Sports-car Action Begins To Heat-Up At Daytona

55 colorful Rolex24 entries lined-up on pit road. [Joe Jennings Photo]

55 colorful Rolex24 entries lined-up on pit road. [Joe Jennings Photo]

By Joe Jennings

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – At the Daytona International Speedway this week, 55 teams have checked in and are beginning to prepare for the 55th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the twice-around-the-clock classic that annually draws some of the best drivers from around the globe.

The classic flags off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and concludes a day later. FS1 and FS2 are telecasting 23 of the 24 hours of action.

Four classes of cars will be competing in the run for glory. As a first, the Prototype class will roll-out its new DPi (Daytona Prototype international) cars, of which seven are entered, including three Cadillac-powered entries.

The remaining Prototype entries come from the old LM P2 ranks. These cars are powered by Gibson engines (4.2 liter, V8s).

The ultra-sophisticated GTLM class commands a significant following, which includes four sleek Fords from Chip Ganassi Racing, a pair of factory Corvettes going for its third consecutive victory along with entries from Ferrari, Porsche and BMW.

Grabbing considerable attention is the much-expanded GTD class with the addition of entries from Acura, Lexus and Mercedes. In total, 27 teams are entered in the class.

Lastly, the Prototype Challenge class will be making its last appearance, as it goes by the wayside next year. Five teams are expected to answer the final curtain-call.

Wednesday was set-up and photo-op day with the teams hitting the 3.56-mile road course on Thursday with three practice sessions with qualifying to take place late in afternoon. Another practice concludes the unofficial runs on Friday.

Friday closes with a four-hour Continental Challenge event, the BMW Endurance Challenge.

Share Button