Open Race Thread: Grand-Am Series Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona | Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH FL - JANUARY 29: General view of cars racing at sunset during The Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 29 2011 in Daytona Beach Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

With all due respect to the Sprint All-Star Race, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is perhaps the most legitimate all-star race in the history of the business.

The event has always preceded most touring series' schedules, allowing champions from NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula1 to participate at different points in their careers. The 24-hour nature of the event requires a three-to-five driver rotation, forcing teams to seek several top-tier one-offs.

The most fascinating aspect of the race is the sheer number of top class drivers gathered in one garage at Daytona International Speedway. An argument could be made that the 24 Hours of Daytona boasts the largest gathering of world class auto racers in any location at one time. With roughly 60 teams at four drivers per car, the 24 Hours of Daytona will see about 240 of the world's best drivers turn fast laps at the World Center of Speed.

The All-Star nature of the race is best explained by Wikipedia.

NASCAR stars such as Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kyle Petty, Mark Martin, and Robby Gordon have all participated, with Martin and Gordon notably winning several class victories for Roush Racing in the GTO class in the 1980s-90s. In 2001, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. teamed together in a Corvette, just weeks before Earnhardt's fatal crash at the same track in the 2001 Daytona 500.

Indianapolis 500 winners Buddy Rice, Dan Wheldon, Hélio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Dario Franchitti are all recent participants. Other recent IndyCar drivers such as Paul Tracy, Sébastien Bourdais, Danica Patrick, Jimmy Vasser, John Andretti, and Graham Rahal.

Grand-Am Racing is split into two distinct formulas. Look at it as two different races taking place on the same track at the same time. The Daytona Prototype cars (DP) use less expensive materials and technologies and the car's simple aerodynamics reduce the development and testing costs.

Specialist chassis makers like Dallara, Lola and Riley provide the DP cars for teams and the engines are branded under the names of major car companies like Pontiac, Lexus, Ford, BMW, and Porsche.

Meanwhile, the Gran Turismo cars (GT) are closer in appearance and design to their street counterparts. Recent Daytona entries have included BMW M3s and M6s, Porsche 911s, Chevy Camaros and Corvettes. It could be argued that the GT class is closer to the "Win on Sunday and sell on Monday" motto than the NASCAR Cup Series ever was.

Watching the much faster DP cars attempt to navigate around the GT cars is one of the most fascinating aspects of Grand-Am Racing and one that will ultimately decide the outcome of the race.

And let's face it, approximately four months after Homestead, any form of racing is a welcome addition. The Speed network television broadcast starts at 3:00 p.m. EST with the green flag set to drop at 3:30 p.m. The race is timed and will last approximately 24 hours. Delays requiring a red flag will stop the clock and a safety car will be in effect for all caution periods. Local yellows will also be utilized for isolated incidents.

The complete rundown of the rules can be found here.

A list of participating NASCAR drivers by Rolex 24 teams as well as a starting lineup can be found after the jump.

Let's rock.

Starting Line Up by Position
Daytona International Speedway - Road Course
50th Annual Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona
Provided by GRAND-AM Statistics - Sat, November 19, 2011 @ 04:09 PM Eastern

NASCAR Drivers Highlighted in Bold

GRAND-AM Road Racing
Pos No. Class Pic Drivers Team/Car Time Speed Sponsors
1 8 DP 1 Dalziel / Luhr / McNish / Popow / Potolicchio Starworks Motorsport / Ford Riley 1:41.119 126.741 Motorola
2 10 DP 2 Angelelli / Briscoe / Taylor SunTrust Racing / Corvette DP 1:41.240 126.590 Suntrust
3 02 DP 3 Dixon / Franchitti / McMurray / Montoya Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates / BMW Riley 1:41.463 126.312 Target Telmex
4 99 DP 4 Fogarty / Gidley / Gurney GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing / Corvette DP 1:41.519 126.242 GAINSCO Auto Insurance
5 90 DP 5 Garcia / Gavin / Magnussen / Westbrook Spirit of Daytona / Corvette DP 1:41.611 126.128 Â
6 60 DP 6 Allmendinger / Negri / Pew / Wilson Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian / Ford Riley 1:41.662 126.064 Liveon.com
7 9 DP 7 Barbosa / Borcheller / France / Papis Action Express Racing / Corvette DP 1:42.074 125.555 Â
8 6 DP 8 Goncalvez / McDowell / Nasr / Yacaman Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian / Ford Riley 1:42.414 125.139 Â
9 2 DP 9 Hunter-Reay / Luhr / Mayer / Potolicchio / Scala Starworks Motorsport / Ford Riley 1:42.657 124.842 Motorola
10 77 DP 10 Frisselle / Frisselle / Lowe / Tracy Doran Racing / Ford Dallara 1:42.773 124.702 COMBOS, Circle K
11 50 DP 11 Defoor / Forbes-Robinson / Johnson / Pace / de Quesada 50+Predator/Alegra / BMW Riley 1:43.723 123.559 Â
12 76 DP 12 Braun / Jonsson / Krohn / Zonta Krohn Racing / Ford Lola 1:44.433 122.719 Â
13 59 GT 1 Davis / Haywood / Keen / Lieb Brumos Racing / Porsche GT3 1:49.342 117.210 The Brumos Companies
14 69 GT 2 Assentato / Lazzaro / Longhi / Segal AIM Autosport Team FXDD Racing with Ferrari / Ferrari 458 1:49.357 117.194 FXDD
15 44 GT 3 Lally / Lietz / Potter / Rast Magnus Racing / Porsche GT3 1:49.388 117.160 Magnus Racing
16 45 GT 4 Bergmeister / Long / Neiman / Rockenfeller Flying Lizard Motorsports with Wright Motorsports / Porsche GT3 1:49.550 116.987 Â
17 62 GT 5 Bruni / Fisichella / Matos Risi Competizione / Ferrari 458 1:49.661 116.869 Â
18 42 GT 6 Cameron / Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker / Sahlen Team Sahlen / Mazda RX-8 1:49.700 116.827 Theracesite.com
19 23 GT 7 Collard / Holzer / Leitzinger / MacNeil Alex Job Racing / Porsche GT3 1:49.766 116.757 WeatherTech
20 88 GT 8 Edwards / Marsh / Milner / Taylor Autohaus Motorsports / Camaro GT.R 1:49.773 116.750 Autohaus, Flex-Box
21 17 GT 9 Asch / Baldwin / Burtin / Ragginger / Sellers Burtin Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports / Porsche GT3 1:49.891 116.624 Foametix
22 48 GT 10 Bell / Maassen / Miller / Wilkins Paul Miller Racing / Porsche GT3 1:50.044 116.462 Chopard
23 63 GT 11 Beretta / Bertolini / Vilander Risi Competizione / Ferrari 458 1:50.191 116.307 Â
24 03 GT 12 Brown / Cosmo / Sharp / van Overbeek Extreme Speed Motorsports / Ferrari 458 1:50.197 116.300 Tequila Patron
25 75 GT 13 Bell / Carter / Curran / Plumb Stevenson Motorsports / Camaro GT.R 1:50.273 116.220 Stevenson Auto Group
26 26 GT 14 Cisneros / Edwards / Kauffmann / Tandy NGT Motorsport / Porsche GT3 1:50.298 116.194 MOMO
27 74 GT 15 Al Masaood / Al Mehairi / Kane Oryx Racing / Audi R8 Grand-Am 1:50.312 116.179 Â
28 57 GT 16 Bremer / Edwards / Liddell Stevenson Motorsports / Camaro GT.R 1:50.426 116.059 Stevenson Auto Group
29 4 GT 17 Bell / Eversley / Graeff / Yarab Jr. Magnus Racing / Porsche GT3 1:50.456 116.028 eBay Motors, Children's Tumor Foundation, Racing4Research
30 66 GT 18 Farnbacher / Keating / Pilet / Simonsen TRG / Porsche GT3 1:50.557 115.922 Viper Exchange
31 22 GT 19 Blaylock / O'Young / Roush / Van Blankers / White Bullet Racing / Porsche GT3 1:50.572 115.906 The Ridge Motorsport Park, Guard Transmission
32 93 GT 20 Auberlen / Dalla Lana / Marsal / Muller / Muller Turner Motorsport / BMW M3 1:50.582 115.895 Turner Motorsport
33 32 GT 21 Armindo / Curtis / Lewis / Sofronas / Willsey Orbit/GMG / Porsche GT3 1:50.605 115.871 GMG, Orbit, Spectra Resources
34 51 GT 22 Baas / Canache / Norman / Pirro / von Moltke APR Motorsport / Audi R8 Grand-Am 1:50.749 115.721 APR Tuned, Parathyroid.com, PR Newswire, South African Airways, Motul
35 15 GT 23 Cook / Earnhardt / Harrington / Hill / Ware Rick Ware Racing / Ford Mustang 1:50.762 115.707 POYNT
36 24 GT 24 Avenatti / Faieta / Poordad / Sweedler / Wagner Alex Job Racing / Porsche GT3 1:50.824 115.642 McKenna Porsche, Battery Tender, Kensington, Koss Stereophones
37 70 GT 25 Bomarito / Franchitti / Hinchcliffe / Tremblay SpeedSource / Mazda RX-8 1:51.022 115.436 Mazda, Mazdaspeed, ModSpace, Castrol
38 56 GT 26 Aguas / Kauffman / Pastrana / Waltrip AF - Waltrip / Ferrari 458 1:51.105 115.350 RK Motors
39 40 GT 27 Dempsey / Espenlaub / Foster / Long Dempsey Racing / Mazda RX-8 1:51.416 115.028 Visit Florida
40 87 GT 28 Heylen / Peterson / Soulet / Valverde Racers Edge Motorsports / Dodge Viper 1:51.555 114.885 3dimensional.com
41 55 GT 29 Del Vecchio / Grunnet / Jester / McKee / Pobst Acumen Motorsport / Porsche GT3 1:51.575 114.864 ALM Matericals Handling
42 94 GT 30 Auberlen / Dalla Lana / Johnson / Said / Werner Turner Motorsport / BMW M3 1:51.680 114.756 Turner Motorsport
43 12 GT 31 Miller / Prewitt / Rettich / Schneider / Shoff Alliance Autosport / Porsche GT3 1:51.727 114.708 PDI Communication Systems
44 18 GT 32 Jones / Lester / McCutchen / Thomas Muehlner Motorsports America, LLC / Porsche GT3 1:52.250 114.173 Â
45 43 GT 33 Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker Team Sahlen / Mazda RX-8 1:52.541 113.878 Theracesite.com
46 20 GT 34 Englster / Murry / Safina / Schaldach Liqui Moly Team Englster/Mitchum Motorsports Porsche / Porsche GT3 1:52.641 113.777 Liqui Moly
47 64 GT 35 Ardagna / Costabal / Di Guida / Orjuela / Salazar TRG / Porsche GT3 1:52.679 113.739 Â
48 41 GT 36 James / Johnson / Kitch Jr / Maxwell / Rogers Dempsey Racing / Mazda RX-8 1:52.998 113.417 FishingCapital.com, Bass2BillFish, Team Seattle
49 82 GT 37 Fergus / Finger / Greer / Hotchkis / Trinkler Dick Greer Racing / Porsche GT3 1:53.161 113.254 Wendy's
50 36 GT 38 Andretti / Andretti / Hacquard / Krohn Yellow Dragon Motorsports / Mazda RX-8 1:53.202 113.213 Window World, PMFirst.com, Mazdaspeed
51 65 GT 39 Castellano / Cox / Hedlund / McCarthy / Michaelian TRG / Porsche GT3 1:53.919 112.500 Â
52 67 GT 40 Bertheau / Bleekemolen / Goossens / Henzler / Pumpelly TRG / Porsche GT3 1:54.347 112.079 Sargent & Lundy
53 34 GT 41 DeFontes / Fogg / Konopka / Vonka Orbit/GMG / Porsche GT3 1:54.402 112.026 GlobalBarterCorp.com
54 46 GT 42 Breukers / Fumal / Nowicki Michael Baughman Racing / Corvette 1:55.577 110.887 Dynamat, Hub Garage, Columbus Truck and Equipment Co., Alliance Pole Supply, Mobile 1, Design Engineering, SKF Bearings
55 68 GT 0 Cumming / Estre / Faulkner / Gomez / Keating TRG / Porsche GT3 - - Â
56 49 GT 0 Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker / Sahlen Team Sahlen / Mazda RX-8 - - Western New York Flash
57 19 GT 0 Dollahite / Nater / O'Doski / Seefried / Whitis Muehlner Motorsports America, LLC / Porsche GT3 - - Â
58 16 GT 0 TBA Rick Ware Racing / Porsche GT3 - - POYNT
59 5 DP 0 Donohue / Fittipaldi / Law Action Express Racing / Corvette DP - - Â
60 01 DP 0 Hand / Pruett / Rahal / Rojas Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates / BMW Riley - - Telmex, Target
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