It took a week of discussions with his team, sponsors and manufacturer General Motors to decide on which direction to take in 2014, but the wait was worth it as two-time Daytona Prototype champions GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing will return next season.
Stallings told RACER last week that a hiatus during the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship was possible, but in an update Monday morning, confirmed the team's “Red Dragon” Corvette DP will indeed be on the grid for January's 24 Hours of Daytona. The exact number of events the No. 99 Riley Technologies chassis will be utilized, however, is still being determined.
“I'm still working on final details, but we will run a minimum of the North American Endurance Championship, and there's a chance we could run the entire TUDOR Championship, but I probably won't decide that for a couple of weeks, at least,” said Stallings. “At the least, we'll be there for the endurance events.”
Although the NAEC races have yet to be nominated by the series, Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans are expected to be announced in the near future.
A relationship with the drivers of the Red Dragon is also likely to continue, although they won't be in the cockpit until after November's tests at Daytona and Sebring.
“My expectation is that both Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney will be in the car,” Stallings added. “Those details aren't completed, but I think both of those details should be wrapped up by the end of tomorrow. I don't know if we'll be out for the performance balancing tests because we're not supposed to get all of the updated aerodynamic stuff until later next month and it doesn't make any sense to show up with the old aerodynamics on the car. So we'll wait until we get everything, get everything installed and ready and then start testing for Daytona.”
Stallings also shared a kind note with the fans and fellow competitors who've sent messages of support over the past week.
“It's a very meaningful gesture on everybody's part, and it was truly appreciated,” he said. “Like anybody else, we appreciate being acknowledged as one of the important members of the series and look forward to going racing next year.”