By Nate Ryan
Austin Dillon is the latest NASCAR driver in the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
In a release Thursday, the RWR Eurasia team announced Dillon would join Cody Ware and Salih Yoluc on its LMP2 entry for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener on Jan. 30-31 at Daytona International Speedway.
Elliott and Johnson will be driving in separate Cadillacs for Action Express in the premier DPi division (which is faster than the LMP2 Ligier that Dillon will be driving).
The Rolex 24 will mark the IMSA debut for Dillon, who also will be driving the Daytona International Speedway road course for the first time. Because of a positive test for COVID-19, the 2018 Daytona 500 winner missed the Aug. 16 race at Daytona (which replaced Watkins Glen International on the schedule).
The Rolex 24 will serve as a Daytona road course warmup for Dillon and Elliott, who will be racing the layout in their Cup Chevrolets twice in February with the Busch Clash and a Feb. 21 race that will replace Auto Club Speedway on the 2021 schedule.
Ware was announced as a Rolex 24 driver last month for Eurasia Motorsport, which formed a partnership with Rick Ware Racing. The team still has one more driver slot to fill on the car.
Cody Ware, a veteran of NASCAR’s top three national series and the Asian Le Mans Series, also will be making his Rolex 24 debut. He was scheduled to be in last year’s race but withdrew after a team crash in testing.
Having already confirmed its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at the Rolex 24, RWR Eurasia announces that both Austin Dillon and Salih Yoluç will be joining Cody Ware at Daytona International Speedway for the first round of the Michelin Endurance Cup in its Ligier JS P217.
With three out of the four seats now confirmed, the team already has an impressive and experienced driver line-up. Austin is the 2018 Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup Series race winner and competed in the series this year with Richard Childress Racing. He previously claimed titles in both Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series.
Salih meanwhile is an exceptionally well-qualified Bronze-rated drover courtesy of winning this year’s edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE-Am class. Previously, the Turkish racer clinched the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup, took the inaugural FIA Nations Cup victory and is a multiple race winner in both European Le Mans Series and International GT Open. In addition, Salih has experience of the Ligier LMP2 machinery having competed in the class in the Asian Le Mans Series in 2018/19.
The two new signings will complement the talents of defending Asian Le Mans Series champion Cody Ware, solidifying the firm foundations for the RWR Eurasia challenge at Daytona International Raceway. The team are now assessing options for the final race seat in readiness to compete in the ROAR Before the Rolex 24.