Daytona Beach, Fla. (25 January 2016) – It’s an exciting time of year for Visit Florida Racing as the team kicks off its 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign at the squad’s home track of Daytona International Speedway this weekend. Not only does the event take place just down the road from the Daytona Beach-based Visit Florida Racing shop, but it also just so happens to be the biggest event of the year for the team – the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the most grueling and challenging race on the schedule.
For Visit Florida Racing, which had its best season to date last year on the way to a second place finish in the 2015 IMSA championship standings, a Rolex 24 win is the goal but at the same time, the team is maintaining its focus on the big picture – the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar championship title.
The team has a new line-up of drivers for 2016 which features full season pilots Marc Goossens of Belgium and Scottish-born Ryan Dalziel who now calls Florida home. IndyCar Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who resides in Fort Lauderdale, joins the team for four races: the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach Grand Prix, and the season-ending Petit Le Mans.
Visit Florida Racing took its best-ever Rolex 24 At Daytona finish in last year’s race with a third-place result. That podium kicked off a stellar season for the Visit Florida team, picking up wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen. The group scored additional podium results at Sebring, Long Beach, and Circuit of the Americas.
A return trip to the Rolex 24 At Daytona podium would put the team in prime position as Visit Florida Racing pursues the 2016 championship.
“Our challenge and goal this year is to go win the championship,” said Team Owner Troy Flis. “The ultimate goal at every race is to do well and run up front all year long. So we’re going to do whatever we have to do to do all that. I have pretty high expectations. We have a good car, a good package, and a good engineering group to support all of that. I’m pretty excited. I think we should have a good year. It’ll be interesting to see the new cars and the balancing and everything. I’m excited to go win some races this year.”
Visit Florida Racing’s 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign kicks off on Saturday, January 30 when the Rolex 24 At Daytona green flag waves at 2:40 PM ET. The opening segment of the race will be televised LIVE on FOX Sports 1.
Keep up to date with Visit Florida Racing on Facebook and Twitter for weekend updates. The IMSA app is also a good resource for up to date information on the weekend’s action.
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM FOX Sports 1
4:00 PM – 10:00 PM FOX Sports 2
10:00 PM – 7:00 AM FOX Sports Go / IMSA.com
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM FOX Sports 1
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM FOX Sports Go / IMSA.com
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM FOX Sports 2
Driver Quoteboard – Rolex 24 At Daytona
Ryan Dalziel: “When it comes to race week, there are always three or four dominant cars. The field in the last couple years maybe wasn’t as strong as this one. For sure, the Prototype field has been fairly strong. The difference this year is the diversity of the field. The P2 cars and the DeltaWing have looked fast. It used to be that you’d look to see which Daytona Prototype was going to be the class-leading car. Now there are definitely four, five or six cars at this point that potentially could do well. It could change on race weekend when it comes how the DPs and the P2s come up to speed, and the DeltaWing is a wildcard every weekend. It’s going to be really hard to read this race until we get into the first couple of hours to see the kind of fuel mileage people get as well as tire wear.”
Marc Goossens: “On paper we have a realistic chance at a win in the Rolex 24, but I’m not the guy that comes in for one race. I’m here for the season. I look at the bigger picture and obviously it would be nice to win Daytona but we’re here for a championship and not only that but we’re here to build for the future and see what 2017 brings. Rules are changing. We’re here and we’re hoping to win but at the same time we’re focused on the full season and looking in the future beyond that.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay: “We’re certainly up to it (winning the Rolex 24). I’ve been second here a few times and Visit Florida Racing has shown well. There’s no reason not to think that we could win this race. We just need to focus on getting the most out of the car that we can. If history repeats itself, there are a lot changes between when you leave the Roar and when you come back for the race. We need to keep working.”