There will be at least 47 cars entered for the 57th edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which will be run at the end of January.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has announced the entry list with 47 cars. At least 37 of those are planning a full season entry, and not just the Daytona race.
That is a loss of three cars compared to the 2018, but even with 47 cars on track, it’s one car for each 121 meters – if they all kept the same distance, all the way around the track!
The big change for the 2019 race is the split between prototypes and GT cars. Eleven DPi cars and just four LMP2 cars are entered the race, while a massive 23 GTD cars will take the start.
In the 2018 edition, we had half of the 20 Prototypes being LMP2 cars, but after IMSA changed the rules, so the DPi’s will be the fastest by being less restricted on horsepower, we will no longer see the LMP2 cars fighting for overall victory. LMP2 is now a Pro-Am category, where they only can race for class victory and not outright victory.
There are no driver names on the list yet, so nothing more has been revealed, other than what the teams have announced themselves.
The DPi category will have the defending champions Whelen Engineering Cadillac, plus their Action Express teammates in the Mustang Sampling car. Dertil Acura Team Penske with two cars, two Mazda Team Joest, two JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac cars, and a single Cadillac for Juncos Racing and Konica Minolta Wayne Taylor Racing respectively. CORE autosport has a single Nissan DPi entered, which they bought off the ESM team, which unfortunately has shut down. So we still have 4 different DPi chassis’s in the category with Cadillac (based on Dallara), Acura (ORECA), Mazda (Riley-Multimatic) and Nissan (Ligier).
The LMP2 category will be a ORECA-only class for now. PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports will bring one car, as we wrote about the other day, while Performance Tech Motorsports haven’t announced their driver line-up just yet. DragonSpeed will bring both their LMP2 cars, and will probably bring the two FIA WEC driver line-ups, but we still need final confirmation on that from the team.
The GTLM category will once again be a fight between BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche, where we can expect battles until the very final lap. We often see the GTLM cars in one long row, with almost no gap between the cars.
GTD will be a real dog fight. Acura, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche will all enter at least one car. There are 5 times Lambo, 4 Audi and Porsche cars, double up on Acura, Ferrari Lexus, and Mercedes, plus a single BMW.
The 24 hours race at Daytona will be run on 26-27 January, but the testing already starts on 4-6 January, at the ROAR Before the 24 test.