Monday, January 23, 2012

Countdown to the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona (UPDATED)

The countdown to the Rolex 24 is in full swing. The 50-th anniversary of the historic endurance race has seen unprecedented interest so far. Today we reveal exactly what goes into preparing a Rolex 24 race car straight from one of the most competitive teams in the race: Turner Motorsport.

Most of the preparation that goes in between the Roar Before the Rolex 24 and the time the trucks leave for Daytona is focused on making sure the cars’ components will last the entire 24 hours. Fittings and hoses are replaced, driver comforts are tweaked, pedals are adjusted, cooling systems and air ducts inside the cabin are optimized. The team replaces all lexan and installs windshield tear-offs, as spares are very important for the race. Spare nose clips are built and vinylled to match. Electrical system are looked over very carefully, as they can make or break the race, especially at night. (Electrical failures could even be catastrophic.) Setups for wet and dry conditions, as well as cool and hot track are finalized.

The front nose spares are ready. Hopefully they won't be needed!

The team makes sure the right number of spare wheels with tire pressure monitoring sensors are available. The cars are fine-tuned to factor in all driver feedback from the test weekend. One of the main overall objectives is to make sure the car has all needed spare parts and that the team is ready to deal with whatever the race throws at it.

Turner Motorsport's shop before the trucks leave: how do you find anything 
around here with all logistics that go into the race?

According to Turner Motorsport, "Extra time and effort is put into making sure there are NO weaknesses in the cars. It’s the weak link that will bite you. Everything must be checked and checked again." And they mean everything: hoses, fittings, clips, nuts, bolts, wires, etc.

The GT car going up on the trailer

Two 18-wheeler haulers with two cars in each make the 2-day trip from Turner’s shop in Amesbury, MA to Daytona. Each trailer has all the spares, parts, equipment, and consumables to support the cars. The logistics to support 4 cars, all drivers and crews are mind-boggling. We will cover the specific item quantities that go into the race prep later this week: everything from the number of scrambled eggs and trail mix bars, clothing, supplies, pit setup, electronics, and marketing materials, down to the number of Red Bulls per driver. Stay tuned!

Related posts:
The Roar before the 24 Hours of Daytona
Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona: Night Testing

Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona, live coverage on SPEED TV
* 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern, Saturday, January 28, pre-race show
* 3:30 – 11:00 p.m. Eastern, live coverage of Rolex 24
* 11:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern, video stream
* 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Sunday, January 29, live coverage of Rolex 24

1/24/2012 Update
Great Rolex 24 GT Preview by SpeedTV!