VISIT FLORIDA Racing has added German driver Rene Rast to the team for the Rolex 24 At Daytona which opens the 2017 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season in January at Daytona International Speedway.
Rast joins Marc Goossens (Belgium) and Renger van der Zande (The Netherlands) at the helm of VISIT FLORIDA Racing’s new No. 90 Gibson-powered Riley Mk. 30 in the top Prototype category.
A two-time Rolex 24 race winner (2012 and 2016, Magnus Racing), Rast has competed in the previous five Rolex 24 At Daytona events in the GT category.
While he steps up to the top Prototype division in IMSA competition for the 2017 Rolex 24, Rast has a deep reservoir of international Le Mans Prototype (LMP) experience.
Rast drove to a second-place finish in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in an LMP2 machine for G-Drive Racing. He drove full-time in the FIA World Endurance Championship for G-Drive in an LMP2 in 2016 and claimed a win at Bahrain and podium finishes at both Silverstone and Circuit of the Americas.
He is also a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Spa, taking the victory in 2012 and 2014 in an Audi R8 LMS. He also won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring driving the Audi in 2014.
“It is an amazing feeling to know that in a few days I will be back at Daytona,” Rast said. “The Rolex 24 is one of my favorite races during the year and I can’t wait for the action to begin. I have won the Rolex 24 now two times, but not overall. My big dream was always to one day win it overall. Being part of a great team like VISIT FLORIDA Racing is a big honor and for sure it will bring a big smile to my face doing my first laps in their car. I followed the team over the past couple of years and always felt that they were one of the best teams, so I’m very proud to be part of this effort.”
Team Owner Troy Flis is happy to have his driver lineup confirmed ahead of the annual Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway this week.
“We are very excited to have a guy like Rene join our VISIT FLORIDA line-up,” said Flis, whose team finished third in last year’s Rolex 24. “He is quick and has a lot of valuable experience for us to tap into as we get ready for our first race with this Riley LMP2. I think he’ll fit right in with Marc and Renger so we are excited to get going with our new car this week here at the Roar.”