Roar Before the Rolex 24 recap: Taylor leads; times close; vibe improves


This weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test had the usual “first day of school” feeling in the air as everyone in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship came back from the offseason. And thus far, there don’t appear to be any obvious “teacher’s pets” candidates.

On-track, times were realistically close in all four classes. Jordan Taylor, in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP, ended fastest overall with a best time of 1:39.181 set in Saturday morning’s third of eight sessions during the weekend.

But other than the two rain-affected sessions on Sunday, the best time was anywhere from a 1:39.181 to a 1:39.953 in Prototypes. The same was true in GT Le Mans, where consistency reigned and the best times were pretty much either in the 1:44.3 or 1:44.4 bracket, and any of three different manufacturers led sessions.

The Pro-Am classes saw CORE autosport (Prototype Challenge) and Porsche 911 GT Americas (GT Daytona) dominate. CORE led three sessions with Colin Braun; Porsches topped five of the eight sessions. However it was Marc Goossens, in the returning Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R, that set the best time of the week in GTD at a 1:46.948 – go figure.

General paddock consensus was that no team really showed its true hand, with most teams opting to play things close to the vest in case of any potential Adjustment of Performance updates that could be issued before the Rolex 24.

On times from this test anyway, the gaps were so tight both in the P classes (P2, DP and DeltaWing all were within a half second at times) and GTLM (any of Aston Martin, Porsche and BMW look promising at the moment) that any hardline AoP changes could seem an overreaction.

The scariest moment of the weekend occurred during the end of the aforementioned Saturday morning session, when Byron DeFoor had an apparent right rear tire pressure issue (initially indicated as a tie rod or suspension issue) that pitched him airborne into a somersault, before landing upside down.

Fortunately, DeFoor was evaluated and released from the infield care center after the accident. He is part of the lineup in the No. 50 Highway to Help Riley-BMW, a car which won’t contend for any overall honors but will seek to raise money for charity during the race itself.

Both the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda and No. 0 DeltaWing DWC13 coupe showed impressive pace. although the DeltaWing’s test was cut short when Memo Rojas crashed from the Kink into Turn 5. He lost the aero on his car with underwing damage sustained from driving through the DeFoor accident affecting the handling.

PC saw more teams suffer through either incidents on track or driver changes off of it. The GT classes were less eventful overall, with notable stories here the GTLM AF Corse car suffering an accident in the third session and the GTD Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 arriving late, then running Sunday with BMW ace Markus Palttala behind the wheel and setting the fastest class time in the final session.

A high number of drivers made the rounds through the paddock – a heavy IndyCar contingent among them –  in hopes of securing a seemingly elusive Rolex 24 drive. Essentially the drivers were all like the disciples out in the desert, all wandering with nothing but talent, helmet and firesuits in hand but only able to taste the water – a ride in this case – if they brought suitcases full of dollars instead.

Despite the high volume of drivers seeking an opportunity, there did seem a sense this was a happier paddock than when the championship last convened on the whole at Petit Le Mans last October.

The IMSA brass really seemed to have worked hard over this offseason – the organization’s first true offseason working together rather than merging two entirely different series and philosophies as they were last year – and the usual kvetching that seemed to emanate from all corners last year quieted down a bit.

Sure, there’s going to be plenty of questions heading into this year’s Rolex 24. But if more of them center on who’s going to win rather than who’s best keeping up with the regulations, than that will be a victory in and of itself for the series.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”