The 3.56-mile road course will kick off the 2018 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship season, and is widely regarded as the official start to the racing season in general. Seven current drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series will take part in this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
There are 25 drivers in the Rolex 24 that have started an IndyCar race, and 14 of those have actually won an IndyCar race. There are six drivers entered that have an IndyCar/Champ Car title to their name; Juan Montoya, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Sharp, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Simon Pagenaud.
The P Class is oozing with talent, led by the first effort for Team Penske, who will field two cars with Montoya and Simon Pagenaud in the No. 6 car, and Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal in the No. 7 Acura. Hunter-Reay will be in the No. 10 car for Wayne Taylor Racing, while his popular teammate last May, Fernando Alonso is driving the No. 23 car for United Autosports. Spencer Pigot returns in the No. 55 Mazda, and Mike Conway is back in the No. 31 Whelen car.
The GTLM Class is where the Chip Ganassi operation resides. Dixon and Ryan Briscoe will be in the No. 67 Ford GT, and Bourdais returns to the No. 66 car. Conor DePhillippi is in one of the new BMW M8’s for Bobby Rahal’s team.
As for the GTD Class, Michael Shank Racing will have Katherine Legge and AJ Allmendinger in the No. 86 Acura NSX, and Jack Hawksworth returns to 3GT Racing in the No. 15 Lexus. Townsend Bell is part of the Scuderia Corsa team, which is the No. 64 Ferrari 488 machine.
There are plenty of ways to watch the action this weekend. Coverage begins Saturday at 2 PM ET on FOX, with FS2 taking over from 5 until 10. The FOX Sports Go app will carry most of the racing overnight, with FS1 hosting a couple of hours as well. Sunday morning the race will live on FS2 until 10:30 ET, when FS1 will take us to the checkered flag.
An IndyCar driver has been part of the winning team in the Rolex 24 in five of the last seven years. Dixon, Bourdais, and Graham Rahal have all claimed the overall race win in previous years.
While it isn’t a certainty, it is possible to have a current IndyCar team win in every class this weekend at Daytona.