24-Hour Racing Makes a Hell of a Racket
There hasn’t been much green flag racing at this running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but here’s what it sounds like.
Daytona is beautiful because of the variety. Professional drivers, five-time winners like Scott Pruett, champions like Jeff Gordon and Sebastian Bourdais, take the field with amateurs. Staggeringly quick prototype racers thread through a field of GT3 cars. A sunrise, a sunset and every kind of day and darkness in between. From the stands you’ll hear the music of normally aspirated V8s and turbocharged inline 4s, flat-sixes and turbo-sixes and they're all fast and unmuffled and just loud as hell. 17 manufactures are represented, and more than 40 teams have different ideas about how to get 24-hours of racing done.
It’s a rough year at Daytona. The safety car will turn more laps than Pruett. The veteran went out early in his new Lexus, and with endless waves of rain rolling through the event has turned into a grind with one yellow flag after the next. There's none of the attrition and heroics of the typical IMSA race. And even then, it’s still glorious.
Here's what it sounds like in glorious stereo, from high above the main straight. Keep an ear out around the 45-second mark for the absurdly loud and distinctive Corvette C7.R.