Journal: Here’s What Makes The Rolex 24 At Daytona Legendary

Here’s What Makes The Rolex 24 At Daytona Legendary

By Michael Banovsky
January 27, 2016

Driving flat out for hours at a time is quite the feat, but if you’re going to watch someone else do it, best let them run around in a super-sized amphitheatre—like the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

On January 30, drivers from around the world lineup to begin the Rolex 24 At Daytona. It’s a sports car race that’s been held—albeit not always for 24 hours—since 1962, and in that time cemented has itself as one of the most exciting venues for racing. So before you watch the race this weekend, take some time to get in the mood with these entertaining clips.

The 1962 3-Hour Continental was the first of what would morph into the 24 hour events, and this minute of home footage makes us wish there was much, much more.

This period film, sponsored by Goodyear, shows the first part of the 1965 World Sportscar Championship.

On the left, 1995. On the right, amateur home movie footage of the 1967 event—the year Ferrari completed its legendary 1-2-3 finish and finally put Ford’s GT40 in its place.

Why is the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona even called the “Daytona”? Because of this car’s 1-2-3 sweep at the 1967 race.

Sadly, races in period weren’t run with GoPros stuck inside every car, so it’s often hard to get a sense of what, say, a Porsche 911 RSR looked like when being driven flat-out. Thanks to vintage racing, though, we now have footage of just that—with Bobby Rahal as our guide.

With a bit of luck, you can often find some remarkably well-preserved footage from days past, including this awesome clip of the 1987 IMSA SunBank 24 at Daytona.

Ever wonder what it’s like to race a modern sports car around this track? We recommend this one in fullscreen, with your sound turned up…

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8 years ago

There’s my good friend Walt Bohren on the ’87 GTO standings.
I participated in a number Daytona 24 hr races, some of them with Walt who passed on a few years ago. It’s a whole lotta livin’ in one day.

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