Rahal himself is not yet slated to race in this year's Daytona 24 Hours, but could still be added to the driver line-up over the coming weeks before the race on January 26. Ryan Briscoe, EJ Viso and Alex Tagliani are also thought possible late pick-ups as teams firm up their Daytona plans. There has also been speculation that two-time CART champion and London 2012 gold medalist Alex Zanardi might be interested in appearing in this year's race.
Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe will be racing in the brand-new GX class, driving for the factory Mazda team in the #70 Mazda6. At one point, it looked possible that all three Andretti IndyCar drivers would be teaming up in a Daytona Prototype, but although series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is still keen to clinch a ride it's now likely that Marco Andretti will opt to sit out this year's event.
Last year's winner of the Daytona 24 was the #60 Michael Shank Racing car driven by Justin Wilson, AJ Allmendinger, Ozz Negri and John Pew. It marked the first return to competitive racing for Wilson who had missed the latter half of the 2011 IndyCar season after sustaining a serious bank injury in practice at Mid-Ohio in the summer. Wilson is expected to return to the #60 in this year's Daytona event in order to defend his title, along with his team mates and co-drivers.
Also returning to the competition is GP2 driver and 2011 British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr. As well as winning last year's Sunoco Daytona Challenge, he was part of the line-up on the second Michael Shank Racing car along with Firestone Indy Lights duo Gustavo Yacaman and Jorge Goncalvez.
It's not yet confirmed whether Nasr will re-team with Yacaman and Goncalvez in the #6 MSR Riley-Ford, but 2012 Firestone Indy Lights champion Tristan Vautier has been announced as one of the drivers behind the wheel of the #00 Mazda/Yellow Dragon Mazda6.
Vautier impressed at the most recent IndyCar winter test at Sebring International Raceway in Florida in December, and may be set to enter IndyCar full-time with Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsport, especially now that Rubens Barrichello is no longer in the running for a full-time race seat in the series. (See separate story