Felix Rosenqvist will be out in action in America’s premier endurance race this weekend, teaming up with three of his best racing buddies in a fun-yet-serious approach to the revered Daytona 24 Hours.
Rosenqvist – who is currently leading the all-electric Formula E championship after winning the Marrakesh E-Prix less than two weeks ago – is contesting the Floridian sportscar classic as part of a star-studded crew entered by the Jackie Chan DCR JOTA squad.
Joining the Swedish double Macau Grand Prix winner on the line-up are Canadian Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll, Spaniard Daniel Juncadella (like Rosenqvist an ex-European F3 title winner) and reigning Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup champion Robin Frijns of the Netherlands.
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, Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Paul di Resta and reigning DTM champion René Rast.
Felix Rosenqvist is the sole Swede to contest this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, as the race is officially known.
“This is going to be a very special weekend, that much I know already,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “It’s quite a spectacular field this year, and to get to do this with three of my best mates is great. It’s an opportunity that probably doesn’t come around many times in life. We will be out to have some fun, but Daytona is a seriously big event and we are in it to do the best possible job as a team.”
The field was on site at Daytona International Speedway – one of the most esteemed venues in US motorsport – for the pre-event “Roar Before the 24” test at the beginning of the month, with Rosenqvist feeling pleased with preparations.
“The Roar test went according to plan and I think we’re as well-prepared as we could be,” Rosenqvist concludes. “It’s obviously an extremely long race and to me, the key is not to rush things and survive into the final hour. That’s when it will be decided. I’ve done a few 24-hour races by now, including Le Mans, and I know how little it takes to lose concentration. It’s a cool challenge and I hope that we’ll be in the running for a good result.”
Rosenqvist, Stroll, Juncadella and Frijns are contesting the race in Jackie Chan DCR JOTA’s #37 entry. The sister car (#78) is driven by António Félix da Costa, Ferdinand Habsburg, Ho-Pin Tung and Alex Brundle. In total, 50 cars will make up the grid across four different classes.
Rosenqvist is undertaking his second Daytona 24 Hours this weekend, 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 due to early accidents involving his team-mates.
Practice and qualifying for the 56th running of the Daytona 24 Hours get underway on Thursday. Another practice session will follow on Friday, with the race then flagged away on Saturday afternoon local time (GMT-05:00).
All times local (GMT-05:00)
Rolex 24 At Daytona
(Daytona 24 Hours)
Thursday 25 January
Free Practice 1: 09.20-10.20
Free Practice 2: 13.40-14.40
Free Practice 3: 18.30-20.00
Friday 26 January
Free Practice 4: 09.40-10.40
Saturday 27 January
Start – Rolex 24 At Daytona: 14.40
Sunday 28 January
Finish – Rolex 24 At Daytona: 14.40