Sean Creech Motorsport has set its lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the first round of the of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the Michelin Endurance Cup. Full-season drivers Lance Willsey and João Barbosa will be joined by 19-year-olds Nolan Siegel, who helped pace the team to a second-place finish in LMP3 at Daytona last January, and European junior open wheel racer Jonny Edgar.

“We’re happy to have Lance, João and Nolan back with the team, and to have Jonny as a new addition,” said team principal Sean Creech. “It’s a great lineup to start the season.”

SCM, after several seasons competing in the now-defunct LMP3 category, is moving to LMP2 for 2024. Unlike the other LMP2 competitors, SCM is sticking with the chassis manufacturer it ran with in LMP3, Ligier. The rest of the LMP2 comeptitors are running the ORECA 07 chassis.

“The age of our lineup up looks a bit like a barbell, doesn’t it?” quipped Willsey. “I’m 62, João is 48, and the two youngsters are all of 19. I’m very much looking forward to the full season with João — we had some great achievements in the LMP3 car — and I’m looking forward to being a part of the re-introduction of the Ligier P2 car. We’re excited to have Nolan back this year — he was a welcome late addition last year. It’s been good to have him on board early, through testing.

“We’re also happy to introduce Jonny Edgar to the U.S. sports car audience,” Willsey said. “We’ve been impressed with him, both in and out of the car. We’re confident he will make a significant contribution through the Roar and the 24. It’s been good for us to be able to help some of the young drivers gain a foothold in the U.S., drivers like Malthe Jakobsen and Nico Pino, who drove with us in the past.”

Four-time Rolex 24 winner Barbosa has contested 21 of the last 23 races with teams that have amassed impressive statistics at Daytona: those 21 cars have led over 2,000 laps and completed over 14,000 (a laps complete percentage of 93%). That puts the mileage chart for the cars Barbosa has raced in the Rolex 24 at over 50,000 miles — or twice around the world. But Barbosa knows that entering the race with the reintroduced Ligier LMP2 car will not mean the same mindset as the past three years, with the tried-and-true Ligier JS P320.

“It’s a different approach this year,” said Barbosa. “The team and the drivers know the work that will come this month to be ready for 24 hours. It’s proven to be reliable so far and the team has done a great job. We’ll continue to work on the car, continue to understand what it wants. We’ve lost half our test time to weather or track cancellations, so we know there’s more work to do at the Roar. But we have a good lineup for the 24. We know how quick Nolan is and Jonny really proved that he can be quick at the test, and his approach, feedback and speed were quite good.”

Siegel has raced professionally since the age of 14, winning races on every level of the Road to Indy junior open-wheel ladder system. The California native added sports car racing to his repertoire in 2021, competing in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Asian Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech series over the past three years. Siegel has earned podiums in both of his two Rolex 24 starts, including last year’s second-place finish with SCM.

“It’s great to be back with SCM,” said Siegel. “It’s fun to work with people who are so passionate about what they do. It’s a different approach this year since we’re developing the car rather than focusing on fine-tuning and putting in a quick qualifying lap. Testing has been fun for the drivers and the engineers, taking big swings at it, trying radical ideas. This is one of the first endurance races where I’m not the ‘new kid ’and hopefully I can help Jonny get through his first Rolex 24. But I’ll still take the opportunity to learn as much as I can from Lance and João. There might not be anyone on the grid with more endurance racing experience and success than João does, and there’s always more that I can learn.”

UK native Edgar has won numerous national and international karting championships, including SKUSA SuperNats and the CIK-FIA European Championships, and was named to the Red Bull Junior Team in 2017. Edgar began racing on the European junior open-wheel circuits in 2019, earning success in Spanish F4, Italian F4, and capturing the 2020 ADAC Formula 4 championship. He raced in FIA Formula 3 last year, earning a victory at Monza, and raced a McLaren GT3 in the British GT Championship finale.

“I was impressed with the team and the car at the test last month,” said Edgar. “If we keep going in the direction we were going at the test, we’ll be in good shape. It seemed to me that technique and feel were quite similar to other cars I’ve driven, but obviously the multi-class aspect as well as the night running are very different from what I’m used to. But I have very experienced teammates and will learn a great deal at the Roar, all the little bits that add up in a 24-hour race. I’ll continue my gym work between now and then but there’s the mental side of endurance racing as well, managing your time out of car, so I’ll focus on that as well.”

Finishing on the podium at Daytona is a significant accomplishment; but for Creech, finishing second three years in a row is no consolation. He knows the process will continue with the new car but feels confident that his talented drivers and crew have what it takes to put the Ligier JS P217 (pictured, top) up front. The car has paced 698 trouble-free laps in four days of testing, but Creech rues the loss of four additional test days due to weather and a repave of Daytona’s Bus Stop.

“Finishing second at Daytona is fine, but that’s not why we’re here,” said Creech. “We’re here to win — and we have the crew and the drivers to do that. We’re not as far along with the car as we’d like to be, having lost those four test days, but we’ll focus on finalizing the setup and getting Jonny completely up to speed on the IMSA regulations at the Roar.

“It is a big challenge to take on a car that is basically all-new, as we are in a class full of teams that have a great deal of experience with the ORECA. But we are focused on learning as much as we can, finding a good window with the car, and executing as a team for the entire event. If we can do that I think we will be in good shape. The Ligier JS P217 has proven to be quite reliable so far and we look to continue that trend, in collaboration with Ligier. We appreciate the commitment they have made to the re-introduction of the chassis.”

The three-day Roar Before the 24 test begins on Friday, Jan. 19, with the Rolex 24 at Daytona taking place the following weekend.