The wait is over, sport car racing fans! The 2019 IMSA season is about to begin.
Forty-seven cars are scheduled to take start the race: 11 Daytona Prototype internationals and 4 LMP2 prototypes, along with 9 GT Le Mans and 23 GT Daytona Gran Touring cars.
The race will be carried in full by IMSA’s new broadcast partner, NBC.
The first three hours will be on cable TV, on NBCSN. The NBC Sports app takes over until 9 p.m., when the actions shifts back to NBCSN until 3 a.m. Sunday. The NBC Sports app picks up coverage again from 3 until 6 a.m., and NBCSN takes the race to its finish.
Qualifying will also be broadcast on NBCSN starting at 3 p.m. on Jan 25.
NBCSN will also air a 2019 season preview at 2 p.m. on Jan. 24.
As usual, all the action will also be available on IMSA.com.
Cars will be on track at Daytona’s 3.56-mile combination oval- and road course starting at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, with night practice ending at 8:30 p.m.
Check IMSA.com for the complete entry list and a detailed schedule of all the weekend’s activities.
Visit the Daytona International Speedway website for ticket information.
Michelin Pilot Series Debuts
Fans of door-banging GT action will be able to get their fill over the Rolex weekend.
The Michelin Pilot Challenge season opener, the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, starts at 12:15 p.m. on Jan. 25.
The BMW Endurance Challenge features a field of 35 Gran Sport and 14 Touring car entries. As was the case when the series was run on different tires under a different name, this event promises to offer the most intense four hours of action of the weekend.
This race will be broadcast live in IMSA.com and re-aired on Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. on NBCSN.
The Roar Before the 24
Every year, Rolex contenders come to Daytona early in January to test their latest equipment and give new drivers a chance to learn how the cars behave on Daytona’s banking.
This year the Roar ran from Friday, Jan. 4, to Sunday, January 6.
Veteran motorsports photographer Bill Kent attended the event to get the first shots of the latest cars. A few samples of his work are below.