The Rolex 24 at Daytona is indeed stacked with hotshots — Kevin Magnussen recently out of Formula One, ruling IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and Chase Elliott, two months eliminated from his first NASCAR title — all piece of a strong field of 50 sections only a year stopped from a record-low vehicle tally.
Indeed, even in a pandemic, the Rolex 24 is the spot to be for racers.
The renowned global games vehicle race started in 1962 as the three-hour Daytona Continental before Bill France Sr. extended it four years after the fact into a twice-nonstop perseverance occasion. France needed the top street racers on the planet at his Florida office and made the stage for them to come.
“He had the vision of best drivers, best vehicles, best groups, and this year specifically truly sparkles,” said John Doonan, leader of IMSA, the games vehicle arrangement claimed by the France family. “This occasion is where drivers can contend with the most amazing aspect the best. It’s the best assembling of champions around the planet from each order under the sun.”
Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion who made a beeline for IndyCar this year as a new kid on the block, will be in the driver’s seat of an Action Express Cadillac the race starts Saturday. It will be Johnson’s eighth Rolex, first in 10 years, and he’s essential for a top pick setup looking for history.
The No. 48 — running in an organization with Hendrick Motorsports of NASCAR — incorporates Indianapolis 500 victor Simon Pagenaud, previous Rolex and Le Mans champ Mike Rockenfeller, and Kamui Kobayashi, who is attempting to turn into the principal driver to win three straight Rolex watches in race history.
Kobayashi should fight with Renger van der Zande, his partner, on the triumphant Wayne Taylor Racing passage the last two seasons. WTR split by moving from Cadillac to an Acura production line program this season, and Kobayashi and van der Zande headed out in a different direction.
Both re-visitation of Daytona in Cadillacs, van der Zande as the full-time driver close by Magnussen in Chip Ganassi Racing’s re-visitation of the IMSA arrangement following a one-year rest.
However, WTR is as yet stacked with an arrangement including ruling IMSA champions Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves, just as Indy 500 victor Alexander Rossi. Michael Shank Racing fields the second Acura passage with double cross Indy 500 victor Juan Pablo Montoya, AJ Allmendinger, and 2019 IMSA champion Dane Cameron.
Elliott makes his introduction in the Action Express passage that begins from the post-Saturday. His Cadillac group incorporates full-time IMSA drivers Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, just as veteran Mike Conway and the threesome have shown restraint in showing Elliott sports vehicles.
Elliott has won four back-to-back NASCAR street course races throughout the last two seasons. However, they demanded it gives him no influence at the Rolex.
“It’s simply another ball game, something new and unique, and I comprehend the difficulties are incredible, and there’s a ton for me to learn,” Elliott said. “At the point when you appear at another person’s jungle gym, it will be intense — probably the best street course racers on the planet are here.”
The top DPi class has seven sections — four Cadillacs, two Acuras, and a Mazda — among the field of 50 vehicles. A year ago’s race was a Rolex-low 38 passages. Of note:
— Katherine Legge will seek the first run-through since breaking both her legs in an accident the previous summer. She said she’s 99% recuperated following a half year of recovery and is joined for the third back to back year with Christina Nielsen. They are essential for a Porsche 911 GT3R arrangement in the stacked 20-vehicle GT Daytona class.
— Zach Veach makes his games vehicle debut after seven seasons dashing Indy vehicles. He lost his seat at Andretti Autosport toward the end of last year and has made the vocation move to IMSA, where he’s handled a full-time ride with Vasser-Sullivan Racing. Veach will run for the GTD title in a Lexus RC F GT3 with solid rivalry from a second VasserSullivan passage guided by Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Tellitz.
— Wayne Taylor Racing is the double-cross guarding race-winning group and has three generally triumphs in the last four Rolex races. The group will conform to its new Acura DPi with Ricky Taylor, Cameron, and Rossi, who all drove the vehicle the previous three seasons for Team Penske.
— Magnussen has hit a reset on his vocation after seven winless seasons in F1. He lost his seat with Haas toward the finish of last season and changed to sports vehicles. Magnussen and van der Zande are the full-time drivers for Ganassi, who has eight Rolex triumphs — six in general successes and two class wins.