2013 DTM Champion To Race At The Rolex 24

Mike Rockenfeller next to his Audi A5 that he won the DTM Championship.  [Photo from Audi Media]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

The 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona promises to be a grand kick off to the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with world class drivers and cars from around the world participating, all going for the win at the world famous Daytona International Speedway on January 25th and 26th.

At the end of the race, who knows at this point who will be atop the leader board? There are many superb car and driver combinations entered, many with a very good shot at the overall victory in the new Prototype class.

Mike Rockenfeller waiting while the team makes adjustments to his seat.  [Eddie LePine photo]

Mike Rockenfeller waiting while the team makes adjustments to his seat. [Eddie LePine photo]

However, one of the favorites to achieve the top step of the podium has to be Mike Rockenfeller, who, with permission from his regular employer Audi Motorsport, will be driving the Spirit of Daytona Corvette Prototype along with exceptional co-drivers Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante at the Rolex 24.

Rocky is no stranger to Daytona, having won the Rolex 24 overall in 2010, driving the Action Express Racing Riley with do-drivers Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and Ryan Diaziel.

2010 turned out to be an excellent year for Rockenfeller. In addition to winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona, he was on the winning squad with Audi at Le Mans, piloting an Audi R15 TDI with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas for the overall victory there as well.

He achieved overall victories in the two most famous 24 hour races in the world in the same season, not a bad result, and with his talents, not a fluke.

Of course, those victories aren’t the only major achievements on the young German’s resume. He was the FIA GT2 champion in 2005, won the GT2 class at Le Mans for Porsche in 2005, was the GT2 class winner at the 24 Hours of Spa in 2005, and won the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring overall in 2006. Mike Rockenfeller seems to have a special flair for winning 24 hour endurance races.

Also, he is coming to the Rolex 24 this year as the reigning DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) champion, having secured the 2013 championship driving an Audi RS5, in perhaps the most competitive racing series in the world.

Keep your eye on the Spirit of Daytona Corvette Prototype at this year’s Rolex 24, because if past history is any indicator, Rocky stands a pretty good chance of being in a strong position at the end of 24 hours.

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