An all-star cast of drivers is converging on iconic Daytona International Speedway this weekend for the annual Roar Before The Rolex 24 test sessions, offering competitors a final three days of preparation for the 55th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.
The Rolex 24, the season-opening race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, typically attracts drivers from a variety of racing disciplines who join established sports car teams, creating an extraordinary field.
This year is no different.
Three-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jeff Gordon and former Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon are two of the biggest names on the ultimate motorsports “A-List” that includes five-time Rolex 24 champion Scott Pruett and four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais.
This year’s Rolex 24 will serve as a premier showcase for the WeatherTech Championship which is amid considerable momentum approaching its fourth season of existence. The series resulted from the 2014 merger of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
A total of 55 cars across four classes (entry list) are entered for the Roar. Testing runs 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. on Sunday. The Roar test sessions also are open to teams in the production-based IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, which will open its season on Jan. 27 at DIS with the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge.
Several new manufacturers and race cars will make their debut at the “World Center of Racing,” among those new cars are the exotic DPi (Daytona Prototype international) entries in the headlining Prototype class. Gordon will drive the No. 10 Cadillac DPi with Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli. In the production-based GT Daytona class, Acura, Lexus and Mercedes have entered the fray.
Infield-only tickets for the Roar Before The Rolex 24 are $15 (garage access included), with children ages 12 and under admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or at the gate.
In addition, the annual Scout Days event is returning to the Roar weekend, with almost 3,000 Boy and Girl Scouts from throughout the Southeast camping in the Speedway infield and participating in activities such as fishing on Lake Lloyd, scavenger hunts, geocaching and getting up close to the teams and drivers. New this year, Girl Scouts will have a dedicated camping area and can participate in special question-and-answer sessions and tours with female drivers, engineers and mechanics.
Scout Days admission, $40 per person, includes:
On Saturday morning, there will be a tri-oval track walk where scouts will walk pit road and have the opportunity to sign the start/finish line.
In an effort to help local scouts earn their Automotive Maintenance Merit Badge, Daytona Toyota will provide technicians and vehicles to demonstrate basic vehicle maintenance techniques. Eighty scouts will gather in the infield on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. as experts cover various areas of automotive upkeep: general maintenance, tires, engine, brakes and electrical systems. In addition to earning a merit badge, the scouts will receive potentially life-saving tips on how to correctly change a tire, check vehicle fluid levels, perform an oil change, connect jumper cables and much more.
Tickets and camping packages for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
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