Rolex 24 - Starworks To Field Impressive Team To Kick Off 2013 Season
Daytona, Nov., 19, 2012: Allan McNish, Alex Popow, Ryan Dalziel and Sébastien Bourdais will pilot the #8 Starworks Motorsport Riley-Ford Daytona Prototype at the 51st Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on 26-27 January 2013.
In 2012 Starworks Motorsport entered the history books by becoming the first LMP2 Champions in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the first North American team to win an FIA World Championship in 46 years. The team also won the 2012 Grand Am North American Endurance Championship and led with the most laps in a Daytona Prototype.These milestones concluded an incredible season with victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans, the first Rolex Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, plus a second in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and third in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Peter Baron, Team Principal of the Fort Lauderdale-based team, now looks forward to taking Starworks Motorsport in to 2013:
“I am confident that this is the strongest line up for the race. I think it says a lot about our drivers for the 24 by the amount of phone calls they and I have received this fall from other teams trying to steal them away! The great thing about how successful our 2012 was is that it led to improvements in to 2013, from drivers all the way though to the crew. We learned an enormous amount this year and the bitter taste of 2nd place finishes in the Championship and at Daytona 24 has motivated us to put in the hours and double our effort to push us to become a Championship contending team. We've improved greatly and are more than anxious to get this season underway at Daytona.”
Ryan Dalziel - Hailing from Lanarkshire, Scotland, and residing in Orlando, Florida, the 2010 Rolex Daytona 24 winner clocked an impressive 1min 41.119 to take pole at the Florida track at this year’s event:
“I couldn't be any more excited about our Daytona line up. After such a strong race there last year we know we have to step it up another level and I truly believe this line up is amazing. Starworks always build great cars and that showed at Daytona last year, finishing runner up with most laps led. This year we are going there with one goal and that's to dominate. I believe our team can do that.”
Alex Popow - Venezuelan ALMS and Rolex Sports Car Series driver, winner of 2012 12 Hours of Sebring (ALMS Prototype Challenge) and the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I'm very excited about everything that's happening right now and for the next season starting with the Daytona 24 - a race that for us is a challenge because we were so close to winning it in the last edition. We know we are going to be strong, especially with the line up we have, almost a dream team with Allan, Sebastien and Ryan with me in the car and the Starworks team taking care of the car. It's going to be for sure an awesome race and we hope to win it this time and hope you also enjoy this adventure.”
Sébastien Bourdais – Four-time Champ Car Champion and Dragon Racing Indycar driver born in Le Mans, France:
“I am very excited to team up with Alex, Ryan and Allan. For the first time in my career, I will have a shot at winning Daytona and I am really happy to reunite with Peter Baron’s Starworks Motorsport team after the success we enjoyed earlier this year!”
Allan McNish - Audi factory driver, double Le Mans 24-hour winner and three-time ALMS Champion from Dumfries, Scotland, Allan is no stranger to the Daytona high banks, having made six previous Rolex 24 starts:
“I am looking forward to coming back to the Daytona 24 hours with Starworks Motorsport with Ryan, Alex and this year joined by Seb. Last year we were so close; it was so competitive all the way through the 24 hours and we just missed out by five seconds at the end which was incredibly frustrating in a way, but also I was extremely proud of the team because everybody really pulled together and they gave us a great car. The success the team has had since then through 2012 in WEC and Grand Am has been spectacular to say the least, and I know that everybody is very motivated to go to Daytona to try and go one better this year.”