DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Following last month’s announcement of the 47-car entry list for this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona, more than 150 drivers were unveiled in an updated entry list today to participate in this weekend’s annual three-day test session for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“The Roar” as it’s become known over the past several years, serves as the kick off to the upcoming season. This year, it takes on added significance, as the IMSA 50th Anniversary Celebration that will take place throughout 2019 gets under way.
In addition, this weekend serves as the public unveiling for Michelin’s new relationship as the “Official Tire of IMSA.” All 47 WeatherTech Championship race cars will be riding on Michelin tires this weekend and throughout the 2019 season, in addition to 40 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge machines – 31 Grand Sport (GS) and nine Touring Car (TCR) – that also will participate in three days of testing.
The 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season opens with the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Jan. 25, the day before the green flag drops on the Rolex 24 At Daytona. On top of WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge testing, this weekend also features the first IMSA-sanctioned race of the season, with 19 IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 race cars – also riding on Michelin tires – ready for a three-hour race on the Daytona International Speedway high banks beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET Saturday.
Among the drivers on the WeatherTech Championship entry list this weekend are 18 with at least one series title under their belt since 2014. Ten of those drivers will participate in the flagship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class, which has been separated into its own class for 2019, with LMP2 becoming its own, Pro-Am class.
On-track testing for WeatherTech Championship machines at the Roar begins at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 5. The DPi, GTLM and LMP2 classes will have a total of seven practice sessions between Jan. 4 and Jan. 6, with five practice sessions set for the GTD class on Jan. 4-5.
As was the case for the first time in 2018, qualifying for garage allocations and pit lane assignments again will take place for all classes in 2019. The 15-minute GTD qualifying session starts Saturday, Jan. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET. GTLM qualifying runs from 11:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, followed by DPi and LMP2 qualifying from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. ET.
In addition to WeatherTech Championship testing, the Roar also includes six test sessions for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge throughout the three days of on-track activity. Also, the IMSA Prototype Challenge opens its 2019 season with a three-hour race beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 5. The race will be streamed live on IMSA.tv.
All three days of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona are open to the public, with free admission for 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona ticket holders. Tickets are available now at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.