In one week’s time, Chase Briscoe, Hailie Deegan, Harrison Burton, and Austin Cindric will leave the oval for the road course in a PF Racing-prepared Ford Mustang GT4. The four will make up 2/3 of the three-car effort in the BMW M Endurance Cup in this year’s Roar Before the 24, January 21-23. Cindric is set to pull double duty during the race weekend, having also been confirmed in another Pro class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It’ll be a major achievement to last that abuse, but Cindric’s done double-duty there twice before, so he is decently prepared.
Briscoe, Cindric, and Deegan drove a similar Mustang at the same event two years ago, albeit one prepared by Multimatic Motorsports. Deegan also entered the round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. For Burton, the son of NASCAR’s Jeff Burton, this event marks his first event ever in the IMSA Pilot Challenge. Since their last attempt at The Roar, they’ve been busy with NASCAR obligations—Briscoe, Cindric, and Deegan all being NASCAR Cup Series drivers, and Burton making his return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year.
Interestingly, Cindric has the distinction of taking an odd route into NASCAR. His professional career started in 2015 in the Continental Tire Series, now the IMSA Pilot Challenge, and a relationship with Ford led to him driving stock cars.
The Return Road
Their appearance in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway marks the first time the Ford Performance-backed program has gone racing since 2020 and a first time ever for the Missouri-based Ford customer racing team.
When interviewed previously on the change to road racing, Burton replied with the following:
“Any seat time helps,” Burton said. “After Daytona, I went right to the go-kart track and drove my shifter kart because I think it helps. This is no different. The cars are now coming kind of more closely aligned with that series and so there’s an opportunity there for me to get track time on one of the road courses and do it with people that I regard really highly in road racing, guys like Austin Cindric that are winning races and have chances to win.”