The car will compete head-to-head with Mazda and Nissan.
Rolex 24 At Daytona
The 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona only has a little under five hours left to run and we won't write anything in here to spoil it. We're just going to leave you with a gallery of 169 photos from the Saturday afternoon and overnight before we come back with a race recap. Enjoy!
Reigning Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay summarized our feelings on every year's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona when he said, "The 24 kind of kicks off the year and has become part of my calendar... It definitely helps you get in race shape after a long layoff." We tagged along this year with Audi for what should be a very good race.
This weekend a new era begins in American sports car racing with the Rolex 24 at Daytona to kick off the new United SportsCar Championship, the freshly inked union between the Grand Am and American Le Mans Series. There'll be a wide variety of machinery lining up on the grid at the Florida speedway, including race-ready versions of the sports cars you can drive on the road, plus Daytona Prototypes, Le Mans Prototypes and even the DeltaWing. But at the front of the pack will be the Audi R8 5.2 FS
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, formerly powered by Honda to two consecutive American Le Mans Series championships, is now officially powered by Nissan. The Japanese automaker's return to the top tier of US sports car racing comes with Nismo factory backing of the Muscle Milk entry in the newly created TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Those with long memories will recall that Nissan walked away from America's then top-flight sports car series, IMSA, more than 20 years ago, having won 33 races, t
Audi has announced driver lineups for its customer teams running the R8 LMS GTD in this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Rolex 24 is the first event for the inaugural season of the new United SportsCar Championship series, which merges the old Grand-Am Series with the American Le Mans Series. The new series kicks off January 25.
It's not the first time Ford has participated in the Daytona Prototype class as an engine supplier, but in revealing this new EcoBoost V6-powered Riley Technologies prototype for the new United SportsCar Championship, Ford is making a statement: "We want to show Ford EcoBoost's capabilities as an engine that provides both performance and fuel economy, on and off the track," says Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing.
It took 24 hours to run the race, but it was the last one was stuffed with the high action as four cars were still trying to figure out how to gain victory on the track and in the pits. Along with the obligatory crashes, spins, mechanical issues and retirements had come numerous penalties, a double-digit number of full-course yellows and two hours of fog that turned early Sunday morning into a stretch of parade laps.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona is still running, and we spent yesterday and a healthy portion of the evening absorbing the agitato thunder of the Daytona Prototypes, the mezzo-soprano howl of the GT cars, the RVs, the bonfires, the numerous full-course yellows, the back-course braking into the Bus Stop and, of course, the ferris wheel.
There has never been a four-door diesel sedan in the Grand-Am series, until now: The blunt, bewinged grille of the Mazda6 GX has blown right through that wall. It's said that racing improves the breed, but usually the breed has gone on sale when the racing begins. One of the unusual aspects of the Mazda6 GX, on the other hand, is that while the diesel won't go on sale to the public until later this year, it will already have tasted racing blood by the end of the day. That kind of reversal is mor
We came to Daytona Beach, Florida where you can drive on the beach, gun shops outnumber doughnut shops and you can putt-putt and fish for alligators at the same place. But we're not here for any of that – we've made the trip with Audi in order to experience the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first race in the 2013 Grand-Am season and the only 24-hour race in America.
Other than the announcement back in September that the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series were merging, there have been precious few details as to how the newly combined series would shake out. Today, both entities helped clear things up a bit by announcing some of the new classification changes that will go into effect for the 2014 Rolex 24, changes that are confirmed through the 2015 season.
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