The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Season Opener Will Feature the Return of the GTP Class and Sleek New Hybrid Prototypes
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 23, 2022) – The 61st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend is set for Jan. 26-29, 2023, and for fans who attend, they will see history in the making with the return of the iconic IMSA Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, which features new hybrid prototypes from a variety of manufacturers.
In addition, garage access will now be included for all two-day infield and single-day customers, enhancing the experience for guests by providing close access to the incredible cars and teams as they prepare for North America’s most prestigious sports car race. The iconic event, which is the ultimate test of endurance, speed and skill for world-class competition and at the World Center of Racing, will be held on Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway to open the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
It will be the first race for the new GTP class, hearkening back to a highly successful era of IMSA prototype racing in the 1980s and 1990s. Four manufacturers – Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche – have already confirmed plans to field new hybrid-powered prototypes in the GTP class next season, with Lamborghini joining the fray in 2024.
As part of a historic convergence agreement between IMSA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) – which organizes the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship – the new generation of prototypes will be eligible to compete for overall victories all over the world, from Daytona to Le Mans and beyond.
“The 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona begins a new tradition with state-of-the-art new prototype race cars and brings back an old one with the GTP class,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher. “It will be a continuation of the rich legacy here at The World Center of Racing. We are also thrilled to offer the up-close garage access that we know fans from around the globe will enjoy.”
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will also showcase prerace grid access, the popular ferris wheel and fireworks, autograph sessions, live entertainment and displays from the top manufacturers.
Practice sessions in all classes kick off the Rolex 24 At Daytona week on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 26-27. In addition, Friday’s slate will see the four-hour BMW M Endurance Challenge to open the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season. The storied “twice-around-the-clock” Rolex 24 At Daytona gets the green flag on Saturday, Jan. 28.
Fans who attended the 2022 Rolex 24 At Daytona can log into their account to renew their experience now. The ’23 event will go on sale to the general public in August. For information, fans can click here or call 1-800-PITSHOP. For all other information on the Rolex 24, click here.
The track will host back-to-back racing weekends with the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 test sessions on Jan. 20-22. Scout Days, a longtime tradition during the Roar Before the Rolex 24, is set during the weekend.
The NASCAR Foundation will host the 13th Annual “Taste of the 24” in the Midway Suites at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. ET. Tickets for the exclusive food and beverage celebration, one of the premier kickoff activities of the 2023 motorsports season, will go on sale Wednesday, June 29.
The inaugural Rolex 24 was a three-hour event in 1962, initially known as the Daytona Continental, with Hall of Famer Dan Gurney taking the checkered flag. Held on Daytona’s world-famous 3.56-mile road course, the event is renowned for annually attracting many of the world’s finest race car drivers – from various racing disciplines – to make history against the world’s best sports car racers.
Historically, drivers from NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1 and the FIA World Endurance Championship have joined forces for the chance to win the coveted Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian’s No. 60 Acura quartet of Helio Castroneves, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud are the reigning Rolex 24 At Daytona overall champions.