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Michelin Rolex 24 Notebook

Pre-event news and notes for the 59th Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Michelin

Ahead of the 2021 Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, Michelin provides some pre-race statistics, notes and data. Click Here for the Roar test notebook from last week.

Rolex 24 Tire Allocations
WeatherTech Championship
DPi: 38 sets – IMSA Medium
LMP2: 38 sets – IMSA Medium
LMP3: 30 sets – Michelin Pilot Sport GT S8M (Fronts) / S9M (Rears)
GTLM: 37 sets – GTLM Range
GTD: 30 sets – Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M

Michelin Pilot Challenge
GS: 7 sets – Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M
TCR: 6 sets – Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M+ (Fronts) / S9M (Rears)

Tire Volume: Across the Roar and Rolex 24 race events, Michelin and operational support and logistics partner Jackson Motorsports will bring nearly 18,000 tires to Daytona International Speedway. There were 19 Prototype Challenge cars last week and for this weekend’s WeatherTech and Pilot Challenge races, there will be 91 total cars (49 WeatherTech, 42 Pilot Challenge).

2020 Race Distance Record: Michelin’s consistent performance over time along with a small number of full-course cautions combined to produce a record-setting distance in the 2020 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The new records of 833 laps and 2,965 miles completed by the overall winners beat the previous mark by 25 laps, or 89 miles.

Rolex Starting Tires: Per IMSA’s supplementary regulations, starting tires are at the team’s discretion and are part of the car’s allocation for the Rolex 24. This follows the introduction of the Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race, which ran during the ROAR test weekend. At other IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races, cars need to start the race on their qualifying tires.

Temperature Swings: Last year’s Rolex 24 race featured roughly a 40-degree swing in track temperatures throughout the race. Track temperatures evolved from a peak of 83 degrees early Saturday afternoon to a low of 47 degrees overnight before warming again on Sunday under clear, sunny conditions. The cooler overnight temperatures always offer a challenge as drivers work to bring their tires up to temperature leaving Daytona’s tight and treacherous pit lane. Tire warmers are not permitted within IMSA competition.

Later Start Time: The Rolex 24 starts two hours later in 2021 than it did in 2020. The 3:40 p.m. start time for this year’s race is at least an hour later compared to previous years. The 2020 race started at 1:40 p.m., roughly an hour earlier than 2019 (2:35 p.m.) and 2018 (2:40 p.m.), respectively. With sunset at 6:01 p.m., this year’s race will only have roughly two hours of light conditions before more than 13 hours of night racing and sunrise at 7:13 a.m. on Jan. 31.

Michelin Winners at Daytona: Of the 18 automotive brands entered in IMSA, 10 have won races at Daytona the last two years with Michelin. Those include Cadillac (4 straight Rolex 24 wins), Lamborghini (3) and BMW (2) – all of whom enter this year’s race with Rolex 24 winning streaks of two-plus years – plus McLaren, Honda, Mercedes-AMG and Audi in the Michelin Pilot Challenge races.

Additionally Mazda, Chevrolet and Lexus won in last July’s WeatherTech 240 race at Daytona which kicked off IMSA’s return to racing following the COVID-19 enforced shutdown.

MX-5 at Daytona: The Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires joins the schedule at this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, with its two races Thursday at 4:55 p.m. ET and Friday at 10:10 a.m. ET. Races air live on IMSA.TV and TrackPass, with shows airing later on NBCSN.

The Torque Show: The Torque Show has four shows planned for the Rolex 24 weekend, with hosts Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall. Check out the show’s Instagram post linked here for times and stay tuned to their social channels during the weekend for more info.

Social Media Handles: 
Facebook: @MichelinUSA
Twitter: @MichelinUSA and @MichelinRaceUSA
Instagram: @MichelinUSA

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