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Featured 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona (Live Stream)

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by R.J. O'Connell, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Rolex 24 Daytona Header copy.jpg
    The 54th edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway begins this Saturday, the first round of the newly-rechristened IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and one of the marquee events in endurance racing.

    On Thursday, qualifying for the race was held under heavy rain, rapidly darkening skies, and was subject to quite a few red flags that threw everyone a huge, looping curveball. Conditions heavily favoured the Michelin-clad GTLM class cars in qualifying, so even though the SMP Racing BR01-Nissan qualified by Mikhail Aleshin will officially start the race on pole position by way of the IMSA rulebook, the records will show that the GTLM class locked out the top seven positions overall in qualifying - with the Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet, Kevin Estre, and defending Le Mans champion Nick Tandy fastest on the day.

    In similar conditions throughout the race, Tandy and Pilet took overall victory at last year's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, in this very same GTLM Porsche. However, weather forecasts predict clear skies and dry weather for the start of the Rolex 24.

    As the race draws closer to its 19:40 GMT start time (that's 2:40 PM local), here are some of the other things to watch for in the Rolex 24.

    Ford Chip Ganassi Racing have now assembled two "dream teams" for the Prototype class. Defending champions Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson remain at the helm of the #02 Riley-Ford Daytona Prototype that won last year's Rolex 24, joined by the all-star lineup in the sister #01 car - reigning World Endurance Drivers' Champion Brendon Hartley, Ford WEC candidate Andy Priaulx, young Canadian phenom Lance Stroll, and in his first try to win Daytona, two-time Le Mans winner Alexander Wurz.

    This will be the final year of the Daytona Prototype sub-category as we know it, a brigade that will also be led by competitive entries from Action Express Racing - the #5 Corvette DP that won the race in 2014 will boast a lineup featuring former winners Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, Audi factory driver Felipe Albuquerque, and Scott Pruett, in search of a record sixth victory at Daytona. The Konica Minolta Corvette DP of Wayne Taylor Racing got a huge boost with the addition of 19-year F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello to a lineup featuring the Taylor brothers, Ricky and Jordan, and former Rolex 24 winner Max Angelelli.

    Aleshin SMP Daytona 16.jpg

    SMP Racing, polesitters for the race on Saturday, will lead the LMP2 entries in a brand-new car making its Rolex 24 debut. Pole winner Aleshin is part of an underrated lineup featuring Kirill Ladygin and veteran endurance racer Nicolas Minassian. Michael Shank Racing is the only LMP2 team that has previously won the race, and their HPD-powered Ligier JS P2 now has Olivier Pla driving alongside AJ Allmendinger, Oswaldo Negri, and John Pew.

    Intrigue continues to surround the DeltaWing, now in its third Rolex 24 and still yet to see the chequered flag at Daytona, as well as the Mazda Prototypes, still running engines sourced directly from their road-going cars. A finish for them would be as big as a victory, but keep an eye on young Sean Rayhall in the DeltaWing and reigning Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot in one of the Mazdas.

    The pro-am class running the same Chevrolet-engined Oreca FLM09 across its eight entries. The favorites to win this category are the #54 CORE Autosport entry which won in 2014, and still has most of the lineup that won that race - Jonathan Bennett, Colin Braun, and Mark Wilkins now joined by former LMP2 World Champion, Martin Plowman.

    CORE Daytona 16.jpg

    And the two cars of Starworks Motorsport, one of which features the European Formula 3 champion Felix Rosenqvist on his endurance racing debut, also look like strong contenders. But neither the CORE Autosport car nor the #52 of defending race winners PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports set a time in qualifying, where the #20 car of BAR1 Motorsports was fastest in class - and still faster than the fastest car in the main prototype class.

    Arguably the strongest class in IMSA (and the American Le Mans Series before it), GTLM continues to stack the deck with new cars, top teams, and awesome drivers. Corvette Racing are the defending champions, and the C7.R looks up to the task of defending their crown with Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen joined by Mike Rockenfeller, and the second car driven by Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin, and three-time Le Mans champion Marcel Fässler.​
    Tandy Porsche 911 16.jpg

    Porsche has an all-star lineup at the helm of its two 911 RSRs. Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber came here last year as relative upstarts among the Porsche driver roster. This year, they're Le Mans champions, and with Patrick Pilet, Frederic Makowiecki, young Kevin Estre, and Michael Christensen also driving for them, they could yet again triumph at Daytona.

    But its the new blood in GTLM that's caught the attention of many, headlined by the return of the Ford GT in the 50th anniversary of their 1966 victory in this race. If it proves reliable, it may be a threat to win, with a lineup of world-class drivers and the backing of the mighty Chip Ganassi Racing. BMW's new M6 GTLM, a souped-up version of their GT3 car, has been successful in North America except for Daytona, and BMW Team RLL hopes the new car can change their recent form.

    And Ferrari have a new challenger, the 488 GTE, in the hands of a few teams that can easily contend for the victory - chief among them, the SMP Racing car, led by Gianmaria Bruni and Viktor Shaytar. Though the GTLM class was fastest in the torrential downpour of qualifying, the 488 GTE was still a handful in the treacherous weather - ask Alessandro Pier Guidi, of Scuderia Corsa.

    GTD has the largest field of any of the four classes, and is now fully compliant to FIA GT3 regulations. Riley Motorsports are the defending champions, and their Dodge Viper GT3-R will now face a wave of new, intense competition from some of the teams fielding GT3's newest toys from Audi, BMW, and Lamborghini. In particular, fun-loving Magnus Racing look strong in their new Audi R8, and with a lineup featuring Andy Lally, Rene Rast, and Marco Seefried, they have to be up there with the favorites.

    TRG AMR Perez 16.jpg

    None of them were the quickest on Thursday, though, as Porsche's new 911 GT3-R took pole position for the class via Park Place Motorsports - where former Daytona 24 winner Jörg Bergmeister is the team's ace driver. The Alex Job Racing Porsches are also serious contenders - with the #22 WeatherTech car fastest in the pre-race test sessions. Further down the order, the #007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin has the attention of many thanks to the team's support from F1 driver Sergio Perez, but the Vantage GT3 is a longshot to win in a tough field.

    The Rolex 24's leading ladies will all be competing in GT Daytona: Christina Nielsen, daughter of Le Mans champion John Nielsen, will be in a Scuderia Corsa Ferrari. American Ashley Freiberg will drive one of the Turner BMW M6es in a car she'll also share with former DTM champion, Marco Wittmann. And Sabine Schmitz, famous for her television appearances, will also tackle Daytona in the Frikadelli Racing Porsche GT3-R.

    The race starts at 19:40 GMT (2:40 PM EDT / 20:40 CET / 6:40 AEDT) and we'll do our best to have a live stream coverage up around 21:00 GMT directly after our online series' broadcast has finished.

    Make sure to grab the Spotter Guide by Andy Blackmore Design and Live Timing, Scoring, and Audio Commentary is available at IMSA.com

    Who do you think will be the top performers in this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona? Discuss this and much more in the comments below!

    Image Credit: IMSA
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  2. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Germany's greatest Indycar Fan. Premium

    I'm so excited for this race you wouldn't even believe it. The GTLM battle is gonna be soooo tight.
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  3. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium

    I still don't get it, how cars that are many seconds faster per lap, are several seconds slower, just because it's raining?
  4. Otune

    SpeedyMite Racing Premium

    Tyres mainly. GTLM has an open tyre formula so Michelin are able to develop and improve their rain tyre. The rest of the field have spec Continental tyres, which just aren't as good. The GTD cars this year are full GT3 spec so have ABS and TC, so they're probably easier to drive than any of the prototypes in the rain.
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  5. Peevee88


    Because the prototypes are much lower and have aero dependent undertrays they are by far more prone to aqua planning than GT cars and hence the huge difference
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  6. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium

    Sad to see, nearly no one interested in this race? And Formula Null with massive activity?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  7. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Staff

    I'm going to answer with a completely different answer than those over @4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    The qualification is split in 4 parts. One class in each class. Which means there was quite different conditions for each of the classes. This is also the reason why there will be an LMP2 car leading the field and not a LMPC in the front, even though the LMPC car was the fastest Prototype :)
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  8. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium

    Thanks thanks thanks, I missed Q and wondered. Even imsa.com didn't make it very clear. Just saying per the rules a prototype will start first, not a GT. Over 24 hours it will not shake up the field that much anyway.
  9. Tobias Röhner

    Tobias Röhner
    Germany's greatest Indycar Fan. Premium

    We'll have a lot more activity once the chatbox goes up :)
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  10. Warren Schembri

    Warren Schembri

    Shame that this is not on Motors TV and what a very average and confusing website imsa.com
    Very hard to find the most basic of information
  11. Bram

    Administrator Staff Premium

    Very interested but with a league race starting in an hour it's busy busy :)
  12. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Staff

    Yup, they start "splitted", like we did in some earlier RDLMS seasons here, and like they do in VLN@The Ring. WIth the fastest cars ahead.
    Now, if a LMPC car should outqualify all LMP2 and DP cars, the LMPC car will start ahead. Unless it is decided that changing conditions was the deciding factor, which it was this time. That's why the LMP2/DP's will start first, with LMPC behind. Then the split and GT cars.
  13. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium

    You are excused, this time. And we are generating post here hehe
  14. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven

    Race starts in a few moments.
  15. Ford already with problems :D
  16. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven

    For weeks there is a full documentary on radiolemans.com about Ford and Chip Ganassi. Hard to see it having problems already. BUT it is a new car. It will do good at Le Mans.
  17. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium