The Rolex 24 at Daytona kicks off the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) season and is one of the biggest sporting events at the Daytona International Speedway. It is North America’s most prestigious endurance sports car race, rivalling the 24 hours Le Mans race in France.
The track covers 3.56 miles (5.73 km) and uses part of the famous NASCAR tri-oval banked circuit and an infield road course. By comparison, the Le Mans circuit (Circuit of the Sarthe) is 8.469 miles (13.629 km) in length.
There are around 55 cars taking part each year with three, four or even five drivers per car, across four Tudor IMSA United SportsCar Championship classes.
In 2018 the 56th Rolex 24 race itself starts at 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, January 27 and ends at 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, however the Daytona Rolex 24 experience is a four day event starting on the morning of Thursday, January 25 when the garages and grandstands open.
Daytona International Speedway has recently undergone some major redevelopment work to the grandstands with 101,000 permanent grandstand seats.
Rolex 24 Event Schedule
Throughout Thursday and Friday there are a series of practice and qualifying sessions for the IMSA Continental Tire and Ferrari Challenge series culminating in the BMW Endurance Challenge At DAYTONA.
In addition to the practice sessions and qualifying races, there is also a midway carnival that runs from Friday to Sunday, live music, fireworks, food and drink concessions, numerous parties, autograph sessions and 5K Run & Fun Walk. The actual race is televised live on the FOX network.
With the event running for such a long time, a lot of spectators choose to camp on site, either in tents of RVs.
Rolex 24 Tickets
Ticket prices depend upon where on the circuit you want to watch the race from and how many days you intend to stay from a single day to a full four day ticket including walk-in access to the infield, general admission grandstands, daily garage and UNOH Fanzone access and a Garage Wristband. Children 12 and under are generally free.
If you are camping then prices vary depending on whether you are simply tent camping outside of the track or you want to park the largest RVs in the infield.
To go behind the scenes you can purchase a Garage Wristband.
There is also a “Taste of the 24” ticket that gives you a weekend pass, access to the UNOH Fanzone, free Premier Parking on Saturday, access to 24 restaurants and the chance to win a Rolex watch.
For the ultimate VIP experience, you can purchase four day packages to the Rolex 24 At Daytona Lounge or Champion’s Club. This gives you access to the historic infield location at the Daytona 500 Club, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, brunch on Sunday, garage access and a souvenir event programme.