Black Swan Racing’s Rolex 24 At Daytona entry has been withdrawn after team principal and driver Tim Pappas contracted COVID-19. The No. 540 Porsche 911 GT3 R was set to have Pappas, Larry ten Voorde, Patrick Pilet, and Patrick Lindsey make a one-off run to open the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Having been unknowingly exposed to the virus by a teammate at the recent 24-hour sports car race in Dubai, Pappas was left with no choice but to pull his car from the GT Daytona field.
“I got enough exposure to him to now be positive and experiencing mild symptoms,” he told RACER. “There was no way to convalesce, heal, isolate and still make the race. So I made the tough decision to withdraw the team.”
Pappas has been on a long journey of healing and recovery since suffering numerous injuries two years ago at Bathurst. Black Swan was among the great stories of the 2020 Rolex 24 after placing fifth in GTD with a new chassis that was built following a pre-race crash by the team’s youngest driver. Missing out on a chance to improve upon their most recent Daytona result has been hard to take.
“Unlike some teams, Black Swan is really a personal program and as such, if I cannot compete, neither will the team,” Pappas said. “Just a real shame as we had a great lineup and following the recent opening of our own shop.”
With Black Swan’s exit, the entry list has been reduced to 49 cars. RACER understands at least one alternate entry could emerge to maintain 50 cars spread across five classes.