The Rolex 24 At DAYTONA – North America’s most prestigious sports car race – is the most distinctive weekend of the year. Prepare yourself for the weekend by reading up on the biggest news and headlines heading into sports car racing’s twice-around-the clock marathon.
Dario Franchitti to serve as Grand Marshal
Legendary racer Dario Franchitti, who won the 2008 Rolex 24 At DAYTONA as well as three Indianapolis 500s , will serve as the race’s Grand Marshal, delivering the command, “Drivers, start your engines” for North America’s most prestigious sports car event. In the 2008 Rolex 24, Franchitti and co-drivers Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Juan Pablo Montoya captured the overall victory by a margin of two laps driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
Get Garage Access
The exciting weekend offers an exclusive opportunity to get even closer to the action. Take the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA experience to the next level by going behind the scenes with garage access. Get an up-close look at your favorite cars as they attempt to conquer sports car racing’s grueling twice-around-the-clock challenge! Access is available for $10 on Thursday and Friday, with two-day (Saturday/Sunday) access available for only $45.
Enjoy Pre-Race Festivities
Get right in the middle of all the excitement and build-up to the race start as cars line up along pit road. A truly unique atmosphere awaits fans as they join the drivers, crew members and team owners on the starting grid to get an up-close look at the cars and drivers moments before the race begins. Bring your camera and have fun walking pit road where all the action takes place.
Jeff Gordon Returns
Three-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jeff Gordon will make his return to the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA for the first time in 10 years, co-driving with Jordan and Ricky Taylor and former Rolex 24 champion Max Angelelli in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R for Wayne Taylor Racing. Gordon's lone previous Rolex 24 appearance in 2007 came with the same team. Gordon co-drove the No. 10 Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype with Angelelli, Wayne Taylor and Jan Magnussen, finishing third overall.
New Prototypes On Display
2017 will set the stage for a new era of Prototype competition in North America with a new generation of race cars battling for the overall victory. The fastest and most technologically advanced cars ever to be used in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will make their debut with 24 hours of flat-out racing at the 55th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA. Prototype cars have 450-600 horsepower and are capable of reaching speeds over 200 miles per hour, so you won’t want to miss seeing what these cars can do with an all-star lineup of drivers behind the wheel at the “World Center of Racing.”
See the World's Top Drivers
While there are champion drivers from various racing disciplines (NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One) throughout the field, a long list of big-name drivers boast an IndyCar pedigree including IndyCar champ Scott Dixon (No. 67 Ford GT in the GTLM class), Indianapolis 500 winners Tony Kanaan (No. 69 Ford GT) and Buddy Rice (No. 20 Oreca FLM09). In addition, Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal is fielding a two-car BMW team in GTLM, while his son Graham, a 2016 IndyCar winner, is driving the new Michael Shank Racing No. 93 Acura NSX. James Hinchliffe, IndyCar driver and runner-up in the latest season of ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ will also be on hand racing in the No. 85 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi.
Watch From the World’s Only Motorsports Stadium
Daytona International Speedway is the world’s only motorsports stadium – a world-class facility with premium amenities unmatched in the industry. Making its debut during last year’s Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the facility’s amenities include:
• Wider and more comfortable seats with improved sightlines
• Spacious concourses
• Escalators and elevators
• Free Wi-Fi throughout the concourses, Midway, UNOH Fanzone and campgrounds
• Twice as many restrooms and three times as many concessions and merchandise stands
Be sure to look out for seating on the west end of the motorsports stadium, which provides spectacular sightlines overlooking the road course’s first turn.