"Welcome" says the sign, "to the World Centre of Racing". For the benefit of anyone clinging to the laughable belief that that the centre of the racing world resides in the Place de la Concorde, this is what they call the magnificent Daytona International Speedway, right here in sunny Florida and they might be right...
Every year, the paddock of the SunBank 24 at Daytona buzzes with the enthusiasm for the sportscar racing season to come but, this time, the talk was all to do with Le Mans. The Americans in particular responded to each item of news from Paris with jaw-on-the-floor disbelief.
The entire Le Mans affair, quite simply, is beyond the comprehension of racing people in America. In this country, any discussion about a motor race is conducted around the essential, inalienable premise of the event itself. As closely as matters of commerce and politics are interwoven with motor racing in the USA, it would be out of the question here to do anything that might endanger the actual running of a race that has any kind of substance - especially a substance involving history. This was the 28th running of the annual Daytona 24 Hours, and you can rely as much as you need on the word 'annual'.