DALLAS – Park Place Motorsports will make its Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series debut in the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona Jan. 26-27.
The former Horton Autosport team is an extension of Dallas-based Park Place Dealerships, which represents upscale manufacturers Porsche, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, Bentley, Maserati, Lotus, Rolls-Royce, Volvo and Smart.
Park Place Motorsports will campaign a Porsche GT3 in the 24-hour marathon around the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course at Daytona Int’l Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., with an impressive driver lineup that includes three Rolex 24 victories. Porsche factory driver Patrick Long headlines the effort, along with Porsche specialist Spencer Pumpelly, Patrick Lindsey, Jason Hart and Daniel Graeff.
Long, the only American factory driver for the German manufacturer, is a three-time American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT2 champion (2005, 2009 and 2010) and winner of the 2009 Rolex 24 in a Porsche GT3. That victory completed Long’s cycle of winning each of sports car racing’s modern endurance classics, as the California native claimed victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring (2005), 24 Hours of Le Mans (2004 and 2007) and Petit Le Mans (2005, 2006 and 2007).
Joining Long will be Pumpelly, who owns two Rolex 24 wins (2006 and 2011), both in the GT category. They are among 19 professional victories Pumpelly has scored in Grand-Am and ALMS competition. A degree in economics from James Madison University makes Virginia-born Pumpelly equally eclectic as Long, who is fluent in English, German, French and Italian.
Continuing the worldly attributes of Park Place Motorsports’ driver lineup is Californian Lindsey, whose day job is working on Wall Street as he balances a burgeoning racing career that has taken him to Grand-Am. In 2012, Lindsey co-drove the No. 73 Horton Autosport Porsche GT3 to six top-12 finishes in 11 outings.
Hart was born into a Porsche racing family in Northern California. He has been racing Porsches and countless other makes since his career started in 1995. Ready to race anything anywhere, his motorsports background includes ASCS sprint cars, USAC midgets, go-karts, sports cars, vintage racing cars and even off-road vehicles, as the versatile driver scored a victory in the Class 4 division of the 2011 Baja 1000.
Graeff rounds out the team’s Rolex 24 effort. The California native will make his fifth career Rolex 24 start in 2013. In addition to his sports car racing experience, Graeff has raced everything from motocross to stock cars, recently competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
“In our dealerships and on the race track, we’re committed to the highest quality standards. Our driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona is a perfect example of that commitment,” said Alex Whitman, director, Park Place Motorsports. “We go above and beyond our competitors and focus each and every day on the hundreds of details that add up to an unparalleled ownership experience. And for many Park Place customers, that experience involves motorsports. It’s in the DNA of the cars we sell and in the DNA of our customers.”
Joining the Rolex 24 effort will be the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) medical organization, and its Racing4Research program.
“This marks our sixth year with the expansion of the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s reach, marketing and fundraising efforts through Racing4Research, and to have this sort of driver lineup is amazing,” said Graeff, a founding Racing4Research driver who has been with the program since its inception. “Patrick Long’s name speaks for itself. He is one of the greats, but also Patrick Lindsey, founder of this team, absolutely blew my mind with how good he is, as is Jason Hart. All of us mesh together really well, and when you add in Spencer Pumpelly, it’s a very solid lineup.”
Last year’s Rolex 24 effort raised more than $600,000 alone as Graeff was joined by Ryan Eversley, Justin Bell and Ron Yarab behind the wheel of the No. 4 eBay Motors/eBay Mobile/Quicken Loans/Racing4Research Porsche GT3. This year’s Park Place Motorsports entry will carry additional branding of several key partners that will be announced in the lead up to the Rolex 24.