DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 1, 2021) – When the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to Daytona International Speedway next January, there will not only be a “Roar,” but also a “Whoop!”
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America inductee Ricky Carmichael, who for the past 14 years has designed the course used for the annual Supercross event at Daytona International Speedway, has been enlisted to design an infield dirt circuit to be used by the WeatherTech Championship sports cars during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The circuit will be used for a special, 20-minute-plus-one-lap race featuring all five WeatherTech Championship classes which will take the green flag at 12 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 and will air live on NBC. Each car’s finishing position in the race will be used to establish its starting position for the Motul Pole Award 100, which is used to establish each car’s starting position for the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Known as “The GOAT” among Supercross fans, Carmichael owns seven motocross titles, five Supercross championships and is a three-time X Games gold medalist. He’s also a five-time Daytona Supercross winner, tied for most all time, which makes him uniquely qualified to design the circuit to be used by the sports cars for the first time next year.
“The Bus Stop is bumpy, sure, but we really want to test the downforce of the DPi class, so we thought a dirt infield section could be the ultimate test,” said Carmichael. “I’m really looking forward to this new challenge and providing IMSA with the most grueling race of the year to kick off the 2022 season. It’s going to be gnarly.”
IMSA President John Doonan concurs.
“Gnarly is the perfect term to use for this circuit,” Doonan said. “I mean, what other word would you use to describe a DPi sailing through the air off a triple, a door-to-door battle of GTD cars through the Whoops or a gaggle of LMP2s and LMP3s bouncing though the rhythm section? It’s going to be gnarly, and I can’t wait for our fans to see it either in person at the racetrack or on NBC.”
Tickets for the race will be available at a later date. Actually, they won’t, because … April Fools!