Once again I made the trip to Daytona Florida to watch the Koni Challenge Race
and Rolex 24. This year rain was a definite possibility. Some cars even started
the 24hr race with rain tires only to pull into the pit before the green flag to
switch back to slicks. My first year at the 24hr we could find a parking spot most
anywhere in the infield. Last year they closed the infield by late afternoon. This
year we didn't even try walked everywhere. Unlike previous years it was cold in
Florida. Due to my rough schedule earlier in the week I was willing to return to
the Hotel. Needless to say we missed a good 10 hours of the nighttime racing.
Just to answer a few questions about the 24 hour race. Yes, it is run for a full 24 hours. No, not the same driver. This year I believe the rules were that any one driver couldn't drive for more than 3 hours at a time and no more than 17 hours total. All teams had at least 3 drivers and many had 5. They even run in the rain but when the track is wet they switch to rain tires that have softer rubber and tread. Those familiar with the NASCAR races wonder if these cars just run the oval. No, they cut into the infield just past the pits and wind around a bit before returning to the oval just before Nascar turn 1.
There are two classes of cars running at the same time. The Daytona Prototypes can usually reach higher speeds than the touring cars. This year was the first time I noticed Porsche cars passing DP cars on the oval. Apparently there is a new aerodynamic package that limits their top speed. A driver can be racing another car in their class (yes there is even a woman driver in the race) planning how they are going to out brake the other driver when all of a sudden a different class car gets in the way throwing all plans out the window. Then in again, the good drivers plan well. They use the slower car as a pick.
Enjoy the pictures
GT class cars during the 24 hour at Daytona
DP class cars during the 24 hour at Daytona