This weekend is the legen— wait for it—dary Rolex 24 at Daytona, and I'll be there covering it for Jalopnik. Fifty-three entries will be battling for wins in four classes, with 196 drivers from 27 different countries—and that's just in the feature United SportsCar race.
[Full disclosure: I'm BMW's guest for the weekend, schmoozing race teams on their dime. This means I get to hound them about not giving us a Z4M for the street, though, so I'm okay with this. DROP THE M3 V8 IN A ROAD Z4 NOW, PLEASE.]
If you're anywhere near Daytona this weekend, it's going to be a great one, including not only the TUDOR United SportsCar series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, but also Jalopnik's favorite series ever: Ferrari Challenge. Check out the full schedule here.
If you're not in Daytona, rejoice anyway! The long, cold offseason is done. Between this and Rallye Monte Carlo, there is a butt-ton of motorsport to watch this weekend. The various Fox and Fox Sports channels are broadcasting nearly the entire Rolex 24 at Daytona race except for the nighttime shift, when IMSA.com's live stream takes over. If you've cut the cord, you can still follow the entire race on IMSA.com, with streaming onboard coverage during the daylight hours with commentary from the IMSA Radio crew.
Because it's one of the most famous races in the world, the Rolex 24 has attracted a ton of drivers from outside the usual United SportsCar ranks, including numerous IndyCar driver, touring car drivers and NASCAR stars. Bathurst 12 Hour standout and V8 Supercar driver Shane van Gisbergen is here, as is everyone's favorite ex-F1 driver Rubens Barrichello. Looks like Scott Tucker of Level 5 Motorsports/questionable payday lending practices fame isn't out of racing after all, either. He's listed among the drivers for the Ferrari Challenge support race.
While I don't have a sweet RV set-up of my own for this one, we'll be hanging around with the BMW folks for most of the weekend, using their RV for short naps and extra-huge night-race-worthy zoom lens storage.
This is my first time going to Daytona, so if you know of must-see campsites, great photo spots, or people I absolutely have to meet, let me know in the comments below. As always, I'll be roaming the paddock with my trusty companion Fluffy Bunny, looking for cars for Fluffy to sit on and people Fluffy needs to give a hug.
That's right: free hugs. Come and get 'em.
Photo credit: AP Images (top shot), me (Puffalump)