F1WEEKLY PODCAST NUMBER 616 WITH CLARK AND NASIR’S 2012 F1 SEASON REVIEW PART TWO. ROLEX 24 HOURS AT DAYTONA PREPARES FOR THE ARRIVAL OF NASIR HAMEED AND HIS ENTOURAGE.
The 51st Rolex 24 at Daytona takes place this coming weekend, once again pitting top drivers and teams against one of the toughest challenges in endurance motor sport. The 24-hour race at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida is scheduled to start at 15:30 EST on Saturday, 26 January. When the green flag drops, 59 cars are expected to cross the start line.
Grid positions for the race will be determined on Thursday. Official race practice sessions take place in the morning and early afternoon, before qualifying begins at 15:40 for the Daytona Prototypes (DP) and at 16:10 for the GT and GX classes. A night practice session then gets underway at 18:00 just after sunset. The final practice opportunity is on Friday morning.
During the three days of testing at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 earlier this month, several markers were laid down. Defending champion in the DP class, Michael Shank Racing #60, set the fastest lap time of 1:42.918 (an average speed of 124.526 mph) on the first day of testing with one of the team’s 2012 winning drivers, Anthony ‘AJ’ Allmendinger, at the wheel. Then, on the third day, Michael Valiante , driving the team’s second car #6, set the fastest lap for the entire weekend with a time of 1:42.058 (125.576 mph).
The fastest overall times in the GT and GX classes were set on day two of testing. In the GT class, Patrick Long turned in a lap average of 118.045 mph in the Park Place Motorsports #73, while Shane Lewis in the Napleton Racing #16 was the fastest of the new GX class with a lap average of 110.324 mph.