Time to get this season started with the first major circuit-racing event of the season. We’ve had off-road events such as Dakar and the Monte-Carlo Rally. All fine and good, but my main interest is in fast cars on racetracks. We’ve had the Dubai 24 but that’s not an easy event to try and follow and to be honest I gave up after a while.
Daytona is different. Because this race takes place in January there are a lot of famous names involved who might not usually race in the Grand-Am Rolex Series:
Allan McNish, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Tracy, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, Giancarlo Fisichella, Ryan Briscoe .. the list goes on and on.
Add that to the quick teams and drivers who do race these cars regularly, like Scott Pruett, Darren Law and Max Angelelli and you’ve got a real competition on your hands.
Not to mention these guys: Brian Johnson of AC/DC is competing, as is the actor Patrick Dempsey. Neither are quick on a professional level but they can handle themselves very well at amateur/gentelman-driver level. Is that enough at this race? Probaby not, but let’s see. Johnson is actually racing in a car which only contains over-50s, but some of them are (or were) pros.
So how do you watch?
UK / Europe:
MotorsTV live on Sky/Virgin throughout, with Radio Show Ltd commentary (that’s Radio Le Mans).
Intermittant coverage on Eurosport or Eurosport 2, also on Sky/Virgin. It is programmed for E2 but if you know Eurosport you’ll know they like shuffling things around channels and not sticking to timetables – the perils of covering live sport. The great thing about them is the Eurosport Player which is absolutely flawless, and is also available as an iPad app at £2.99 for a month of viewing. I’ll watch using these services for as much as I can.
USA / Canada?:
SpeedTV for most of the race, and SpeedTV.com for the times when they don’t. It’s possible the SpeedTV.com feed will be available outside the US.
Audio coverage from Radio Show Ltd (the people behind Radio Le Mans) live throughout on their website.
The race starts at 8.30pm GMT / 3.30pm local time Florida.
Series Website: Grand-Am.com
Entry List: HERE
Live timing: HERE
Spotter guide: HERE
My Twitter feed: HERE (I hope to pass on relevant info from tweeting teams, drivers etc)
In addition to Twitter I *insist* you join me at one or other or both of the following places:
A group of us will be hanging out chatting about the race at Sidepodcast’s awesome live-commenting service – do join us! Keep it clean and friendly and you’ll encounter knowledgeable fans, and not-so knowledgeable fans who are enthusiastic and willing to learn.
Grab Bag Sports Blogathon
For something like the 5th year now the GBS Blogathon will run alongside the Rolex 24. A group of motorsport bloggers*, largely from the IndyCar community but also elsewhere, come together at the Grab Bag Sports blog to write posts over the course of the race. They don’t have to be about the 24. They don’t even have to be about racing. Any sport is on the table if it happens between race start and end, for example several may dip out of the race to watch the Australian Open final. It’ll be fun!
* and Mike who is a co-blogger at GBS but doesn’t know anything about racing except that he likes the name of a team: Flying Lizard!