The British GT series will send its third representative in recent years to Daytona after Stuart Middleton clinched the Sunoco Whelen Challenge last weekend in the U.K. The British contest, established in partnership with IMSA, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant Sonny Whelen, and Sunoco via Anglo-American oil, fell in favor of 17-year-old Middleton, who will compete in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Middleton will share the Whelen-sponsored No. 31 with Eric Curran, Felipe Nasr, and Mike Conway on his debut at Daytona.
“I’m ecstatic – speechless to be honest,” said the British GT4 class winner. “This is such a huge prize and an incredible opportunity for me so early in my career, I can’t thank Anders Hildebrand and everyone at Anglo-American Oil enough. Being part of the Action Express team with Felipe, Mike and Eric is just amazing… it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“My first season in GT4 with my fantastic teammate Will Tregurtha was just amazing – we couldn’t believe how competitive we were right from the first round and that was with hardly any testing before the season started. The year just got better and better for us and as well as the GT4 title, the Sunoco prize started to become a possibility too.”
Earning the GT4 title as a rookie, along with the Sunoco Whelen Challenge, has Middleton headed for big things at an early age.
“To win the championship in our rookie year was more than we could have hoped for, and for me to now win the Sunoco Whelen Challenge is the icing on the cake,” he added. “I really want to grab this chance with both hands and do the very best I can, although it’s not going to be easy.
“This is a huge step-up for me: not only will it be my first 24-hour race but it’s going to be in one of the biggest and most demanding races in the world with some of the very best drivers and teams on the planet. It’s going to be amazing driving at Daytona too, something I never realistically thought might happen in my career. This is such a special moment for me and I’m absolutely delighted.”