The Le Mans seats in NASCAR go to Johnson, Rockenfeller and Button

DAYTONA BEACH, FL — Jimmy Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller and Jenson Button will drive the Storage 56 Particular for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR champion, pushed exhausting for a spot in his former workforce’s three-driver lineup. He is been ready for launch IndyCar and NASCAR schedules to make sure availability, and it was lastly confirmed on the Saturday earlier than the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I am so blissful – it has been on the high of my bucket listing to compete within the 24 Hours of Le Mans sooner or later,” stated Johnson. “To have this chance, to be concerned with everybody and this driver lineup, is absolutely an incredible alternative, and I am grateful to be part of it.”

Rockenfeller is a former Le Mans winner and has spent the previous two years racing Rolex at Daytona Worldwide Speedway in Hendrick’s sports activities automobile alongside Johnson. He additionally did the majority of the testing on the mission and drove the automobile in each take a look at on the monitor and within the simulator.

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Rockenfeller gained the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans GT Class, the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 2013 German DTM Championship. He has pushed the automobile in each take a look at on the racetrack and spent numerous hours behind the wheel of the simulator.

“It has been an incredible journey thus far with the entire workforce and the mission,” stated Rockenfeller. “To be concerned as a driver from day one till now has been an actual honour, and to have Jamie and Jenson by my facet now as teammates at Le Mans is unbelievable.”

Button, the 2009 System 1 World Champion, was the shock decide, with most predicting he can be four-time NASCAR Champion and Corridor of Famer Jeff Gordon. Each drivers stated Johnson was actively recruiting Button, however the 51-year-old Gordon was making an attempt to get again into racing kind and even ran an IMSA-sanctioned race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September.

“As a lifelong racing fan, I’ve all the time dreamed of racing sure vehicles, with and towards sure drivers and competing in sure occasions,” stated Button. “This June, quite a lot of these goals will come true in a single occasion after I carry NASCAR onto the world stage together with my buddies Jimmy and Rocky to have fun the one hundredth anniversary of the world’s most well-known race.”

Gordon didn’t attend Saturday’s announcement at Daytona Worldwide Speedway as a result of he was sick, however Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman and basic supervisor Jeff Andrews stated Gordon was advantageous with the Storage 56 lineup.

“For the reason that starting of Challenge Storage 56, our aim has been to accomplice with the world’s high racers to signify us at Le Mans,” stated NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. “The road-up of Jimmie, ‘Rocky’ and Jenson is all the pieces we dreamed of – three elite drivers who’ve gained on the highest ranges of motorsport around the globe.

“As we have fun NASCAR’s seventy fifth anniversary, we’re honored to have these world class champions assist carry the sights and sounds of the NASCAR race automobile to followers at Le Mans, and around the globe.”

NASCAR will take its new next-generation automobile to Le Mans to have fun the race’s one hundredth anniversary as a part of a particular class showcasing the expertise. Hendrick and Common Motors have been assigned to the mission, however NASCAR opened up the information to all producers after others complained Storage 56 gave one group and one producer unfair entry to a automobile that everybody was nonetheless studying about.

The subsequent-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 entry is anticipated to be authorised by l’Car Membership de l’Ouest (ACO) within the coming weeks to compete at Le Mans.

All three drivers will participate in subsequent week’s two-day take a look at at Daytona Worldwide Speedway. Jordan Taylor, who presently competes within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship racing Corvette, will function the backup driver and driver teacher. Taylor gained the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Professional Class and has completed on the rostrum 4 occasions. He’s a four-time IMSA champion.

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