DAYTONA BEACH, FL (21 January 2019) – Rebel Rock Racing will be looking to continue its momentum from the latter stages of the 2019 campaign when it returns to Daytona International Speedway to launch the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season with the running of the BMW Endurance Challenge.
Frank DePew, Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis are set to drive the No. 71 Urban Grid/MVP Capital Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R in the four-hour event.
The team, based in nearby DeLand, Florida, joined the series full-time one year ago at Daytona. The opening event didn’t go as planned after the car was heavily damaged in an incident in the early laps of the race. After the first three races last season, Rebel Rock was ranked 28th of 37 teams in the lead Grand Sport class.
But with a relentless effort from the team, the fortunes grew brighter as Rebel Rock claimed a top five at Watkins Glen and then followed up its first victory (at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) with a 5th place finish at Lime Rock Park and a dramatic last-lap triumph at Road America which earned the team the accolade of ‘best race of the year’ by Sportscar365.com. The team had a remarkable second half of the year, bouncing back to score 172 points in the final seven races to rank ninth in the final standings.
“Last year was a story of two seasons with a tough start but very strong finish,” DePew said. “Hopefully, we can start off at Daytona the way we finished last season. The team has gone through a lot, even since the finale at Road Atlanta, so we are eager to get to Daytona and get this season going. It is great to have Andrew (Davis) back with us, he’s been a part of this program since we started with the Camaro GT4 and we are fortunate to have him join us for this enduro at Daytona.”
Rebel Rock tested the No. 71 Camaro during the three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 in early January, where Liddell turned the fifth-fastest lap in the final session.
“Overall, we had a very productive test at Daytona,” Liddell said. “It was a tricky start with a few issues from a setup point of view. We have a new engineer which in itself threw up a few challenges. For 2020, we are working with Pratt & Miller, and we are very excited to be back with those guys as we have had a long and successful partnership in the past. I know they have both the skill and the tools which I believe will help us progress the team even further.”
The Roar test gave the team the chance to acclimatize to working with new talent on the pit box as the trio of racers look to pick up where they left off with the benefit of even more familiarity with the potent Chevrolet Camaro GT4 platform.
“It must be said that Frank did a super job and consistently recorded his best lap times to date,” Liddell continued. “Of course, Andrew Davis was ‘plug and play’ and was on the pace straight away.”
Since the January 3-5 Roar, the team has been working at its shop near the DeLand Municipal Airport – about 15 minutes from the track – to get ready for the season opener.
“It’s a real benefit having the continuity of the same crew and drivers and we are all a really cohesive team which is great,” Liddell said. “That being said, we also understand the challenge of being 100-percent prepared come the race. There was a lot of work and little rest between the test and loading back up. We feel we are as well prepared as we possibly can be, so I’m excited and really looking forward to the green flag at Daytona!”
Practice for the BMW Endurance Challenge begins with a one-hour practice beginning at 1:30 p.m. (all times ET) on Wednesday. Thursday will have a 45-minute session at 9 a.m., followed by GS qualifying at 12:10 p.m. Friday opens with a 20-minute warm-up at 9:10 a.m. The BMW Endurance Challenge gets the 2020 season underway at 1:10 p.m., and will be televised live on the new IMSA TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
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