All eyes of the racing world are on Daytona this weekend for the Rolex 24, the twice-around-the-clock endurance race.
As they should be, for many reasons.
One, this is a VERY cool test of humans and machines. Twenty-four hours, non-stop. The challenge is even steeper because the days of endurance sports car teams pacing themselves to reach the finish are gone. The Rolex 24 is an 1,440-minute sprint race. All out.
Two, GRAND-AM Road Racing has a fascinating mix of cars. Sleek Daytona Prototypes with roaring engines from BMW, Ford and Chevrolet. Incredibly competitive GT cars from Porsche, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Audi and Mazda. The performance gap between the two classes guarantees traffic and non-stop action for the entire race.
Three, the Rolex 24 is about as close as North American racing gets to an all-star race. Top drivers from GRAND-AM, the American Le Mans Series, the IZOD IndyCar Series and NASCAR are racing this Saturday and Sunday at Daytona. Names such as Franchitti, Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Montoya, McMurray, Barrichello, Pruett, Kimball, Rojas, McNish, Bourdais, Fittipaldi, Piquet, Allmendinger, Ambrose, Fisichella, Sharp and many more.
But there’s an even greater reason to get pumped for the Rolex 24 and watch it from 3:30 p.m. Saturday until 3:30 p.m. Sunday on SPEED TV and SPEED.com – the 2013 racing season is here!
The Rolex 24 is the unofficial start of the major-league racing season in North America. And that means the sweet sound and sight of cars and motorcycles reaching top speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is much closer than you think.
So is it May yet? No, but it’s coming soon. Opening Day for the 97th Indianapolis 500 is less than four months away. The Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard – which includes the fantastic variety of cool sports cars you’ll see this weekend on the high banks and infield of Daytona – is only six months away. And the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race is just one month after that.
Enjoy the Rolex 24 this weekend. There’s no football – sorry, the Pro Bowl is a joke and doesn’t count. So curl up with your favorite snack and beverage and catch as much of the action from Daytona as possible on SPEED and follow our live blogs from the track at www.ims.com.
And remember that this race is the gateway to all of the great action that will take place in May, July and August at IMS. So tweet away about the battles in Daytona Prototype and GT this weekend at the Rolex 24. But also take some time to start talking about the Indy 500, Super Weekend at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
There’s no time like the present. Racing season is here, and no place means racing quite like Indianapolis.
Check out the images below from Friday’s action at the Rolex 24!