Daytona Rolex 24 Roar
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Roar test sessions for Rolex 24 at Daytona moving to new date in 2021

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The Roar before the Rolex test session will have a new spot on the calendar next year, leading directly into the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona that will be held Jan. 30-31, 2021 at Daytona International Speedway, according to a track release Friday.

In a change to the schedule, the Roar Before the Rolex 24 preseason test sessions will be held the week before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 22-24, 2021 (the Roar normally takes place three weeks earlier than the race).

After the test, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams will remain at the track in the days leading into the race, taking part in “fan-focused events” around the 59th annual 24-hour endurance race at Daytona International Speedway that opens the season opener to the sports car circuit.

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Prior to the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the BMW Endurance Challenge will open the Michelin Pilot Challenge season Jan. 29.

Here’s the Rolex 24 Roar scheduling release from Daytona International Speedway:

The 59th running of the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, North America’s most prestigious sports car race, will be held on Jan. 30-31, 2021 at Daytona International Speedway to open the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

In addition, the annual “Roar Before the Rolex 24” preseason test sessions shifts to a new date in 2021 – Jan. 22-24 (Friday-Sunday). Following the popular Roar schedule, IMSA teams are set to remain at the track through the Rolex 24 Weekend. They are scheduled to participate in fan-focused events celebrating the start of the IMSA season at ONE DAYTONA, the lifestyle and entertainment destination located directly across International Speedway Blvd. from Daytona International Speedway.

The Rolex 24 was first held as a three-hour event in 1962, then known as the Daytona Continental. It has become renowned for annually attracting many of the world’s finest race car drivers – from various racing disciplines – to make history against the world’s best sports car racers. Historically, drivers from NASCAR, INDYCAR and Formula 1 have joined teams for “one-off” efforts. Past Rolex 24 At DAYTONA champions include four-time NASCAR Cup Series and three-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jeff Gordon, five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon and two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso. Dixon co-drove to his third Rolex 24 title this past January.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship currently features competition in four classes: the headlining Daytona Prototype international class (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD). On Friday, Jan. 29 – prior to the Saturday-Sunday, twice-around-the-clock Rolex 24 – the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season will begin with the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge. The full listing of racing action includes:

  • Jan. 22-24: Roar Before the Rolex 24
  • Jan. 29: BMW Endurance Challenge
  • Jan. 30-31: Rolex 24 At DAYTONA

Tickets for the 2021 Rolex 24 Weekend will go on sale Tuesday, September 8 at 9 a.m., while guests from 2020 will receive their renewal information in early August. Any guest with a multi-day ticket to the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA will have access to the Roar preseason test sessions. The Roar weekend will play host to Scout Days again in 2021.

Sergio Perez still has coronavirus; will miss second consecutive F1 race

F1 Sergio Perez out
Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images
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SILVERSTONE, England — Sergio Perez will be out for a second F1 race at Silverstone this week after again testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Mexican driver had hoped to return to Formula One after spending seven days in quarantine, but his Racing Point team said this morning he had tested positive.

“He is physically well and recovering,” the team said. “The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.”

That means German veteran Nico Hulkenberg again fills in for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after having also replaced Sergio Perez when he was out for the F1 British Grand Prix at the same venue last week. Hulkenberg did not start that race because of an engine problem.

There are two consecutive weekends of racing at Silverstone as Formula One tries to pack in races following the pandemic-delayed start to the season.

Perez became the first Formula One driver to test positive for coronavirus, and it had been unclear whether he would be available to drive after the period of quarantine was extended to 10 days.

Racing Point also was in the news Friday after being hit with a 15-point penalty in the Formula One constructors’ championship and fined 400,000 euros ($470,000) Friday for using brake ducts based on those from last year’s Mercedes cars.

The stewards ruled that Mercedes was the “principal designer” of the parts, and that Racing Point made only minor changes to computer design data it received from Mercedes.

Rival team Renault filed protests about the legality of the brake ducts, which were added to the “listed parts” under F1 rules for 2020. That means teams must design their own. Racing Point argued it was merely using information about the Mercedes parts to inform its own design.

Racing Point uses customer engines from Mercedes and has admitted basing its 2020 car design on photographs of last year’s Mercedes car. The similarities led to the Racing Point being nicknamed the “pink Mercedes” when it was first seen in testing ahead of the season.

Racing Point can appeal the ruling. The points deduction drops the team from fifth to sixth in the standings, below Renault. The ruling doesn’t affect the points totals for Racing Point’s drivers.