Team Sahlen withdraws from TUDOR Championship

Team Sahlen withdraws from TUDOR Championship


Team Sahlen withdraws from TUDOR Championship


The Nonnamakers’ DPs will sit next season out. (Marshall Pruett photo)

One of the bedrock teams from the formative days of the Grand-Am Rolex Series has decided to park its pair of Riley-BMW Daytona Prototypes.

RACER has learned the popular Team Sahlen DP program, led by the Nonnamaker family, will not go forward when the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship kicks off in January, leaving at least some portion of the driving team that includes Will, Wayne and Joe Nonnamaker, along with Dane Cameron without a drive in 2014.

“At this point, we will not be campaigning a DP next year, and will be taking a year off from the TUDOR Championship,” Will Nonnamaker told RACER. “We’re still going to be racing somewhere within the IMSA family, and believe very heavily in the direction the Frances have taken the series. We will be back next year, and will announce those plans in the next few weeks.

Team Sahlen got its start in production-based endurance racing, winning numerous championships in the predecessor to the Continental Tire Series. A move to the Grand-Am Rolex GT category with Mazda RX-8s brought more success and the introduction of Cameron to the team.

They made their most ambitious move to date with a two-car DP program in 2013, with feature performances by Wayne Nonnamaker and Cameron, who claimed pole at Elkhart Lake and led in the early stages of the event.

Cameron also put the No. 42 Riley-BMW on pole for the season and series finale at Lime Rock Park, finishing fourth with teammate Nonnamaker. It’s believed the team considered stepping back to GT, or possibly the Continental Tire Series, but at present, the exact plans for the team somewhere below the TUDOR Championship is unknown.

The late decision by Team Sahlen to withdraw from the series leaves BMW engine builder Steve Dinan, who recently lost the flagship Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates program to Ford, without any confirmed full-season entrants.