FOX Sports Exclusive
FOX Sports, SPEED to offer team coverage of famed Rolex 24 at Daytona
SPEED team of Varsha, Diffey, Hobbs and Schroeder in the booth
SPEED and FOX Sports will offer team coverage of the 45th running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona on Jan. 27-28, adding Sports Car racing to the growing list of events benefiting from expanded audience reach in 2007. In addition to the Rolex 24, SPEED and FOX Sports also recently announced they will work together on coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the next eight years and Formula One for the next three years. "The Rolex 24 At Daytona is one of the coolest events in all of motor sports," said Hunter Nickell, SPEED Executive VP & General Manager. "Over the last few years, it has really grown in stature, with more and more drivers from various global disciplines lining up to participate. To be able to team with our partners at FOX Sports and Grand American Road Racing for the first 90 minutes in 2007 will give even more fans a chance to tune in to a true endurance classic and give casual viewers an opportunity to get a taste of American Sports Car racing."
Veteran motor sports broadcaster Bob Varsha will host the coverage, with former racers David Hobbs and Dorsey Schroeder providing analysis and Leigh Diffey handling the play-by-play. Brian Till, Calvin Fish, Chris Neville and Mike Johnson will be reporting from the pits. "Coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on SPEED and FOX literally gives us the best of both worlds and marks another growth milestone for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve," said Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson. "The opening programming on FOX will expose Grand-Am to an unprecedented amount of viewers and will draw more potential fans to the Rolex Series as well as our anchor coverage on SPEED. The SPEED telecasts of the Rolex 24 the last few years have been the best in the business and adding FOX to the mix will only add to already outstanding Grand-Am race programming." SunTrust Racing car owner/driver Wayne Taylor (and his Surrey Sport LLC company) and SunTrust Racing announced that four-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will co-drive the No. 10 SunTrust Racing car with Taylor and his fellow 2005 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli in the 45th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 27-28, 2007. "This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm really looking forward to it," said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. "It was important to me to do this with a quality team like Surrey Sport, and I'm looking forward to teaming up with two champions, Wayne and Max." Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will team with Riley-Matthews Motorsports for the Jan. 27 Rolex 24 At Daytona as well as the July 5 Brumos Porsche 250, both on the Daytona road course. Jim Matthews, Marc Goossens, and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as co-drivers in the No. 91 Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype. "This is going to be a lot of fun," Johnson said. "I wanted to do this deal for several reasons. First I want to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the experience will help me in road course racing and the Rolex Series is just a fun place to race. Lowe's has been such a great sponsor in NASCAR that it's pretty cool that I can go sports car racing with them." In November, SPEED added 597,000 Households according to Nielsen Media Research, putting the network in 69,062,000 U.S. homes, with an additional five million in Canada. SPEED has added more than 4.5 million U.S. homes in the last year. The FOX universe estimate is more than 111 million U.S. homes. In addition to live television coverage of the Rolex 24, SPEED will offer in-depth previews and on-going analysis, reports and highlights throughout the event on SPEEDtv.com. SPEED, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2006, is the nation's first and foremost cable network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 73 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country, the home to NASCAR on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services.