Putting into perspective all of the PR that IMSA has gotten from the two F1 stars (one influencing the media more than the other) giving the Rolex 24 a go, it is worth breaking down some of the basics of endurance racing. This race is 24 Hours, with teams of three, four or even five driving in shifts for each car.
A Brief Guide On Watching The Rolex 24
There are three classes in the Rolex 24 race. In order from fastest to least fast, it is Prototype, GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona. A Prototype car is a car that does not look like something you would see on the street. The car’s aerodynamics are built specifically for racing. GT Le Mans (also known as GTLM) and GT Daytona (abbreviated to GTD) both have more street-like design. They are still designed for racing, but they look more natural and are closer to road cars. Manufacturers usually use the same model for racing as they do for consumers.
For example, the Ford GT is a GTLM car and a consumer car. Same goes for the Porsche 911 as another example. IMSA utilizes a pace car, alongside local yellows. Not every endurance series uses a pace car, with the 24H Series using their exclusive Code 60. Blue flags are also used in endurance racing, so that cars that are a lap down and significantly slower, can move out of the way of a leader.
So, as a fan you might be thinking, how can one watch all of this? Well, most people don’t watch the whole race live. They watch the starting hour or two, the final hour, then a week later they watch the whole race. But while the race is live, even if one is not watching, it is good to stay updated. While on the move, one can keep track of the IMSA Twitter, or listen live to Radio Le Mans, which does a fantastic job at keeping fans updated. If fans want to track specific cars while watching, have a live ticker from IMSA.com open on a phone or laptop, because the TV feed will not always be showing the car you want to see.
Most importantly, make sure you are having fun. Endurance racing can be exciting and amazing to watch, when you find your own unique way of enjoying it. Everyone enjoys racing differently, so once you figure everything out, you will be asking when the next 24H race is.
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