Photo: IMSA

All you need to know ahead of the 2024 Daytona 24 Hours

It’s Rolex 24 week so here is a catch-up before practice for the event starts this evening for the first of the triple crown of endurance races this year.

GTP Top three:

The Whalen Racing #31 Cadillac sat top of the times with a 1m:32.656s, which broke the lap record set by Oliver Jarvis in 2019 by a massive +1.029s.

This result for the Whelen Racing team is an improvement of 5 positions from their debut effort with the car last season so Pipo Derani has put them in a very good spot for the start of the race on Saturday afternoon.

Sebastian Bourdais is next in the Cadillac racing #31 with a time of 1m: 32.727s, which was only +0.071s off of the pole time for the former four-time Champ car champion.

The French man will be looking for his first overall win at this event since 2014 when he won the race with Action Express Racing in the Corvette Daytona Prototype.

Then ex-Sauber Formula 1 driver Felipe Nasr was the last to submit a time under one minute 32’s with a 1m:32.876s in the #7 Porsche.

This a decent result for the team as they find themselves only one place down from where they qualified last year.


Ones to watch:

Jenson Button is known for his brilliant driving and being maybe one of the most underrated Formula Champions, with his Championship in 2009, with Brawn GP.

The Brit can  do it in GTs as well with a Super GT GT500 Championship in 2018, and a third-place finish in Shanghai driving for SMP Racing in the WEC in the 18-19 season.

The whole #58 Proton Competition team are ones to watch as between them they have 7 victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans with names like Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, and Gianmaria Bruni in the team.

Louis Deletraz will drive the #40 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti, with the man from Switzerland being very quick in prototypes with championships in the ELMS, WEC and Asian Le Man series in the LMP2 category with two-second place finishes at Le Mans.


Lmp2 top three: 

United Autosport #2 took the pole position in LMP2 with Ben Keating taking his fifth pole in his last five attempts in the LMP2 class with a 1m:38.501s.

A bit of fun trivia about them at this event, both Zak brown and Martin Brundle drove for United and finished fourth in the race in the Daytona prototype class in 2011.

Inter Eur0pol by PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports can’t be too unhappy with their four-in-a-row pole streak ending as they line up in second position this year still with a great chance and only +0.102s from the fastest time of Keating.

The #4 Crowd Strike by APR will also be happy with third and will be hoping to try and repair the wounds from last year as they lost the race on the line by 0.016s after 24 hours.


Ones to watch:

Felipe Massa is a big name in fourth for Riley motorsport #74 Oreca, in recent years he’s been racing in Stock Car Pro Series in Brazil where he took 5 podiums showing he still has pace.

Multi-talented Scott McLaughlin will be taking part in the LMP2 class with Tower Motorsports, he finished third in IndyCar this year and is a three-time Aussie Supercar champion.

Kyffin Simpson at the age of 19 is already an ELMS champion, and with his move to Chip Ganassi for this year’s IndyCar season he is surfing a wave of momentum. He’s starting ninth in the Dragon Speed #81 Oreca.


GTD top three: 

AO Racing and Sebastian Prialux took their first pole position in IMSA in the #77 Porscher, and what a way to do it at the Rolex 24 hours at Daytona with a time of 1m:44.382s.

In a bit of trivia, Priaulx is the Ginnetta Junior Winter Series Champion of 2016.

Next in the class is Jack Hawksworth for the first of the Vasser Sullivan Lexus’s in the #14 as the former Indycar podium finisher ended up 0.080s off the pole.

Then was the other Vasser Sullivan #12 car of Parker Thompson who was third overall and pole in his class and this should give the team some strategic freedom with both cars so close.


Ones to watch:

Reigning 24 Hours of Le Man’s winners Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado will be taking part in this category with Risi Competizione in the #62 Ferrari so they’ll be a strong pairing as they both have the best result of two second places in 2022 and 2019.

Romain Grosjean is also a driver to look out for as he is a two-time GP2 Asia champion, the Ex-F1 star has a best result of 4th and will once again be with Lamborghini Iron Lynx in the #60.

Plus, you have IndyCar talent like Devlin DeFrancesco, Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe,  and Kyle Kirkwood.



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