GP2 race winner Alexander Rossi will make his Rolex 24 at Daytona debut, having been named Friday as the third driver in the DeltaWing for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opener.
The 22-year-old California native, who serves as Caterham’s Formula 1 reserve driver, will join Andy Meyrick and Katherine Legge in the closed-top car.
While boasting an impressive open-wheel background, Rossi is no complete stranger to sports car racing, having made his debut in the Caterham-backed Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissan in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He’s now set to tackle the other famed twice-around-the-clock endurance classic, in one of the sport’s most unique cars.
“The 24 Hours of Daytona is an important motorsport event and I’m honored to be driving for Don Panoz and his DeltaWing project,” Rossi said. “Being able to race and work with Panoz is a bit surreal for me, as I grew up karting and watching his rich history in American motorsport and the cars he designed.”
Team manager Dave Price added: “There are not an abundance of American drivers in Formula 1 right now, so to have someone of his ability to drive for us is significant. Daytona is a circuit that suits the characteristics of this car; we were competitive at the test last month so we will focus on reliability and build on that going forward.”
The DeltaWing DWC13 showed encouraging pace in last month’s official TUDOR Championship test at the 3.56-mile oval/road course, with Meyrick and Legge combining for 131 laps, with a quick time of 1:40.883. The time outpaced the P2 competition.
Daytona Prototypes, P2 cars and the DeltaWing will run together in the combined Prototype class next year.
“We had a good test last month,” said Legge, “so the car does seem to do well there. I think that we can be competitive in terms of speed and if the reliability is there, we can really be competitive.”
All three drivers will take part in the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 3-5.
Alexander Rossi, DeltaWing, Formula 1, GP2 Series, Sports Cars