The new year has arrived, with Felix wasting no time to kick-start 2018 with a transatlantic flight to Florida – where preparations for the 56th Daytona 24 Hours (formally known as the Rolex 24 at Daytona) are about to get underway. Called “The Roar Before the Rolex 24”, all teams and drivers will spend three days of testing at the legendary Daytona International Speedway this weekend, completing a total of seven sessions between Friday-Sunday.
Felix is contesting his second Daytona 24 Hours this season, having endured a disappointing debut at the event in 2016 when he was unable to turn a single lap in the race following the retirement of his car after a series of early accidents involving his team-mates. On his return in 2018, however, hopes are high of much more, as he teams up with Lance Stroll, Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijns in a star-studded line-up vying for outright victory in the #37 Jackie Chan DCR JOTA ORECA-LMP2.
The car is entered in the top class, known as “Prototype”, where the quartet will face stiff competition from 19 other entries – and some of the world’s fastest drivers. Among the most notable direct rivals are F1 star Fernando Alonso (#23), Juan Pablo Montoya (#6), Helio Castroneves (#7), Paul di Resta (#32) and reigning DTM champion René Rast (#77).
FULL ENTRY LIST – Roar Before the Rolex 24
During the Roar test, seven sessions are set to take place; six practice runs, and – new for this year – one short 15-minute qualifying battle to determine which garage stalls and pit boxes the respective teams will slot into for the race on 27-28 January.