IMSA introduces qualifying race before Daytona 24 Hours

The starting order for next month's Daytona 24 Hours, the first round of the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship, will be determined by a 100-minute qualifying race

IMSA introduces qualifying race before Daytona 24 Hours

Known as the 'Motul Pole Award 100', the grid-deciding race will take place on the final day of the Roar Before the 24 test on Sunday 24 January, the weekend prior to the main event on 30-31 January.

Two drivers per car will participate in the race, which will incorporate all five classes that will be on the IMSA grid next year - DPi, LMP2, GT Le Mans, GT Daytona and new addition LMP3.

The grid for the qualifying race will be decided by a 15-minute qualifying session on Saturday 23 January, while there will also be a 20-minute warm-up session ahead of the race.

IMSA President John Doonan remarked that Daytona is "a special event that is worthy of a unique qualifying format".

"Not unlike the Daytona 500, which has set its field through the Duel At Daytona qualifying races for decades, introducing the Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race for the Rolex 24 brings a new and exciting dynamic to the Roar," he said.

Points will be awarded for the qualifying race as part of IMSA's radically overhauled 2021 points structure, increased by a factor of 10 with 350 points instead of 35 awarded for the winner, as well as up to 35 points for regular qualifying sessions.

Although only two drivers will take part in the race, all of the drivers entered for a particular car in the 24 Hours itself will be credited with the points earned in qualifying.

A driver can only earn points for one car, however, so anyone hoping to pull double duty will need to choose in advance which entry they will earn qualifying points for.

After the COVID-disrupted 2020 season, the 2021 calendar has a more typical feel to it.

The Sebring 12 Hours moves back to its traditional March slot after being postponed to November this year, while Petit Le Mans resumes its end-of-season slot.

The street races at Long Beach and Detroit Belle Isle cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic return after a year's absence, while other COVID-impacted events at Watkins Glen, Mosport and Lime Rock also have provisional calendar slots for 2021.

shares
comments
Tandy leaves Porsche to join Chevrolet for 2021 IMSA assault
Previous article

Tandy leaves Porsche to join Chevrolet for 2021 IMSA assault

Next article

NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson to make Daytona 24 Hours return with AXR

NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson to make Daytona 24 Hours return with AXR
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's IMSA push Plus

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's IMSA push

Have you heard the one about two northerners driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Plus

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why two names for the same thing could cloud sportscar racing's new golden era Plus

Why two names for the same thing could cloud sportscar racing's new golden era

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the World Endurance Championship. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Plus

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Plus

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with team-mates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022
The British sportscar aces readying for a new golden era in IMSA Plus

The British sportscar aces readying for a new golden era in IMSA

With the arrival of LMDh looming in 2023, top sportscar drivers are flocking to IMSA for the last hurrah of the DPi cars, starting with this weekend’s Daytona 24 Hours. Seven of the championship's leading British aces explain its appeal and share their hopes of winning a sought-after new watch...

IMSA
Jan 28, 2022
How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories Plus

How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories

It took Pipo Derani no time at all to establish himself as a winner in IMSA, winning the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours on his first two starts in 2016. But it took until the final corner of the 2021 season before he could become its champion, the culmination of a journey that he believes has made him a better driver

IMSA
Jan 16, 2022
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021