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Roar Qualifying to Determine Rolex 24 Pits, Garage Locations

Pit boxes, garage spaces to be allocated by fastest speeds on final day of three-day test…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

A qualifying session will be added to January’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 to determine the pit box and garage space locations for teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

IMSA confirmed the addition on Monday, which will see a 15-minute qualifying session for each of the three classes on Sun. Jan. 7.

The qualifying session is the newest addition to an enhanced weekend schedule that also will include the first-ever IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda race at Daytona on Sat. Jan. 6 with a one-hour, 45-minute race beginning at 1:25 p.m. ET.

“The enhancements planned for the 2018 Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona will bring more excitement to an already intriguing weekend for race fans,” said IMSA Vice President, Competition, Simon Hodgson.

“As we’ve seen over the past several years, every second counts in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, placing a premium on the location of a team’s pit box and garage.

“Likewise, the addition of the first IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda with its new, endurance-racing format will be popular with our fans.”

The fastest-qualifying Prototype will receive the first pit box on pit lane starting at pit-in and also will be assigned to the first garage in the Prototype section of the WeatherTech Championship garage.

The fastest GTD car will receive the second pit box on pit lane and the first garage in the GTD section, with the fastest GTLM car receiving the third pit box and the first garage in the GTLM section.

Prototype and GT Le Mans class cars will pit together under a full course yellow, in a change to the sporting regulations for next year.

Therefore, to give class separation in the pits, P and GTLM teams are assigned pit boxes to ensure they are separated by a GTD Team.

Once the fastest cars in each class have been accounted for, the process will repeat with the second-fastest Prototype, GTD and GTLM cars receiving their pit assignments and continuing until all cars have been accounted for.

Entrants fielding multiple cars in the same class will be assigned adjoining pit boxes based on the fastest qualifying car being placed toward pit-in, while entrants of multiple cars in different classes will be assigned at IMSA’s discretion. Entrants of multiple cars in the same class will be assigned adjoining garages based on the same criteria.

Consideration will be given to teams entering cars in multiple classes. However, all decisions by IMSA are final.

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  1. doh

    November 20, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Seems like giving a GTD and GTE car back to back pit stalls is a bad idea. Give the GTE guy the 4th stall and put a prototype in between them, since the two GT classes pit together, something I assume is going to continue.

    • Pete

      November 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      “Prototype and GT Le Mans cars will pit together under full course yellows, in a change to the sporting regulations for next year.”

    • Dan

      November 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      “Prototype and GT Le Mans class cars will pit together under a full course yellow, in a change to the sporting regulations for next year.”

    • Marc

      November 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      “Prototype and GT Le Mans class cars will pit together under a full course yellow, in a change to the sporting regulations for next year.” =)

      • Marc

        November 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm


      • TailsLeMans722

        November 20, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        All together now… “LETS DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN”!

    • Lanky Turtle

      November 20, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      It’s an entirely different kind of pitting, altogether.

  2. João Coelho

    November 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Will IMSA live stream the practices and qualification sessions?

  3. Jason

    November 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I saw the pdf bulletin. I also took the hint that the class color code is staying the same. Both proto and gtlm are red. GTD stays green.

  4. Jason

    November 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    It also appears that protos will start in front of all gt cars for every restart. Bad move here imsa. Reverse this at once.

  5. David Chaste

    November 21, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I thought the best pit box would be the last one before pit out. That way you can always release your car right in front of any competitor exiting pit lane.

    I really dont see the first pit box at pit in as the best location. At lemans the first pits at pit in are a premiim because they pit on green more often. But in imsa they pit on yelloe altogether and you can go from 1st to 10th in imsa’s congested pit lane.

    • John Hyde

      November 21, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Only advantage for pit stalls is forward beyond the start/finish line is if caution comes out during pitting (if behind S/F). With being spaced really no benefit during caution as pit out line is further than in NASCAR. It is a 1/2 kilometer from the first stall to the closest garage, more than a sprint for team crew and equipment.

  6. Just a guy

    November 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

    The only reason I can think of for starting At the pit in end of pit road is proximity of said teams garage. Being at the pit out end sure does make it a hassle to run back to the garage/hauler for something unexpected, and these things always come up!!

    It has always been this way anyway, front runners were always closer to pit out.

    • dougjp

      November 21, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Exactly. I’d idle around for one complete lap to get a slow time. Imagine if half the field did that – scary dangerous!

  7. David Chaste

    November 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    If you want to be close to the garage you expect to break down. But the contending cars will not be visitng the garage during the race.

    I need to rewatch a past race to see what advantage there is to being at pit in. In my opinion the frequent full course yellows in IMSA make pit out the best pit box.

    No one is in your exit path and you can always short fill to cut off a competitor to get track position. Ganassi used that technique plenty of times in Indycar for numerous wins.

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