Photo courtesy: IMSA

What you need to know about Roar Before the Rolex 24, including entry lists, schedules

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The first racing action of the new year – not counting snowmobiles or dog teams in blizzard-laden areas – takes place Friday through Sunday with the IMSA Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

The three-day event is the kick-off for the sports car world’s season. Not only will there be plenty of practice sessions, there will also be a first-ever race as part of the Roar: the IMSA Prototype Challenge (Saturday, 1:25 p.m. ET to 3:10 p.m. ET).

A field of 20 Prototypes and 30 GTLM/GTD class cars are featured in what is a mandatory test session for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, which takes place Jan. 27-28.

There’s plenty to see over the next three days, including the debut of Team Penske’s IMSA sports car team, featuring Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal.

The weekend will feature a number of practice sessions, as well as qualifying Sunday for pit road spots and garage assignments for the Rolex 24.

And then there’s the IMSA Prototype Challenge, which will be a timed (one hour, 45 minutes) race on Saturday, starting at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Also taking part during the weekend is testing for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

Among other notable drivers that will be taking part in this weekend’s action are IndyCar drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastian Bourdais (who was part of last year’s GTLM-winning team), as well as Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Here’s the information you need:

ENTRY LISTS

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – Prototype (20 entries), GT Le Mans (9 entries), GT Daytona (21 entries)

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – Grand Sport (28 entries), Touring Car (7 entries), Street Tuner (5 entries)

IMSA Prototype Challenge – Le Mans Prototype 3 (14 entries) and Mazda Prototype Challenge (11 entries)

 

DAY-BY-DAY SCHEDULES

FRIDAY, JANUARY 5TH

9:00 am – 9:30 am

IMSA Prototype Challenge practice session #1

9:45 am – 10:45 am

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #1

11:00 am – 12:15 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #1

1:15 pm – 1:55 pm

IMSA Prototype Challenge practice session #2

2:10 pm – 3:10 pm

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #2

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #2

8:00 pm

Garages close

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 6TH

9:00 am – 9:20 am

IMSA Prototype Challenge qualifying

9:35 am – 10:35 am

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #3

10:50 am – 12:20 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #3

1:25 pm – 3:10 pm

IMSA Prototype Challenge At DAYTONA (1 hour 45 minutes)

3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #4

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #4

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #5

9:00 pm

Garages close

 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 7TH

9:00 am – 10:30 am

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #5

10:45 am – 11:15 am

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #6

11:25 am – 11:40 am

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session (GTD)

11:50 am – 12:05 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session (GTLM)

12:15 pm – 12:30 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session (P)

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge practice session #6

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice session #7

7:00 pm

Garages close

Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett killed in Pennsylvania race crash

Photo: World of Outlaws
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YORK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) — Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett died after a crash Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway.

The 49-year-old Hodnett, from Spring Grove, Pa., was the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 1993 and went on to win 20 World of Outlaws races. He won the opening night this year at the Knoxville Nationals.

“Greg represented the true gentleman competitor in the pit area,” World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter said.

A statement was posted on Hodnett’s racing website, saying: “Please keep (wife) Sherry, the entire Hodnett family, and the Heffner racing team in your thoughts and prayers.

“Greg was a professional in every sense of the word, and will be desperately missed!”

Several NASCAR drivers took to Twitter to express their condolences: