6 Reasons To Watch The Daytona 24 Hours
A few weeks ago, we saw the cars take to the track for the shakedown that is the Roar Before The 24. This weekend will be the real deal. Here are the reasons I insist you watch the race from Saturday through to Sunday.
1. The 2nd longest night stint of any endurance race
Taking place in the last week of January, the Rolex 24 at Daytona is known for having a long period of darkness. In fact, only the Dubai 24 Hours has a longer night time stint. The cars are expected to race for a full 10 and a half hours between sunrise and sunset. This always makes getting to sunset an achievement by itself. After this, there are still over 5 hours of racing to complete.
2. Great racing
Thanks to the long straights and banked turns, the Daytona 24 Hours always provides great battles. With drafting, side-by-side action and occasionally bump drafting, you can expect to hear regular commentator shouting and pit crew cheers. Not to mention the odd divebomb or two into turn 1 and the bus-stop chicane.
3. Many classes
Carrying on from the amazing battles and racing of the Daytona Road Course, the many different classes make for interesting and sometimes scary passes. Just like any multi-class event, the different classes will be passing one another whilst fighting within each class. This means drivers have to be cautious but keep the pressure on at all times. With the improvement in reliability over the past few years, it is even more important than ever to stay in control of the race and push for the entire event.
4. Big names
Last year’s event saw Fernando Alonso prepare for his WEC debut by taking part in the Daytona 24. He was put together with Lando Norris, the newest member to the McLaren F1 team. They managed to finish the race with their Ligier JSP217 LMP2 car. Unfortunately, the win was never in sight due to a difference in car performance to the best. This year however, the Spaniard is back with a Cadillac DPi-VR Daytona Prototype. He and his WEC teammates have been put together to dust off the racing boots before hoping back on the TS050 at Sebring in March. Will Nando manage to win the Rolex watch this time around? Alonso isn't the only name to compete, there are many more famous drivers from all shapes and forms of racing taking part.
5. Classic Liveries
The organising body of the race IMSA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and what better way to celebrate the milestone than with a throwback? In fact, many temas have decided to run vintage liveries arking back to previous cars ran in the IMSA series over the years. Check out this post to see who’s doing what.
6. Easy to follow
Finally, with the race taking place on an oval course mixed with the infield track, the cars are always in sight. Compared to the Nurburgring 24 Hours where it can take upto 10 minutes before seeing cars, spectators will be treated to seeing cars over their entire lap. Furthermore, thanks to great camera work, informative apps and great commentary from Radio Le Mans, it is easy to spend too long sat in front of your screen to follow the race. Check out all the news about the race on the IMSA website and follow the race live from 20:30CET Saturday evening on the IMSA TV page.