Finally! The Rolex 24 at Daytona, or the Daytona 24 Hours to you and me.
The classic race, which along with the Bathurst 12 Hours (sadly cancelled this year) marks the start of the Motorsport Season.
The first 24 Hour Race at Daytona, which was held in 1966 was won by British Racing Legend Ken Miles (portrayed by Christian Bale in the film Ford vs Ferrari) and American Racing Legend Lloyd Ruby in a Ford GT40.
Fast forward to 2021 and in actual fact not a lot has changed. Sure the cars are faster and the technology is space age by 60’s standards, but the race is still a test of man, woman and machine and like the 1966 Race, features star drivers from around the world.
Here we are going to take you through 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching The Daytona 24 Hours This Weekend……
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Let’s start with the one thing 99.9% of Motorsport fans love, THE NOISE!
Take your pick V8, V6, Flat 6, V10, I4, Turbo or Naturally Aspirated? This race has you covered.
Ok we can’t be trackside, firstly because we’re in the UK and secondly even if we could, we can’t because of COVID.
However you can still appreciate the wonderful noise from your TV’s speakers, which brings us nicely onto Reason Number 4…..
There’s one advantage of not being able to make the journey to go in person, the fantastic coverage we receive in the UK.
Firstly there is the television coverage, all completely free to stream and advert free on www.imsa.com/tvlive
Secondly the commentating team, comprised of the reassuring sounds of the guys and girls at Radio Le Mans
There are also regular updates from www.dailysportscar.com, who kindly agreed for us to use their photos for this article.
Thirdly the IMSA website gives you full live timing and live onboard cameras.
All of this, completely free!
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The variety of cars at this race is one of the best in the world.
You have the top class DPi, which are essentially prototypes with road car styling that is meant to represent their manufacturer.
You have the thunderous Cadillacs, the sleek Acura and the very cool Mazda.
The next class down is GTLM, these cars you will be familiar with from the Le Mans 24 Hours, this is the classes last year racing in IMSA and the Daytona 24 Hours and it features Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari and the imposing BMW M8.
Next is LMP2, again you will be familiar with these if you follow Le Mans, similar to the DPi cars but not manufacturer backed. These cars are built by traditional race car maker, companies such as Oreca, Dallara and Ligier, they all use the same Gibson V8 engine, which sounds amazing!
Up next are the LMP3 cars, essentially baby LMP2s but with a loud and thunderous Nissan V8.
The constructors present are Ligier and Duqueine, British race car manufacturer Ginetta also produce an LMP3 car, it’s a shame one isn’t entered into this race.
And finally you have the GTD cars, these are essentially GT3 cars as seen in the British GT and the Blancpain GT Series.
The entry list is epic, Porsche, Lexus, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Audi, Acura (Honda) and BMW are all present and there will be some amazing battles!
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The Driver Lineups at this years Daytona are World Class.
We try and keep our articles short and sweet, so apologies in advance if we miss out your favourite.
This year there are 50 previous Daytona 24 winners, 38 IMSA Champions, 22 Le Mans 24 Winners, 4 IndyCar Champions, 5 Indy 500 Winners, 2 Formula 1 Grand Prix Winners, 5 NASCAR Race Winners and 2 NASCAR Champions!
There are some incredible International Drivers taking part, Juan Pablo Montoya, Robert Kubica, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Earl Bamber, Felipe Nasr, Kamui Kobayashi, Timo Glock and many more.
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And the final Reason why you should be watching the Daytona 24 Hours this weekend?
The British presence!
Firstly you have the British cars in Aston Martin.
And a British Team, TF Sport have also crossed over the pond to take part!
And of course the fantastic British Drivers taking part, here are the ones to watch…..
Aston Martin Driver and ex SEAT BTCC Racer Darren Turner, in the #23 Aston Martin
Le Mans 24 Class Winner and ex Audi and Bentley Driver, Oliver Jarvis, in the #60 Mazda
Le Mans 24 Class Winner and nice guy Harry Tinknell, also in the #60 Mazda
British GT regular and Geordie Matt Bell in the #11 Oreca
Porsche Legend, Le Mans 24 Hour, Nurburgring 24 Hour, Carrera Cup Champion and of course EnduroKa Indy Ka 500 Winner Nick Tandy in the #4 Corvette
Nurburging 24 Hour and Winner Alexander Sims, also in the #4 Corvette
Corvette Legend and multiple Le Mans Class Winner Oliver Gavin, in the #14 Lexus
So did we convince you? Or were you going to be watching already?
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This weekend we will be bringing our followers live updates and photos (Courtesy of Lazenby Visuals) from this years Daytona 24 Hours
Whilst your here, please do check out our Competitions, we have a selection of stunning prizes up for grab including Tag Heuer and Tudor watches and even a British Touring Car Champions Subaru!