both Allan McNish and Lucas Luhr seek to add the Rolex 24 feather to their caps this weekend, but with no Audi running in the top prototype formula class they've joined up with the Starworks Motorsport crew in their #8 Ford Riley DP3 (Livery TBD and may differ from above). The two join Ryan Dalziel, Alex Popow and Enzo Potolicchio in their effort.
MIKE ROCKENFELLER AND HURLEY HAYWOOD IN PORSCHES
Another tradition at Audi is a fair sharing of top drivers between the four rings and Porsche. Audi Sport's 2010 Le Mans Winner and their 1989 TRANS-AM champ Hurley Haywood exemplify this long history. Both will campaign Porsche 911s this weekend in Daytona.
Flying Lizard Motorsports
The Rolex 24 has also attracted ALMS and Le Mans veterans Flying Lizard Motorsports and as a quasi works team, the Lizards have dipped into the factory crew for their driver lineup. Rockenfeller joins Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long and Seth Neiman for the race in the #45 911 wearing the traditional red and silver Lizard livery.
Brumos Porsche and Daytona have a bit of a history and if you're unaware you may want to Google it. Hurley Haywood and Brumos also go back a fair amount, and the Brumos Porsche dealership also happens to be the place where Haywood has his day job. No surprise then that the racing legend joins the Brumos crew in their #59 911. Haywood's teammates include Andrew Davis, Leh Keen and Marc Lieb.
Editor's Note: 24 Hours of Daytona action begins this Friday with practice sessions and support races. Fourtitude staff will be on the ground at Daytona this week to help cover the action and the activity of many Audi enthusiasts also expected to attend this sold out event. The Audi Motorsport Experience plans a hospitality presence, a package that itself sold out to eager Audi race fans in less than 48 hours. All things considered, the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is shaping up to be one very exciting event - a fitting kick off for the 2012 racing season.
More Information: SpotterGuides.com