2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona 101: What to know for IMSA’s opening race


A view of IMSA cars on pit road
Richard Dole
LAT Images

The 62nd running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona kicks off the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This year, 59 entries will take the 24-hour test of endurance all fighting for the overall win at Daytona International Speedway, as well as bragging rights within their own class. Here’s a glance at this year’s Rolex 24, including the race format, schedule, tune-in information and more.

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What: 62nd Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first race of the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season

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When: Race starts Saturday, Jan. 27, at 1:40 p.m. ET and ends Sunday, Jan. 28, at 1:40 p.m. ET

Where:
Daytona International Speedway, 3.56-mile combined tri-oval and road course

How to watch: The first and final hours of the Rolex 24 will be on NBC’s main network, with USA Network and the network’s streaming platforms carrying out the broadcast from Saturday night to Sunday morning. To watch the race in its entirety, with no channel changes, sign up for Peacock here. Information for international broadcasts can be found here and radio broadcast information can be found here. A full breakdown of the broadcast schedule is listed below.

Classes: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is divided into four classes, all competing on the track at the same time. Those four divisions include two prototype classes — Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) and Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) — and two sports-car classes — Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) and Grand Touring Daytona (GTD).

Preliminary events: The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, split into Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR) classes, will host the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona on Friday, Jan. 26 (1 p.m. ET, IMSA.tv). Two races for the Mazda MX-5 Cup are also slated — Thursday at 4:10 p.m. ET and Friday at 10:10 a.m. ET.

2023 winners: The Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian GTP Acura took overall honors with drivers Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud.

Last year’s other class winners:

LMP2: Proton Competition ORECA team with drivers James Allen, Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi
LMP3: AWA Duqueine team with drivers Nico Varrone, Thomas Merrill, Anthony Mantella and Wayne Boyd
GTD: Heart of Racing Aston Martin team with drivers Marco Sørensen, Ian James, Darren Turner and Roman De Angelis
GTD PRO: WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG team with drivers Jules Gounon, Marco Engel, Cooper MacNeil and Daniel Juncadella

SHOP: Buy Rolex 24 tickets | Gear up for the Rolex 24

Cars: A total of 12 manufacturers will participate in the series’ four classes. The number of automakers grows to 17 when adding the Michelin Pilot Challenge series. The full list: Acura, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lamborghini, Lexus, McLaren, Mazda, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche.

NASCAR involvement: There are a few NASCAR connections making appearances this weekend; most notably, Cup Series drivers Bubba Wallace and John Hunter Nemechek will team up with Xfinity Series driver Corey Heim to compete in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season opener. The three drivers will team up with Smooge Racing and co-pilot the No. 23 Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO in the BMW M Endurance Challenge on Friday, Jan 26.

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FULL BROADCAST SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern)

Thursday, Jan. 25
4:10-5 p.m.: Race 1 of 2 Mazda MX-5 Cup (IMSA.tv)

Friday, Jan. 26
10:10-11 a.m.: Race 2 of 2 Mazda MX-5 Cup (IMSA.tv)
1:40-5:45 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona (Peacock, IMSA.tv)

Saturday, Jan. 27
All 24 hours of Rolex 24 at Daytona (Peacock, IMSA.tv)
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Rolex 24 at Daytona (NBC, NBC Sports app)
2:30-8 p.m.: Rolex 24 at Daytona (USA, NBC Sports app)
10 p.m.-midnight: Rolex 24 at Daytona (USA, NBC Sports app)

Sunday, Jan. 28
All 24 hours of Rolex 24 at Daytona (Peacock, IMSA.tv)
6 a.m.-Noon: Rolex 24 at Daytona (USA, NBC Sports app)
Noon-2 p.m.: Rolex 24 at Daytona (NBC, NBC Sports app)

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