The stakes will be higher than ever for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams at the 2021 Roar Before the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
IMSA officials announced today a 100-minute qualifying race will be held on Sunday, Jan. 24 that will set the starting grid for the 59th Rolex 24 on Jan. 30-31. The Motul Pole Award 100 will include two drivers per car, with winners receiving Motul Pole Awards.
“The Rolex 24 At DAYTONA is a special event that is worthy of a unique qualifying format,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “Not unlike the Daytona 500, which has set its field through the Duel At Daytona qualifying races for decades, introducing the Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race for the Rolex 24 brings a new and exciting dynamic to the Roar.”
The Motul Pole Award 100 is yet another reason for IMSA fans to attend the Roar. Single-day tickets are available now, but fans with four-day and two-day wristbands for the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA receive access to the Roar for free.
The Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race will include all five WeatherTech Championship classes and will require two drivers per car. The LMP2, LMP3 and GT Daytona (GTD) classes will be required to use Pro-Am driver lineups as in normal WeatherTech Championship sprint races.
In addition to establishing starting positions for the Rolex 24, WeatherTech Championship points will be awarded for all finishing positions in the Motul Pole Award 100 under the new-for-2021 qualifying points system announced in September that awards 35 points to a pole-winner, 32 points for second-place qualifier, 30 for third, etc. In the Rolex 24 itself and all subsequent 2021 WeatherTech Championship events, the race win will be worth 350 points, with 320 for second, 300 for third, etc.
Although only two drivers per car will participate in the Motul Pole Award 100, points will be awarded for all entered drivers in each car for the Rolex 24. Any driver entered in multiple cars will be required to designate the car in which they will earn points prior to the qualifying race.
To establish the starting grid for the Motul Pole Award 100, 15-minute qualifying sessions will be held on Saturday, Jan. 23 and include only drivers also competing in the qualifying race. A 20-minute warm up session also limited to Motul Pole Award 100 drivers also will be held on Sunday, Jan. 24.
All specific regulations for competitors will be communicated in detail at a later time.
Both practice sessions on Friday, Jan. 22 and both practice sessions on Saturday, Jan. 23 – including a two-hour night practice session – will be open to all drivers entered in the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.
There will be four additional practice sessions for all Rolex 24 drivers on Thursday, Jan. 28 and Friday, Jan. 29 prior to the 59th running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, which will start at 3:40 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 30.