Rolex 24 Prep Begins at Roar Before the 24

Preparations begin today for next week’s 60th Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at the Roar Before the 24, a practice and qualifying weekend before next Saturday’s 24 hour race. The biggest field since 2014, 61 cars have entered the event. Nine Indycar drivers, most in the top DPi category, will take part.

Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Marcus Ericsson will drive for Ganassi. Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves will also drive for their Indycar team, Meyer Shank. Jimmie Johnson will drive for the Ally team, and Alexander Rossi returns to Wayne Taylor Racing.

Pato O’Ward runs in the LMP2 class, and Kyle Kirkwood will drive a Lexus for Vasser Sullivan in GTD Pro.

This preliminary weekend began as a practice weekend in early January. It has turned into an event. A few years ago, qualifying for for garage spots was added to the program. This year the qualifying is for Sunday’s 100 minute race to set the starting lineup for the 24 hours.

The weekend will also see the return of Robert Wickens to a competitive driving situation. Wickens was paralyzed in a 2018 accident at Pocono. His road to recovery, which he has sharded through social media, continues to be inspiring. Wickens will drive the number 33 Hyundai Elantra in the TCR class in the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series for Bryan Herta Autosport. Their first practice is at 9:45 EST today.

Nice to see Robert Wickens in a driving suit again. Teammate Mark Wilkins on the left.

The weekend IMSA Weather Tech schedule:

Sunday’s qualifying race will be streamed on Peacock. Check back for updates throughout the weekend.