Joining the DPi entries in the Prototype class are five new LM P2 race cars — all of which are powered by Gibson V8 engines — looking to battle for the overall victory. Visit Florida Racing continues its longstanding WeatherTech Championship Prototype program in 2017 and has entered the No. 90 Multimatic/Riley for co-drivers Marc Goossens, Renger van der Zande and Rene Rast.
A pair of longtime Prototype Challenge teams has moved up to full-time Prototype class status with LM P2 machinery. PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports has entered the No. 52 Ligier for Tom Kimber-Smith and other drivers still to be announced, while JDC-Miller MotorSports will field the No. 85 ORECA for Misha Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson, Chris Miller and WEC regular Mathias Beche.
Two additional LM P2 machines come from international competitors. Rebellion Racing, from Switzerland, kicks off its 2017 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup effort with co-drivers Nick Heidfeld, Neel Jani, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin in the No. 13 Rebellion Timepieces ORECA, while South Florida-based DragonSpeed, which competes in the European Le Mans Series, is fielding the No. 81 ORECA for Nicolas Lapierre, Henrik Hedman, Loic Duval and Ben Hanley.
The PC class features five entries with many drivers still to be announced. BAR1 Motorsports will field the No. 20 ORECA FLM09 for a lineup that includes 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, as well as the No. 26 ORECA FLM09 that will include 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport champion Trent Hindman.
Starworks Motorsport — the reigning PC championship-winning team — will have a pair of entries, the Nos. 8 and 88, and the No. 8 lineup includes Ben Keating, who also will be competing in the GT Daytona class. Performance Tech Motorsports will field the No. 38 machine for 2016 Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tire champion Clark Toppe and Kyle Masson.
The GT Le Mans class features an 11-car entry of top-tier factory-backed GT cars led by 2016 Rolex 24 and WeatherTech Championship titlists Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. Gavin and Milner will be joined again by Marcel Fassler in the No. 4 machine at Daytona, while teammates Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller will share the No. 3 Corvette.
Many eyes will be on the pair of brand-new Porsche 911 RSRs to be fielded by the Porsche GT Team. Co-driving the No. 911 RSR will be 2015 WeatherTech Championship GTLM driver champion Patrick Pilet alongside Dirk Werner and Frederic Makowiecki, while the No. 912 machine will be shared by Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Richard Lietz.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will have a four-car Ford GT armada at Daytona this year. The team’s full-time WeatherTech Championship entries — the Nos. 66 and 67 Ford GTs — will be shared by 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 66, and Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion Scott Dixon in the No. 67.
Sharing the team’s pair of regular FIA WEC Ford GTs will be Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Billy Johnson in the No. 68 entry, with Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and another IndyCar and Indy 500 champion, Tony Kanaan, in the No. 69 machine.