DAYTONA, FL (Monday, December 20, 2021) – 2022 INDYCAR rookie Devlin DeFrancesco will return to the Rolex 24 at Daytona grid in 2022 with fellow INDYCAR aces Pato O’Ward, Coton Herta, and 2021 DragonSpeed teammate Eric Lux.
Last year DeFrancesco and Lux were part of the DragonSpeed line-up which finished third in the race in the LMP2 class but will now welcome new teammates O’Ward and Herta in 2022.
Italian-Canadian racer DeFrancesco made his Rolex debut in 2018 where he finished sixth overall and went one better the following season with fifth place. Last year with DragonSpeed, he scored his first Daytona podium with third place in the LMP2 class.
The new Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport INDYCAR driver DeFrancesco will team up with close friends and former karting rivals O’Ward and Herta for the first time. O’Ward (22), Herta (21), and DeFrancesco (21) first raced against each other in karts ten years ago.
DeFrancesco will make his INDYCAR debut this year after spending two years on the Road To Indy with Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport – scoring Rookie of the Year in Indy Pro 2000 in 2020 and racing last season in Indy Lights.
Both O’Ward and Herta are former class winners at the Rolex 24. Recent Formula 1 tester and Arrow McLaren SP INDYCAR ace O’Ward won the PC class at Daytona on debut in 2017 while Andretti Autosport INDYCAR star Herta won with BMW in the GTLM class in 2019.
O’Ward, Herta, DeFrancesco, and Lux will hit the track for the annual Roar Before the 24 test on January 21-23 and then return for the 60th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28 through 30.
The DragonSpeed entry will be backed at the Rolex 24 by Kimoa, the clothing and accessories brand founded by multi-World Champion Fernando Alonso; jewelry manufacturer Rembrandt Charms; Seattle-based Jones Soda Co.; clean technology company Atmofizer; electric mobility retailer, Simply EV; small-batch and Austrian distilled ultra-premium brand NEFT Vodka; Capstone Green Energy microturbine energy solutions; shipping container leaders Flex-Box; new formula Motul 300V racing motor oil; Electrolit premium hydration drinks; and Gainbridge.
- Finished 3rd in LMP2 at Rolex 24 last year with Eric Lux for DragonSpeed
- 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Rookie of the Year
- Will make IndyCar debut this year with Andretti Steinbrenner Racing
- Fourth Rolex 24 in 20222
- Finished sixth overall on debut in 2018 just days after he turned 18 and fifth in 2019
“The Rolex 24 at Daytona is always an awesome way to kick off the racing season but I’m really looking forward to returning in 2022. Last year Eric and I were part of the DragonSpeed squad which stood on the podium in third – and now with Pato and Colton as part of our team, we have a great opportunity to push for the win.
“I’ve known Pato and Colton since we were little kids racing karts around 10 or 11 years old and it’s amazing to have them as teammates with me for the Rolex.
“I have a huge year ahead for me stepping into INDYCAR but to start the year at Daytona with these guys is mega. Colton is one of my teammates at Andretti who I am going to be working with this year so to share this experience with him will be awesome.
“I really enjoyed driving with Elton and the DragonSpeed team last year and to come back with this line-up in 2022 is just brilliant.”
- 2 INDYCAR wins / 4 poles
- Recently tested for McLaren in Formula 1
- 2017 Rolex 24 and Sebring 12 Hour winner
- 2017 Prototype Challenge class champion with Performance Tech Motorsport
- 2018 Indy Lights Champion
“I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Obviously, I race against Colton in INDYCAR, and Devlin is joining that championship this year and Eric also has a lot of experience in endurance races.
“I think it’s a great line-up and we’re all very excited – I think we have a shot at this.
“Colton, Devlin, and I really grew up together in karting when we were kids. We are all part of the same generation that came through the ranks and it’s a cool reunion to be able to enjoy this race together.
“It’s a long few days in Daytona and it’s important to be able to enjoy the experience with your teammates. Sports car racing is very different from what we do in INDYCAR. You have to work with more people and get a balance in the car that each of your teammates is comfortable with. There is a lot of traffic with cars of different speeds so being consistent and solid is so important at the Rolex.”
- 6 INDYCAR wins / 7 poles
- 2019 Rolex 24 GTLM winner – BMW
- 2017 Indy Lights Rookie of the year
- 2018 Indy Lights Runner-up
- Won three INDYCAR races last year, including the final two
“I have never driven a prototype or an LMP2 car before so this will be something brand new for me. I can’t wait to get stuck in with Devlin, Eric and Pato – we have a really strong line-up and DragonSpeed have shown in the past they have the capability to put together a great endurance car so I’m really excited for it.
“The last time Devlin, Pato and I all raced together was probably back in 2011 in karts and it’s cool to see everyone together years later and the fact that we’re now all professional racing drivers in INDYCAR too.
“I’ve been really good friends with these guys for a very long time and to team up together at the Rolex is going to be really fun.
“Driving in races like this is really good for your overall development as a driver. It prepares you for different situations and you become more adaptive with strategy and different conditions.”
- Finished third in LMP2 at Rolex 24 last year with DeFrancesco for DragonSpeed
- 130 professional race starts
- Former IMSA LMPC Driver’s Championship winner
- One of the first 16-year-old drivers to compete & finish the 24 Hours of Daytona
- 12th race start at Daytona in 2022
“2022 marks my 19th season competing in sportscars and my 12th Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. I’ve come so close to winning this race on several occasions, and for it to become a reality you need the right team, the right car, and the right teammates.
“I’ve known Elton as a teammate, team owner, and friend over the past ten years, and I’m confident that with DragonSpeed, Devlin, Colton, and Pato, we have what it takes to fight for the win. It’s truly an honor to share the car with these guys, and I can’t wait to get down to business at the Roar!”
ELTON JULIAN – DRAGONSPEED TEAM PRINCIPAL
“This gives our streak of attracting the very best driving talent to DragonSpeed another massive bump.
“We already know how well Eric and Devlin can perform with us at Daytona from last year, and adding two of INDYCAR’s brightest stars to our 2022 Rolex squad makes our prospects even more exciting.
“I can’t help but think it’s too bad we couldn’t secure a DPi for this race, as this line-up clearly deserves one – we certainly tried!”
“Most of our rivals are capable of delivering a fast, efficient, and reliable run. We aim to do the same and give our all-stars the platform they need to make the difference,” said Julian.
“I’m really proud of IMSA and the turnaround for LMP2 they’ve achieved going into 2022. The Rolex and the rest of the WeatherTech season look to be incredibly competitive, in LMP2 and across the board.”