Joy of joys, racing season is back and it begins with the iconic Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 53rd Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona will begin Saturday, January 24 with live coverage on the Fox channel from 2 pm to 4 pm Coverage will then switch over to Fox Sports 2 from 4 pm to 8 pm followed by Fox Sports 1 from 8 pm to 10 pm. Following the TV coverage, the race can be followed via the official IMSA Radio feed.Finally, the race will return to Fox Sports 1 7 am with complete coverage through the finish at 2:10 pm as well as the podium ceremony through 2:30 p.m.
Obviously, Fox is asking too much with all that channel flipping. Thankfully, you can also follow the race in its entireity online via the UStream Live at Daytona live stream provided by Turner Motorsports. Mobile users can also watch it via the Fox Sports Go mobile app.
This year, the Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda HPD driven by Oswaldo Negri Jr. will start from pole for the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona after completing a blistering 1:39.194 second lap around Daytona. This is Negri Jr's second pole at the Rolex 24.
“It is great to be on pole, as it is never bad when you are on the pole. We worked pretty hard even though we knew we had a good package. The combination with Ligier chassis and the Honda engine has been incredible, but we are still learning the car. Every time you get more out it you want more," said Negri. "Everything went well, and I knew the DPs were going to be close. I can promise you I took everything that car had. I am really, really happy. The pole position is good for bragging rights only. After all, it is a 24-hour race and the real deal is being there on Sunday and getting the checkered flag.”
Next, Johnny Mowlem drove the BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 Prototype Challenge machine to pole of its class with a 1:42.318. The pole was definitely hard fought as Mowlem had to take down friends including Braun, Kimber-Smith, Renger van der Zande and Martin Plowman to rise to the front of the Prototype Challenge class.
“It is nice to start any race on the pole," said a satisfied Mowlem. "Going into the session, the Continental tires got better with each succeeding lap, and on the last lap, I reverted to my 21-year old mentality and through caution to the wind and got away with it."
In the GTLM class, Oliver Gavin and the strong Corvette Racing team bested driver Gianmaria Bruni and the Ferrari 458 and as well as the Aston Martin Vantage V8 driven by Pedro Lamy that make the top three of the class. The monstrous Corvette C7.R lapped the Daytona road course in just 1:43.488. This is the second Rolex 24 pole for the Chevy Corvette.
“This is a very competitive class, but our Corvette was strong today even though we didn’t think we had the pace for the pole," said Gavin. " We just had a perfect qualifying session and everything just fell in place.
Finally, driver James Davidson put the Aston Martin V12 Vantage to the top of the GT Daytona class with a time of 1:47.272. The 007 Aston Martin driver earned his fifth TUDOR class pole position, making it five poles in a role since the achievements during the 2014 season.
“I am blown away that we ended up on pole," said Davidson, " My expectations were low, and we had adversity when we waited in pits and the course went red, so I had just one lap to pull it off. We were a bit lucky today.”
Be sure to check out the extensive spotter guide of all the racing cars that will be challenging for a victory at the Rolex 24. Watch the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona on Saturday, January 24 at 2 pm. You can watch the race in its entireity via live stream online by the UStream Live at Daytona provided by Turner Motorsports. Mobile users can also watch it via the Fox Sports Go mobile app. Watch the preview, qualifying, and live stream below!
[UPDATE] Visit the official IMSA TV website to watch the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona live stream online for free.