DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – There’s no rest for the weary for several IMSA regulars, as they participate in a pair of high-profile international racing events just one weekend after the 56th Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Full-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya joined a handful of other Rolex 24 participants this weekend in the Race of Champions, which will be held in the Middle East for the first time in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia.
The Race of Champions features drivers from a variety of motorsports disciplines competing in identical race cars, typically on racetracks constructed inside stadiums.
This year’s race will be held at King Fahad International Stadium. Other stadiums to host the event in recent years include Marlins Stadium in Miami last year, the “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium in Beijing, London’s Wembley Stadium and the Stade de France in Paris, among several others.
Montoya, the 2017 winner of Race of Champions, is returning for his second consecutive appearance in the event. Castroneves also is participating in his second consecutive Race of Champions this year. Last weekend, Castroneves finished ninth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona alongside co-drivers Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal in the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPi, one spot ahead of Montoya and his No. 6 Acura DPi co-drivers Dane Cameron and Simon Pagenaud.
This weekend in Riyadh, they’ll be joined by a few other drivers they competed against last weekend.
Lando Norris, who made his Rolex 24 At Daytona debut last weekend in the No. 23 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 car with co-drivers Phil Hanson and two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, will participate in his first Race of Champions this weekend. Norris and the No. 23 team finished 13th in class last weekend.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, the IndyCar Series regular who co-drove the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R with Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande to a 15th-place Prototype class result in the Rolex 24, will participate in his fifth Race of Champions.
Rene Rast, who will contest the four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup rounds in 2018 aboard the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest Mazda RT24-P DPi car and finished 17th in the Prototype class in the Rolex 24 with co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez, is partaking in his first Race of Champions this weekend as well.
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