After missing out on the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class titles, MAZDASPEED announced the plans for two of its teams participating in the GT class Thursday at the Performance Racing Industry trade show.
SpeedSource switches liveries to a new MAZDASPEED corporate look with Castrol moving to an associate sponsor. Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito will once again race the full season in the team's No. 70 Mazda RX-8, with Marino Franchitti and James Hinchcliffe joining the pairing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It's the first experience for both Franchitti and Hinchcliffe in an RX-8 at Daytona.
As Hinchcliffe said in a tweet addressed to Franchitti, “Ready for a little bump 'n grind racing in Jan?! Should be fun, man, looking forward to it!”
Dempsey Racing, which has also announced its addition of an American Le Mans Series program to its platform, will still run two Rolex GT RX-8s. Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey, team co-principals, will race in the No. 40 entry when Dempsey's acting schedule doesn't conflict – Tom Long will deputize on those occasions. Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman are slated for the team's second entry. Long has also been confirmed for the Rolex 24 along with Foster and Dempsey.
Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato, previous SpeedSource Mazda drivers, will be in a Ferrari 458 next season, which lowers the SpeedSource count by one.