Rubens Barrichello and his best friend in motor sport Tony Kanaan will be team mates once again in 2013 when they join up as co-drivers of the Dener Motorsport #21 Challenge Brazil Porsche GT3 in the 51st GRAND-AM Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona
later this month.
Barrichello - who announced last week that he was leaving the IZOD IndyCar
Series after just one year of competition in order to race in the Brazilian Stock Car championship in 2013 (see separate story
) - was among those added to the driver list for this weekend's Roar Before the Rolex 24, the final three-day test before the race event itself.
Also added was Tony Kanaan, and former Champ Car and IndyCar
star Paul Tracy was a further new addition to the scheduled line-up. The Canadian is listed as a co-driver of the #77 Doran Racing Ford/Dallara with Dr. Jim Lowe, Colin Braun and Jon Bennett. That means Tracy will be in a third-generation DP for the Rolex 24, significantly faster than the GT3-category car that Barrichello and Kanaan will be driving.
Dario Franchitti is also confirmed as racing, taking the wheel of the #02 BMW/Riley for the TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team where he will be joined by his Ganassi IndyCar
team mate Scott Dixon as well as NASCAR
Sprint Cup stablemate Jamie McMurray.
Franchitti's brother Marino will also be competing in this year's event, rejoining the South Florida team SpeedSource in the #70 Mazda aongside Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito. Other Scots lined up for this year's event include former F1 star Allan McNish and American Le Mans Series
driver Ryan Dalziel, teaming up at the wheel of the #2 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley with Alex Popow and four-time Champ Car title winner Sebastien Bourdais.
“I have found contesting the Rolex 24 is a very good way to focus on the coming season after the winter break," said McNish, explaining why an increasing number of top drivers from around the world are seeking a seat in the event. "It allows me to 'shake off the cobwebs' and, although a 24 hour race is a hard way to start the year, it's very good in terms of physical fitness and a race mentality point of view."
Team Sahlen has signed up experienced sportscar endurance driver and 2012 IndyCar
rookie of the year Simon Pagenaud to make his Daytona
24 Hours début for them, putting him alongside Champ Car veteran Bruno Junquiera in the team's #42 Riley-BMW. The other drivers sharing the seat will be Wayne Nonnamaker and Dane Cameron.
"Team Sahlen is showing great promise and together we will face a fantastic challenge," said Pagenaud. "I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona
for the first time."
Juan Pablo Montoya - former star of Champ Car and F1, and now competing in the NASCAR
Sprint Cup championship - will rejoin Scott Pruett in the #01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates along with Memo Rojas and IndyCar's Charlie Kimball, who takes over the seat previously occupied by Graham Rahal who has since left the Ganassi team.