Ten years after scoring a stunning victory in the 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona, Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) with Curb-Agajanian will be looking to bookend that achievement in the 60th Rolex 24, set for January 29-30.
MSR returns to Daytona International Speedway to prepare for North America’s premier sports car race in the Roar Before the 24 this weekend with a new driver lineup. Oliver Jarvis – who placed in the top three in the 2021 event — joins event rookie Tom Blomqvist along with Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud as the foursome are set to log laps in the No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM / Arctic Wolf Acura ARX-05 DPi to kick-off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign.
Evolving from a January test session, the Roar now includes Friday practice, Saturday time trials and a 100-minute qualifying race on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. ET on Peacock. There will be four practice sessions the following weekend prior to the Rolex 24 taking the green flag on Saturday January 29th at 1:40 p.m. ET.
Jarvis won Rolex Series GT honors in his Daytona debut in 2013. He raced DPi from 2018 through 2021, finishing second from the pole in 2020 and third last year. Jarvis is the official Daytona track record holder, breaking P.J. Jones’ 26-year-old mark with a lap of 1:33.685-seconds in 2019 qualifying. Jarvis went even faster in an unofficial 2019 session, 1:33.398-seconds, with 2021 MSR DPi driver Olivier Pla unofficially fastest all-time at Daytona with a lap of 1:33.324-seconds in 2021.
Blomqvist ran the 2019 GTLM schedule with the exception of Daytona for BMW, with his best finish third at the Motul Petit Le Mans. He is a two-time contestant in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing second in LMP2 in 2021, one of four podiums he earned on the way to second in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Castroneves is the defending winner of the Rolex 24 in the 2021 classic. It launched a season that saw him drive a Meyer Shank Racing IndyCar to victory in the Indianapolis 500, with Castroneves joining A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and the late Al Unser as four-time champions of the open-wheel classic.
Last year’s triumph came in Castroneves’ sixth Rolex 24. Castroneves is no stranger to MSR’s IMSA program having joined the team’s lineup in 2007 which saw him finish ninth alongside MSR drivers Ozz Negri, Mark Patterson and Sam Hornish Jr.
Pagenaud finished second in last year’s Rolex 24 Hours and the 2022 event will will be his ninth Rolex 24 for the 2019 Indy 500 winner.
Friday sessions for the WeatherTech Championship run from 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and 4:15-6 p.m. Saturday’s qualifying gets underway at 3:25 p.m., followed by a two-hour night session beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday opens with a 20-minute warm-up at 10 a.m., with the 100-minute qualifying race to set the grid for the Rolex 24 taking the green flag at 2:05 p.m.
Oliver Jarvis – Full-season MSR driver:
“I can’t wait to kick start the 2022 IMSA season at the ROAR this weekend, I’m really excited to be returning to Daytona to prepare for one of the biggest races of the year. Having only had a couple of days testing the Acura ARX-05 with my new teammates in December, the ROAR will offer some valuable track time to fully get acquainted with the car and MSR. Whilst the focus is on getting a good race car for the Rolex 24, we also have to keep in mind that points are on offer for the qualifying race on Sunday. The fight for the championship starts now!”
Tom Blomqvist – Full-season MSR driver:
“The holidays are over and it’s finally time to get back in the Acura with Meyer Shank Racing. I’m pumped to get back out on track with the boys. It’s going to be an important couple of days at the ROAR, it’s our final bit of prep before the big one, so it’s crucial we make the most of it and ensure we are in the best possible position come race day on Saturday the 29th.”
Helio Castroneves: – IMSA endurance MSR driver:
“It’s always great to start off the race season at Daytona and I’m so happy to be able to race with MSR. Competing at Petit with MSR was a great intro to the team’s IMSA program. Now I’m looking to come back and defend my race win at Daytona with my new teammates.”
Simon Pagenaud – IMSA Rolex 24 MSR driver:
“This will be my first race with my new team MSR and I very much look forward to it. Most of my time in sports car racing has been at the wheel of an Acura. The goal is clear and we will do everything in our power to get to the checkered flag first. The DPi class is extremely competitive right now and we have a very strong lineup in the 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM / Arctic Wolf Acura.”
Source. Sunday Group