The 2018 IMSA Roar Before The Rolex 24 stands to be an action packed racing weekend with new additions designed to make this event more important than ever. It takes place on January 5-7 at Daytona International Speedway and will be kicking off what is sure to be one of the most exciting racing seasons ever.
The Roar will offer Weathertech Sportscar Championship series cars a chance to test, practice, and qualify for the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25-28. Unlike prior years, premium pit boxes and garage stalls will be determined by special 15-minute qualifying sessions on Sunday. The fastest qualifying Prototype, GTD car, and GTLM car will receive the first, second, and third pit boxes on pit lane, respectively, and they will also be assigned to the first garage in their respective sections. The process will repeat with the second fastest Prototype, GTD and GTLM cars receiving their pit assignments and continuing until all cars have qualified.
However, the Roar doesn’t just include qualifying runs for the Rolex 24 – there’s also a race to be had. The Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda, which features both closed-cockpit LMP3 class and open-cockpit MPC class cars, is shifting from using a sprint-race format to a single 1 hour and 45 minute endurance race for the entire season. In addition, teams will also now have the option of using single or two-driver lineups, with a minimum 40 minute drive time. Both the qualifying and the season-opening race itself will be held on Saturday. As usual, LMP3 and MPC class winners and podium finishers each will be recognized individually.
After the opener at the Roar, Race #2 of the IMSA Prototype Challenge will move to Sebring International Raceway on March 14-16. Sebring has served as the season opener for the series for the past several years.
Finally, the Continental Tire Challenge cars will all be present during the Roar and making test and practice runs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The first race of the season, the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, is scheduled for January 26th.
It’s going to be an electrifying fantasy season with YouRulz and I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Roar!