Event Preview: The Roar Before the 24

DAYTONA, Fla., (January 20, 2021) – The final preparations for the 2021 race season are underway this week as IMSA competitors will descend on Daytona International Speedway for this week’s Roar Before the 24. Wright Motorsports has a busy two weeks ahead, running in both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge in the upcoming Roar and Rolex 24 at Daytona. The first full-series test of the season will allow adequate time for the Porsche customer racing team to prepare both efforts for next week’s big event: the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
After concluding the IMSA WeatherTech season with an exciting victory at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, the Wright Motorsports GTD effort will be riding the momentum into the new year, bringing back the same car, drivers, and crew that they ran in 2020. This consistency will prove to be a great aid in the Roar Before the 24, saving the team of any initial shakedowns necessary for new efforts. Ryan Hardwick and Patrick Long will reprise their roles as the full season drivers of the No. 16 1st Phorm Porsche 911 GT3 R. Jan Heylen, the North American Endurance Cup addition, and Klaus Bachler, the fourth driver in the Rolex 24 lineup will also return to the team following successful runs in 2020, where the team narrowly finished second in the GTD team and driver championships.

The format for this year’s Roar Before the 24 differs from years before, in that after several test sessions, the field will qualify for the Motul Pole Award 100, a 100-minute qualifying race that will set the grid for next week’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Fans can watch the race live by subscribing to NBC Sports Gold’s TRACKPASS on Saturday, January 24 at 2:05PM Eastern, or tape delayed on NBC Sports Network at 4:30PM Eastern. International audiences can stream live on imsa.tv. IMSA Radio will also offer worldwide live audio commentary to coincide with the qualifying race.

Michelin Pilot Challenge
As previously announced, the 2021 season will see Wright Motorsports enter a No. 16 1st Phorm Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport into the Michelin Pilot Challenge, the support series for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The program expansion will provide full-season drivers Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen additional track time, gaining the same edge as several of their WeatherTech competitors doing double duty. The Roar Before the 24 will provide the Michelin Pilot Challenge drivers and teams five on-track sessions over the course of two days. There will be no official video stream or radio coverage of the sessions, but the team’s social media will provide session updates via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Roar Before the 24 Schedule
Friday, January 22
10:00AM – 11:15AM Michelin Pilot Challenge Session 1
11:30AM – 12:20PM WeatherTech Session 1
2:45PM – 4:15PM Michelin Pilot Challenge Session 2
4:15PM – 5:15PM WeatherTech Session 2

Saturday, January 23
9:15AM – 10:15AM Michelin Pilot Challenge Session 3
10:30AM – 11:30AM WeatherTech Session 3
3:00PM – 3:15PM WeatherTech GTD Qualifying
4:20PM – 5:30PM Michelin Pilot Challenge Session 4
7:00PM – 9:00PM WeatherTech Session 4

Sunday, January 24
10:00AM – 10:20AM WeatherTech Warm Up
10:35AM – 11:50AM Michelin Pilot Challenge Session 5
2:05PM – 3:45PM WeatherTech Motul Pole Award 100

1st Phorm
1st Phorm is a sports nutrition company based in St. Louis, MO. In 2009, CEO Andy Frisella and his business partner Chris Klein started the brand, and since then, it has become the fastest growing supplement company in the world. 1st Phorm has set the standards in the industry for quality and helping people reach their goals. This new racing partnership is not their first time in the exotic car scene either. 1st Phorm has been the title sponsor for the Gold Rush Rally for six years running. With over a million followers across social media, 1st Phorm has amassed a huge cult-like following known as, “The Legion of Boom.” They stand for a movement in the fitness world. To turn it back to what it was meant to be. Helping others improve their lives, to be a good human… and to drop the excuses and do the work. 1st Phorm is a winning brand and they don’t expect anything less when it comes to their race team. For additional info: www.1stphorm.com

Mountain Motorsports
Mountain Motorsports is a group of motorcycle and powersports dealerships with multiple locations in the southeastern United States. The company was founded by lifelong friends Ryan Hardwick and Justin Price when they opened their first location as a single-line Honda dealership in Sevierville, Tennessee in 1999. The company has since grown into one of the largest retailers of motorcycle and powersports vehicles in the nation, spanning nine dealership locations representing eleven of the industry’s most well-known brands. For additional info: www.mountainmotorsports.com

Una Vida Tequila
Una Vida translates to One Life. That is how this brand started. By people who want to live their “One Life” to the absolute fullest and to their highest potential. A group of guys from the Midwest who love great quality tequila, and want their One Life to have meaning and impact others.

One Life, One Tequila is our CORE BELIEF. We’re building the only tequila brand you will ever need to drink. Una Vida is bigger than just tequila we’re also building a culture of people who want to live their life to their utmost potential.

Our story begins and continues to grow bottle by bottle. It’s a life mission for us to create a community of people who all raise a glass knowing they’re living their ONE LIFE! For more information, visit unavidatequila.com

Wright Motorsports
Wright Motorsports is the premier Porsche race engineering facility in Ohio and a multi-series, international racing team known for superb car preparation, expert race strategy and driver development. Located in Batavia, Ohio, it is owned and directed by John Wright, a certified Porsche factory-trained technician. As a crew chief John Wright has played a key role in winning eight driver and seven team championships in World Challenge, IMSA (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Wright Motorsports won the team championship in Porsche GT3 Cup USA in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and went on to win the Pirelli World Challenge Overall, Sprint, Team and Manufacturer’s titles in 2017. The 2020 season will see the team return to IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship. For more information, visit wrightmotorsports.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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