We’re not even a week into the new year and the tracks are already roaring into life again. The Daytona ROAR session is kicking the IMSA Season into gear!
Daytona Roar session about to start
The Daytona 24 Roar sessions have traditionally marked the start of the IMSA season with teams rolling out their new metal (or carbon fibre) and putting it through its paces on the tough Daytona track, in preparation for the first gruelling 24-hour race of the year.
Most of the media’s attention was focused on the all-star line-up at Wayne Taylor Racing this year, with a field that includes a Cadillac Dpi driven by none other than Toyota LMP1 aces Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi. They will team up with Renger van der Zande and Jordan Taylor, with their sights set firmly on the top step.
The other big headlines came from GTLM, where legendary race driver and Olympic champion Alex Zandardi took to the wheel once again and raced for BMW in the top GT class, demonstrating the ultimate in mental resilience and physical strength to work around his handicap.
Over the weekend it was mostly the Mazda’s that set the pace, with Oliver Jarvis setting a new lap record, breaking the previous record which had stood since 1993. After narrowly missing out on victory last year, the Joest squad will be making another bid for the victory lane this year.
There was a surprising change at Core Autosport too. The team that fielded an Oreca 07 LMP2-car in 2018 made a last-minute switch to a Nissan Dpi for the upcoming season. They went into ROAR with no previous experience with the car. However, they did have a few Ex-ESM Motorsport members who ran the car in 2018. Progress came quickly as the Nissan topped the standings in the final session.
The 24 hours is a long and demanding race, so the Roar sessions never really tell us much about who might win, but it does tell us that the 2019 IMSA season will be another thriller. We can’t wait to see how the season pans out and who will take the crown at the Motul Petit Le Mans.