By AMANDA VINCENT
Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, drivers for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, are, once again, dipping their toes into the sports car racing waters by driving for team owner Chip Ganassi in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Jan. 30 and 31. They hope to defend their 2015 overall win of the event.
McMurray and Larson will make up half of the driver team that will pilot the No. 02 Ford EcoBoost Prototype, joining Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, regular competitors in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Their entry will be one of two Ford EcoBoost Prototypes and four entries for the Ganassi organization, overall. The four driver team is the same team that drove the No. 02 to victory in last year’s race.
“We’re proud to have the defending Prototype Champions from last year, along with the excitement worldwide with the reintroduction of the Ford GT,” Ganassi said. “I think we’ve built a very strong effort for the 2016 race in the Prototype class, which gives us two more solid chances to get to victory lane.”
The 2016 race will mark Larson’s third time competing in the event. McMurray, meanwhile, previously has competed in the Rolex 24 seven times, first in 2005 and then yearly since 2010. As part of the 2015 winning team, he became only the third driver to win both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The other two are Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt.
Ganassi’s No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Prototype will be driven by Lance Stroll Alex Wurz, Brandon Hartley and Andy Priaulx.
McMurray and Larson will kick off the 2016 season for their regular Sprint Cup Series gigs in February, also at Daytona International Speedway, but on the facility’s oval course. McMurray drives the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Larson the No. 42. After the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at the track on Feb. 13, the “official” start of the season will be marked by the Daytona 500 on Feb. 21.
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