Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Rolex 24 @ Daytona

Rolex 24 official clock

Racing season is here!  My favorite race of the year was last weekend, The Rolex 24 @ Daytona!  There were 57 cars in this years 24 hour long endurance race around the 3.56 mile Daytona International Speedway road course.  I took 568 pictures, 4 videos, and I even made an appearance on SPEED TV!  I'll get right to the pictures...

Tent Camping in the Geico Park West Lot outside turn 1 of the speedway. This was the first time Daytona International Speedway allowed tent camping outside the speedway. The cost was $20/car. I hope they continue to do this in the future. The weather was in the mid-70's in the day, and mid-50's at night. Perfect camping weather. It was an awesome experience.

(click to enlarge)

Rolex 24 GT car
 Part of the historic Brumos Racing display in the Sprint FanZone

 The garage on race day

 The #99 Gainsco/Stallings Corvette DP car (Red Dragon)

17 semi trailers full of racing tires were hauled in for the race!

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson's 50+ Racing Highway to Help DP

 Rum Bum Racing is based out of Orlando, FL

Rolex 24 @ Daytona
Magnus Racing #44 GT car & Magnus Racing Drivers

NASCAR's Clint Bowyer & Michael Waltrip

The Rolex 24 Chili Cookoff!

You try chili from all 14 teams for $5 & vote for your favorite

My favorite chili of the day. It had HUGE chunks of steak in it!

Everyone knows you can't have chili without beer. The beer garden was right across from the chili cookoff


Now that I'm full of chili & beer, let's go check out the cars on pit road...

Michael Waltrip's #56 Ferrari 458 Italia GT

I found these girls wondering around on pit road in their underwear, covered in body paint...

The #57 Stevenson Camaro GT... The last of the true American muscle cars left in the Rolex series.  I remember the first Rolex race I went to when I was 19 years old. The field was full of Mustangs & Camaros.

The first ever mother/son team to run in the Rolex 24.

I can't believe they let all these drunk rednecks get this close to their $500,000+ racecar!  ;)

Last years Rolex 24 @ Daytona winner Michael Shank Racing #60 DP car with a GoPro mounted to the spoiler.

 Looks like someone photo bombed SPEED TV Matt Yocum's interview with AJ Almendinger!
 "Hi Mom! I'm on TV!!"

Another one of my favorites, The #99 Red Dragon!

The #10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP


Now on to the start of the Rolex 24 @ Daytona!

Lap 1 from the International Horseshoe (turn 3)

International Horseshoe
Turn 3, also know as the International Horseshoe

24 hours, 24 beers in a case...

Moving on from the infield to the grandstands...

DP cars going into turn 6 & headed towards the 31 degree highbanks of Daytona International Speedway

The carnival all lit up in the infield as day turns to night

Taking a break to head back to the campsite for dinner...

Caution laps


Fireworks in the middle of a race... Sure, why not?

That's all for tonight, I went to bed around 12:30 am in order to get an early start in the morning.

When I woke up at sunrise the race was running under caution due to heavy fog.

The #5 Action Express & #02 Ganassi Racing Daytona Prototype cars

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The #10 Velocity WW chases the #60 Michael Shank Racing DP & the #59 Brumos Porsche GT pits

Damage to the #94 Turner Motorsports GT

Flat tire on the #19 Muehlner Porsche GT from DeLand, FL

Only 11 minutes left in the Rolex 24

Pit stops & the race off pit road

White flag is out...

Checkered flag falls for Juan Pablo Montoya in the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates DP. The BMW DP cars had an unfair advantage due to the restrictions put on the Ford & Chevy DP cars by Grand-Am after last season. Hopefully the playing field will be leveled out by the 2014 Rolex 24.

... More pictures to come soon. I will update this post as I go through all the pictures...

I had a great time again this year at the Rolex 24. I can't wait until next year when the American LeMans Series merges with the Rolex Grand-Am series.  The 2014 Rolex 24 @ Daytona will have a huge field of 4 or 5 different class cars. I'm looking forward to it!

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