The 2014 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is coming up sooner than you'd think, and with it, the merged American Le Mans Series and Grand Am racing now known as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship
. Audi will be among the major manufacturers contending for the inaugural title, bringing a total of four customer race teams with five R8 LMS race cars and 20 drivers.
Those four race teams include Fall-Line Motorsports, GMG Racing, Paul Miller Racing, and a team long known for its success racing Porsches in GT competition
, Flying Lizard Motorsports.
All five cars will be at the "Roar Before" test session on January 3 ahead of the January 25-26 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race weekend.
The drivers behind the wheels of the five Audi R8 LMS race cars include some top-flight talent and well-known names, including: Oliver Jarvis, Audi factory driver and anchor for the Fall-Line Motorsports #46 car alongside Charlie Putnam, Charles Espenlaub, and James Walker; Filipe Alubuquerque, another Audi factory driver anchoring the Fall-Line #35 car with Seth Neiman, Alessandro Latif, and Dion von Moltke; Markus Winkelhock, an Audi customer racing driver sharing the wheel with Nelson Canache Jr., Tim Pappas, and Spencer Pumpelly in the Flying Lizard Motorsports #45 car; Marc Basseng and Frank Stippler, more Audi customer racing drivers sharing a car with Alex Wlech and James Sofronas in the GMG Racing #32; and Rene Rast, Christopher Haase, Matt Bell, and Bryce Miller in the Paul Miller Racing #48 car. Rast and Haase are also Audi customer racing drivers.
Audi has a strong stake in its GT racing program in the new United SportsCar Championship; it won last year's Daytona 24-hour race. "We have a fantastic group of racing partners and drivers this season and look forward to defending last year’s Daytona win," said Audi of America president Scott Keogh. "The successes of the R8 in endurance racing are a testament to the engineering found in every Audi on the road today."
In addition to the driver lineups, Audi also released design renderings for each of the teams' liveries, as shown in the gallery above._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.