IMSA and Daytona International Speedway will try something new to launch the 2021 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season by moving the Roar Before The 24 test session to the weekend prior to its Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The shift, which takes the Roar from its traditional spot on the first weekend of January, gives IMSA’s teams, and any guest entries from outside North America, a chance to travel one time and partake in the Jan. 22-24 Roar, spend the early portion of race week prepping their cars onsite, and begin the Rolex 24 with practice starting on Jan. 28 ahead of the Jan. 30-31 race.
Numerous festival-style activities are planned for fans across from DIS between the Roar and Rolex 24, with a Le Mans-style public scrutineering session among the possibilities being discussed.
By compressing the two on-track events into back-to-back weekends, IMSA could see an uptick in international entries due to the cost reductions in travel. With anywhere from two to three weeks between previous Roars and Rolex 24s, multiple flights back and forth across the Atlantic or Pacific oceans were common for drivers and crews.
And with the new COVID-19 travel considerations, the simplified January format is also meant to attract entries from the FIA WEC that might consider participating in the Rolex 24 and remain in the country ahead of testing at Sebring in February and racing at March’s Super Sebring doubleheader for IMSA and WEC teams.