Mike Rockenfeller, Le Mans winner, will drive for Spire Motorsports at Watkins Glen
Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Mike “Rocky” Rockenfeller of Germany is scheduled to drive a Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports in the Aug. 21 NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International in New York and the Oct. 9 roval race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
A veteran sports car racer, Rockenfeller will drive the team’s No. 77 car at the Glen and at Charlotte.
Rockenfeller has experience at Watkins Glen. He finished third in the Six Hours at the Glen in 2006 and has competed there on a team with former Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi.
“Since starting my professional racing career back in the early 2000s, I’ve always kept a close eye on NASCAR,” said Rockenfeller in a statement released Tuesday by the team. “What’s more, after teaming up with Jimmie Johnson -- one of the heroes of the sport, my respect and appreciation for NASCAR has grown.
“It’s an immensely competitive series with some of the world’s greatest drivers racing wheel-to-wheel, merely centimeters apart. Room for error is minimal, at best. Watkins Glen is a difficult track in any car, but given how sensitive and big a NASCAR Cup Series car is, I think this will be an even bigger challenge.”
Rockenfeller has not raced at Charlotte.
“Attracting world-class talent like Mike Rockenfeller is such an honor for Spire Motorsports,” team president Bill Anthony said in a statement. “Mike is a talented, globally-accomplished driver, and we’re thrilled to introduce him to NASCAR.”
Also entered in the Watkins Glen race are former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen and former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat, who finished 36th for Team Hezeberg in the Cup Series road race at Indianapolis.