Pastrana and Waltrip to Drive in Rolex 24
Michael Waltrip Racing owners Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip announced that they will race in the 50th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26-29. The AF Waltrip entry is a joint project of AF Corse and Michael Waltrip Racing. Joining the pair behind the wheel of the new Grand-Am version of the Ferrari 458 GT will be four-time North American rally champion Travis Pastrana and road racing veteran Rui Aguas.
"We have been looking at expanding the organization in the sports car world and this is a great next step," Kauffman said. "The Rolex 24 at Daytona is a world class event with huge historic relevance in motorsports, and bringing a Ferrari to the 50th running is a terrific opportunity. We raced Petit Le Mans and Le Mans itself this year, and plan to increase our presence in North American road racing."
"My racing career will forever be linked to Daytona, because it was defined on those high banks," Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion said. "I've raced at Daytona for 25 years and I can't wait to turn left at the end of pit road and race through the infield for the first time. It will be special to share this experience with Rob, Rui and Travis."
The AF Waltrip team will be working in close collaboration with the Italy based AF Corse sports car team which fielded Ferraris for Waltrip and Kauffman at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last June. Kauffman previously joined Justin Bell and Aguas in a podium third-place finish at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October.
"We're going with every intention on standing on the podium after the 24 hours," Kauffman said. "Those are pretty high expectations for a very competitive race, but we plan on making this a top notch effort."
Kauffman, a native New Yorker who lives in London working as the European manager of Fortress Investments, partnered with Waltrip in October 2007. MWR fields Toyotas in the Sprint Cup Series from its 140,000-square-foot shop in Cornelius, N.C., for Waltrip, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.