Historic Sportscar Racing released today the official entry list to date for the eighth running of the HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA, the 24-hour race for historic and vintage sports cars that returns to Daytona International Speedway November 2-6.
This year’s edition of the HSR Classic Daytona 24 has once again attracted a triple-digit entry of former race winners, debuting contenders and a strong contingent of machinery and cars representing Riley Technologies, which is the featured marque of this year’s race. Race cars designed and constructed by Riley Technologies and Riley & Scott, as well as cars run in competition by Riley Motorsports, are well represented in the entry list for this year’s HSR Classic 24.
One iconic Riley-built and campaigned entry is set for its first race at the “World Center of Racing” in 20 years. In the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona, longtime Riley competitor Jim Matthews finished second in the debut race for his Jim Matthews Racing No. 36 Riley & Scott Mk IIIC powered by a six-liter Elan-Ford V8, co-driving to a second-place overall finish with Guy Smith, Scott Sharp and Robby Gordon.
Riley and Matthews ran the No. 36 Mk IIIC in select races over the next two seasons, including two starts in the 12 Hours of Sebring, one race at Road Atlanta and twice at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the car ran No. 4 in 2002 and 2003. Matthews and Smith co-drove the Mk IIIC to a third-place overall finish in the 2002 Sebring 12 Hour, but the podium results secured in the first two races were not matched despite competitive runs in the other events.
Matthews reacquired the Mk IIIC just this past summer, bringing the car back home to the U.S. after it had been actively raced and maintained in Europe in recent years in its No. 4 Le Mans livery. Matthews and his Mk IIIC are listed in Run Group D and are entered once again by the same Riley Motorsports team that campaigned the car in its Daytona debut 20 years ago.
First held in 2014, the immediate success of the inaugural HSR Classic Daytona 24 called for a second running in 2015. After a year off, the 24-Hour classic race on the 3.56-mile DIS road course returned in 2017 and is now an annual fixture on the HSR calendar.
The HSR Classic Daytona features seven different Run Groups competing in succession for a full 24 hours on the DIS road course. The various period-correct classes within each Run Group combine to make just about any closed-wheel competition sports car from the last 60 years eligible for the HSR Classic Daytona.
The packed five-day schedule of historic and vintage competition begins in just under two weeks at the “World Center of Racing” and also features the HSR Daytona Historics, which is part of HSR’s series of season-long sprint and endurance racing championships.
The 2022 HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA and HSR Daytona Historics entry lists can be found by clicking here.
HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA Run Groups:
Group A – 1962 – 1972: Featuring the oldest cars in the Classic 24, Group A is home to legendary and early FIA-era prototype and GT machines that raced in various national series and world championship competition. The group has attracted race cars such as the Lola T70, Chevron B8 and a Porsche 917 recreation as well as a nice mix of 1960s and ’70s production-based GT cars such as the Porsche 911, Corvette, Jaguar E-Types and a Lotus Elan. An entry of note is the Iconic Racing 1969 No. 1 Lola T70 MkIII of Gerard Lopez that scored the Group A victory in 2017. A mechanical issue thwarted a second win in 2019 but Lopez and Iconic return for the first time since that race ready to claim their second Classic 24 victory.
Group B – 1973 – 1982: Even the newest cars in Group B are 40 years old but the ultra-quick sports prototypes and turbocharged, wide-body GT cars in this class still bring modern-day thrills when battling on track. This year’s Classic 24 will be no exception with a Chevron B26 and Lola T294 set for an all-out sports prototype battle. On the GT front, Porsches from various 911 models on up to a pair of Porsche 935 tribute cars go up against a Corvette and two BMW CSLs. An entry worth watching is the 1973 No. 115 Lola T294 (pictured above) of Cal Meeker that has battled for the Group B win in the past but still looks for that breakout victory.
Group C – 1983 – 1993: As the name implies, Group C features the thundering Group C and GTP era of the mid-1980s and early ’90s. This year’s treasures from the era include GTP Jaguar XJR-7 and XJR-16 entries, a March-Chevrolet 85G and a Spice SE87L. The Group C GT entries will wage an all-out race between several Porsche 944, 951 and 964 models. One Group C entry to keep an eye on is the ex-Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) 1991 No. 3 Jaguar XJR-16 (pictured above) that Malcolm Ross and his teammate Corey Fergus drove to the 2021 Classic 24 win. Ross returns looking for two in a row in the twin turbocharged V6 GTP Jaguar.
Group D – 1994 – 2003: Sharing the track with Group C, competing entries in Group D include historic yet familiar prototypes and European and American-made GT cars. Classic 24 featured marque Riley will be in the spotlight in Group D with a pair of Riley & Scott Mk III entries battling with a later generation Riley Daytona Prototype. In GT, several Porsche 911, 993 and 996 models take on a Callaway Corvette, Ford Mustang and an Oldsmobile Aurora that has shocked the Group D ranks more than once. The Sundry Racing 1995 No. 5 Oldsmobile Aurora GTS (pictured below) of Steve Cohen broke through for the overall Group D win last year and in the 2018 HSR Classic Daytona 24.
Group E – Modern Prototype and GT: Always a well-supported group, Run Group E this year looks like a battle between later generation Daytona Prototypes “DP” cars, Oreca FLM09 Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) “PC” cars and the more recent LMP3 “P3” machines. The GT ranks are packed in Group E with Porsche Cayman and 911-based models competing against M3 and Z4 BMWs, a Panoz Esperante and an Audi R8 LMS Ultra. A familiar and returning entry likely to battle for the overall Group E win is the Hudson Historics 2014 No. 33 Corvette Daytona Prototype of John Reisman.
Group F – Current Prototype and GT: The battle royale of the Classic 24, Group F features at the top tier retired LMP1 and DPi prototypes that are typically the fastest cars in any Run Group in the race. The main battle will likely come down to a pair of Pescarolo LMP1 cars against a Ligier Nissan OR05 DPi. On the GT front, there is something for everybody with a strong contingent of Porsche 991 GT3, Ferrari 458 and Audi R8 LMS entries set to mix it up with a Bentley Continental GT3, a gullwing Mercedes-Benz SLS, BMW M6 GT3 and an Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Juan Gonzalez and Butch Leitzinger co-drove the ex-Rollcentre Racing 2007 No. 18 Pescarolo Judd prepared by GMT Racing (pictured below) to a Run Group victory in last year’s Classic 24 and look for a repeat win in two weeks.
Group G – HSR Cars: Group G is home to HSR classes not represented in the other groups. Offering a mix of primarily production cars from six different decades of competition, Group G includes many of the same teams and race cars that compete in HSR’s Vintage GT and Historic GT groups and the HSR Classic RS Cup and HSR Stoner Car Care Global GT series. Porsche models from all generations make up the majority of the entries and will take on an Aston Martin, Ferrari 360 and BMW M3. The diverse mix in Group G also includes a Spec Racer Ford, Audi RS3 front-wheel drive TCR touring car and an Australian-built Python SR Mk II.
A competitor test day on Wednesday, November 2, kicks off the 2022 HSR Classic Daytona presented by IMSA. The full-day test sets the stage for the following four days of official competition, which culminates with the classic 24-hour race from Saturday, November 5, at 2pm Eastern straight through to the final checkered flag 24 hours later.