After originally only confirmed to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the renamed Panoz DeltaWing Racing team has announced that it will contest the entire 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
After running well in the late stages of the 2015 season, the team will stick with the same Élan 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine for this season, though the exterior of the car will be noticeably new; with the updated team name comes a livery to match: the DeltaWing will carry a new livery reminiscent of the Panoz ‘Spirit of America’ LMP1 Roadster S from 14 years ago.
As for the driver lineup, Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick will return to the program with Legge being joined by young driver Sean Rayhall as the full-season driver pairing and Meyrick stepping in as the endurance driver.
“I believe all of us here at Panoz DeltaWing Racing are really looking forward to the 2016 season, especially getting back to Daytona for both the Roar and the 24,” said team manager Tim Keene. “We made good progress last year after coming to grips with some of the issues that plagued us during the first half of the season. We had a really good test in Daytona back in November and believe we have the pace needed to run up front.
“Daytona is the pinnacle race for us and all of the teams entered, but also the most difficult as it takes its toll mechanically in regards to the car and equipment and is both physically and mentally exhausting for the drivers and the crew. But that’s what makes it so special as well.”
After impressing in the Prototype Challenge class, Rayhall replaces the outgoing Memo Rojas as Legge’s full-season co-driver after the 20-year-old performed impressively during a test at Daytona in November.
“I’m extremely excited to sign on with Panoz DeltaWing Racing for the year,” said Rayhall, who amassed four podium finishes with 8 Star Motorsports in Indy Lights last year. “The team were excellent when I tested with them back in November and I think it will be a great fit!”
After the impressive testing in November at Daytona and the speed the car showed in the closing races of 2015, each of the three now-confirmed drivers is hopeful of success as the team contests the full WeatherTech Championship schedule.
A fourth driver may be poised to join these three at Daytona, though, with Andreas Wirth listed with the team on the provisional Roar Before the Rolex 24 entry list.
The Roar will take place this weekend, January 8-10, before the 24-hour season-opening round at the end of the month.