Chip Ganassi Racing will aim to secure a record-breaking fourth straight win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona when the new Grand Am season kicks off at the Florida circuit next weekend.
Last year, Ganassi Racing became the first team to win the Rolex 24 in three consecutive years and for 2009, Scott Pruett and Juan Pablo Montoya return in the #01 TELMEX/Target entry, seeking to win the event for the third straight time.
They will be joined by Memo Rojas, who joined Pruett in winning six races last year – including the Rolex 24 - en route to sharing the Daytona Prototype championship in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask #16.
“Last year was huge for Ganassi Racing, winning our third in a row,” Pruett said. “Now, we're going for four, and that says a lot about the team and the commitment Ganassi has made. Even though we didn't test in October and November, we were fastest in the opening session at Daytona In January. To come here fast right out of the box is a great way to start the year."
Dario Franchitti also shared in the 2008 Rolex 24 victory. This year, he moves to the #02 Target/TELMEX entry, joining 2006 Rolex 24 winner Scott Dixon and Alex Lloyd. The potent combination pairs the two most recent Indianapolis 500 winners and IndyCar Series champions with the 2007 Indy Pro Series champ.
“Chip's going for four in a row, so it should be pretty exciting,” said Franchitti. “That's an amazing statistic, and it speaks volumes for the job that this team does. It's good to be in the same car with Scott.
“We are team-mates this year, and it gives us the chance to work together after racing against each other for many years. My new engineer, Chris Simmons, is engineering the No. 02 car, so that will also help get us ready for the IndyCar season.”
Ganassi Racing made its Rolex 24 debut in 2004, when championship-bound Pruett and Max Papis combined with Dixon and Jimmy Morales. The team placed all three of its cars in the top seven in the 2005 event, with a Dixon-led team finishing sixth while Pruett took seventh.
After a tight battle throughout the opening 20 hours of last year's race, Ganassi Racing won by four laps, with Montoya and Pruett leading the final three hours and 19 minutes. Overall, the team led 252 of the 695 circuits, including 128 by Montoya and 118 by Pruett.