The entry list for the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona was released Wednesday afternoon with 50 cars slated to practice and qualify next week at Daytona International Speedway. It’ll mark the largest field since 50 cars started the 2018 Rolex 24.
The annual preseason Roar Before the Rolex 24 will be held Jan 22-24, concluding with a 100-minute qualifying race for the season opener to the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule.
With the addition of a new LMP3 class (with seven new entries) and a rise in car counts for LMP2 (from five to 10) and GTD (18 to 20), there will be a dozen additional cars in the Jan. 30-31 race than at the 2020 Rolex 24 (which had a record-low 38 entries).
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There will be four practice sessions and a qualifying session Jan. 22-23 ahead of the Jan. 24 qualifier (4:30 p.m. streaming on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold), which will mark the first time in Rolex 24 history that the starting grid of the prestigious sports car event will be set by a warmup race.
Cup Series champion Chase Elliott (in his Rolex 24 debut), Jimmie Johnson, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon are among the major NASCAR and IndyCar stars who are entered in the event in the DPi division, which will feature seven cars.
Defending champion Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 will return with a new manufacturer (Acura) and full-time drivers (Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque). Meyer Shank Racing also is moving up to DPi with an Acura that will have AJ Allmendinger and Juan Pablo Montoya for Daytona.
Chip Ganassi Racing also returns to IMSA competition with a DPi Cadillac co-driven full time by Renger van der Zande and Formula 1 veteran Kevin Magnussen. Action Express will field two DPi entries with Elliott, Johnson and Pagenaud spread across its two Cadillacs.
Despite the departure of Porsche (which will focus on entering the new premier LMDh class in 2023), the GTLM class still will feature six cars with Corvette Racing, BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Risi Competizione (Ferrari) and WeatherTech Racing, which announced a full-time privateer Porsche entry last week.
Among the notable drivers in GTD will be IndyCar winner Colton Herta (staying in a BMW after running the GTLM class the past two years), Ryan Briscoe (who won the overall last year with Wayne Taylor Racing) in a No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari, former GTLM Porsche teammates and champions Earl Bamber (No. 88 Porsche) and Laurens Vanthoor (No. 9 Porsche).