The 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona placed on very shut racing for a document crowd

Porsche and Cadillac GTP race cars at Daytona

Enlarge / The present crop of GTP hybrid prototypes look fantastic, due to guidelines that cap the quantity of downforce they will generate in favor of extra dramatic styling. (credit score: Porsche Motorsport)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Close to-summer temperatures greeted a document crowd on the Daytona Worldwide Speedway in Florida final weekend. On the finish of every January, the observe hosts the Rolex 24, an around-the-clock endurance race that is now as high-profile because it has ever been throughout the occasion’s 62-year historical past.

Between the packed crowd and the 59-car grid, there’s proof that sports activities automobile racing is in fine condition. A few of that could be attributable to Drive to Survive‘s rising tide lifting a bunch of non-F1 boats, however there’s extra to the story than only a resurgent curiosity in motorsport. The dramatic-looking GTP prototypes have loads to do with it—highly effective hybrid racing automobiles from Acura, BMW, Cadillac, and Porsche are bringing within the followers and, in some circumstances, some fairly well-known drivers with F1 or IndyCar wins on their resumes.

However IMSA and the Rolex 24 is about extra than simply the highest class of automobiles; along with the GTP hybrids, the sector additionally comprised the very aggressive pro-am LMP2 prototype class and a pair of courses (one for skilled groups, one other for pro-ams) for production-based machines constructed to a world algorithm, referred to as GT3. (To be barely complicated, in IMSA, these courses are often called GTD-Professional and GTD. Extra on sports activities automobile racing being needlessly complicated later.)

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