The Rolex 24 is next weekend (January 28-29) and drivers and their teams have been diligently preparing for the 24-hour marathon for the past month. This year’s field has 55 cars, which is fitting because the Rolex 24 is in its 55th running of the event. There are quite a few participants that have raced at Kansas Speedway.
One of the most recognizable of the participants? Four-time NASCAR champion and three-time Kansas Speedway winner Jeff Gordon. This is Gordon’s second time appearing in the race and first since 2007.
“I’m pushing myself to be as strong as I can possibly be,” Gordon told MRN. “I never like to be the weak link in an organization or a team and I have three phenomenal drivers who are going to push me. I’m enjoying it very much and having fun, but this is a race I’d like to win.”
Gordon is co-driving the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R with Max Angelelli and Ricky and Jordan Taylor, who are brothers. Jordan Taylor and Angelelli have something unique in common with Gordon: they’ve also won at Kansas Speedway.
In August 2013, Kansas Speedway held Grand-Am racing for the first time at the track. Jordan Taylor and Angelelli won the inaugural SFP Grand Prix at Kansas Speedway.
In total, 10 drivers participating in this year’s Rolex 24 raced and won at Kansas Speedway in 2013 and 2014 in Grand-Am racing. Joining Taylor and Angelelli in this group include Alessandro Balzan, Joel Miller, Tristan Nunez, Matt Bell, John Edwards, Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, and Mizhail Goikhberg. Additionally, 28 drivers (out of 55) in the 2013 Grand Prix at Kansas Speedway and eight drivers (out of 18) in the 2014 Grand Prix at Kansas Speedway are participating in this year’s Rolex 24.
Here’s a look at those drivers -
- Alessandro Balzan will drive the No. 63 in the GT3 – GTD class and is partnered with Christina Nielsen and Matteo Cressoni.
- Joel Miller will drive the No. 70 in the Dpi-P class with Tom Long, James Hinchcliffe and Ben Devlin.
- Tristan Nunez is driving the No. 55 in the Dpi-P class with Jonathan Bomarito, Spencer Pigot and Ben Devlin.
- Matt Bell is with the No. 57 in the GT3-GTD class with Lawrence Aschenbach, Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell.
- John Edwards will pilot the No. 24 in the GTLM class with Martin Tomczyk, Nicky Catsburg and Kumo Wittmer.
- Jon Bennett and Colin Braun are teamed up with Nic Jonsson and Patrick Long driving the No. 54 in the GT3 R – GTD class.
- Misha Goikhberg is driving the No. 85 in the ORECA-P class with Chris Miller, Stephen Simpson and Mathias Beche.