The green flag has just dropped on the unofficial official start of every new year’s racing season, the legendary Rolex 24-hours at Daytona, the top multi-class sports car event in the USA. This year’s race features new IMSA entries from Penske running Acura power and featuring his veteran Indycar driver, Hello Castroneves, who retired from the open wheel series at the end of the 2017 season. Joining Castroneves at Acura Team Penke is series champ Ricky Taylor, who left his father’s team and his brother, Jordan, after their 2017 title campaign for the chance to drive for the Captain. Should be interesting to see Wayne Taylor’s Cadillac going to to toe with his talented son in the Acura and Penske’s second team car for this race features 2016’s Indycar Champ Simon Pagenaud and legendary hot shoe Juan Pablo Montoya. So it looks like Penske has come to Daytona Beach with the clear intent to take home the trophy and the watches one way or another.
Also spicing up this year’s contest is 2-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, who is competing in the top Prototype category for Untied Autosports. Alonso is also scheduled to run the Le Mans 24-Hours this summer so despite the massively different circuits the Spaniard should still gain valuable endurance experience on the high banks of Daytona during his several stints over the 24-hours. Frankly, the grid is stacked with great professional racing stars from many different disciplines even if they’re not all household names and the action at this deceptively complex road course is always hot and heavy and well worth checking out.
Here’s the complete broadcast schedule for watching this great race across the Fox networks for the next 24-hours:
Saturday January 27
Fox: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Green Flag will drop at 2:40 PM ET)
FS2: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
FSGO: 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
FS1: 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM (Sunday)
Sunday January 28
FSGO: 1:00 AM – 8:00 AM
FS1: 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
FSGO: 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM
FS1: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Enjoy the unpredictable multi-class action and let the 2018 racing season begin!
The unofficial start of the new racing season gets going today down in Florida — The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. This classic endurance race kicks off at 3pm Eastern here in the States and will feature an unprecedented 23 hours of broadcast coverage, with every last second also available for streaming via IMSA.com. The Weathertech series has been very much revamped for 2017 with a completely redesigned top prototype class, including the debut participation of GM’s Cadillac marque. One of the Caddys already took pole for Action Express in the hands of veteran Joao Barbosa and another is entered by longtime American endurance team Wayne Taylor Racing. The later car will feature not only the Taylor brothers, Ricky & Jordan, and their mentor, Max “the Axe” Angelelli, but also recently retired 4-time Nascar champion Jeff Gordon in then cockpit at some point. There’ll be plenty of other domestic and international all-stars from the racing world and Ford is already looking to add to the magic of their stunning 2016 Le Mans win with an impressive pole in their beautiful GT car. Whether you tune in for an hour or pull an all-nighter for all the action, you owe it to yourself to catch at least some of the action of this American enduro classic. And with rain predicted for the wee hours down at Daytona, some of the best action in the race could well come between dusk and dawn so be sure to get that DVR programmed if you must doze off.
Complete TV schedule for the 2017 24 Hours at Daytona:
The unofficial start of the 2016 racing season is upon us with the great endurance race, The Rolex 24-Hours at Daytona, beginning today at 2pm. The complete broadcast and streaming schedule is below.
2:00 – 4:00 PM ET:
4:00 – 10:00 PM ET:
10:00 PM – 7:00 AM ET (Overnight Stream):
7:00 – 10:30 AM ET:
10:30 AM – 1:00 PM ET:
1:00 – 3:30 PM ET (Finale):
This year’s race features the highly anticipated return of a new, badass Ford GT to full competition racing some 50 years after the original prototype car wrested the crown of endurance champion from fearsome Ferrari at Le Mans with a 1-2-3 finish. This new version will be racing in the elite production car category of GT Le Mans under the stewardship of Chip Ganassi & Co. Ganassi has predictably chosen a veteran driver lineup for his two Ford GTs that features the versatile Joey Hand, Indycar veteran Ryan Briscoe, Rolex/Tudor/Weathertech series prototype ace Richard Westbrook and sports car specialist Dirk Müller. Notably absent is the legendary, long time Ganassi pilot Scott Pruett, who has gone off to join Lexus for his swan song. I wouldn’t expect too much from the great looking Ford right out of the shoot going up against a veritable fleet of extremely seasoned GTLM Ferraris, Porsches, BMWs and their Detroit neighbors, the archival Chevy Corvettes, especially in a grueling 24-hour contest. But as the IMSA-backed and newly sponsored Weathertech Sports Car Championship season wears on, the car and the program should come into its own if Ganassi’s and these talented drivers’ track records of success are any indication of future performance.
Either way, today’s race will feature some terrific day-into-night-into-day action that only a true 24-hour, multi-class motorsport spectacle can provide. And as a harbinger for the end of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and a big, juicy appetizer for all the racing to come in 2016, it’s pretty hard to beat.
It’s finally that time of year when we begin to shake off the winter doldrums and high performance engines roar to life once again. Today sees the start of the legendary 24-hour sports car marathon at Daytona International Speedway that serves as the unofficial start to the new year’s motorsport seasons in the Western world. This year’s Rolex 24 is the second that will be run under the banner of the Tudor United Sports Car Championship, which last year merged the two predominant US sports car series, American Le Mans and Rolex Grand-Am, into one competitive body. It features four distinct classes of race car in order of power and performance: Prototype (P); Prototype Challenge (PC); GT Le Mans (GTLM); and GT Daytona (GTD).
It should be interesting to see if the balance of performance within the top Prototype class has been evened out after the old Grand Am coupes, technically “Daytona Prototypes”, essentially blew away the Le Mans-style “P2” chassis last season. But as the LeMans-style prototypes began shifting to enclosed cockpit bodies as the year wore on they gained competitiveness and in fact it was the Honda-powered Ligier P2 of Ozz Negri driving for Mike Shank racing that claimed pole for today’s race ahead of the big Daytona Prototypes. So perhaps that bodes well for overall competitiveness on this demanding hybrid road/banked oval course and the series as a whole going forward. One thing’s for certain: whoever wins tomorrow afternoon after 24-hours of grueling, flat out racing in a crowded, multi-class field will have earned a place in motorsport history. They will also have earned our gratitude for at last kicking off the 2015 racing season in earnest. Wishing everyone a safe race and may the best car and driver team win!
And here is the broadcast and streaming schedule — with a little work and a lot of coffee you can watch the every minute of the Rolex 24-Hours of Daytona from the drop of the Green to the Checkered flag:
Saturday, Jan. 24 (All Times ET)
– 2-4 p.m. (FOX Network)
– 4-8 p.m. (FOX Sports 2)
– 8-10 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
Overnight (Jan. 24-25)
– 10 p.m. – 7 a.m. (IMSA TV on IMSA.com – live video streaming and commentary)