"Daytona is always special whether it's the 24 Hours or the Daytona 500,” said Waltrip. “Last year was my first year in the Rolex 24 and it was so cool. The road course is awesome." As well as fielding a previous entry at Daytona, MWR has also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans event.
As well as Waltrip and Kauffman, the team has also called up Clint Bowyer to drive the car during the endurance event. Bowyer was the runner-up in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with MWR.
“I'm not really sure what I got myself into,” admitted Bowyer. “Rob asked me to race and I said I would do it. Everyone has told me how much fun this race is. So, I'm ready. Running 24 hours is a long time, but we will give it our best shot.”
Waltrip - a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 NASCAR season opener - is a big fan of the venue. "During the day you can see families walking around the infield taking in all the sights and at night the place comes alive when the Ferris Wheel and all the race cars light up," he explained. "The drivers are having fun and the fans are having fun.”
GRAND-AM appoints new race director
Veteran road racing official Paul Walter has been hired as GRAND-AM's new race director with immediate effect, including the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona. Walter already holds the same position in the American Le Mans Series, and the appointment is in advance of the merger of the two series in 2014.
“I'm honoured to join GRAND-AM for this landmark 2013 season,” said Walter said. “As everyone at GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series work together in preparation for the future of professional sports car racing, we have an unprecedented opportunity to share insights and ideas. I'm looking forward to being part of that."
Walter has been the race director for the USF2000 open-wheel series since January 2010 and will serve as competition director for USF2000 and the Pro Mazda Championship in 2013 at events that do not conflict with his GRAMD-AM/ALMS commitments. Walter was previously operations manager for Tasman Motorsports Group/Forsythe Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series from 1996-2001 and was race director of the Formula BMW Series from 2005-2009.