There has already been plenty of action early on during this long Daytona weekend (you can stay up to date by following our live blog here). While there is plenty of racing, the weekend at Daytona International Speedway is certainly more of a festival environment, replete with race fans, families, kids, plenty of sounds and sights, hospitality, and one of the best assortments of RVs you could imagine.
Racing got off to a fast start Friday afternoon with the BMW M Endurance Challenge to kick off the year’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. Any BMW fan will tell you it was exciting seeing the five new M4 GT4s race around the track. It was four hours packed with a field of more than 40 GS and TCR cars with GS entries including Mustangs, Porsches, Aston Martins, McLarens, and more. Much was learned throughout that four-hour race, but there were no BMW podium finishes Friday.
The track environment was busy elsewhere, too. Early Friday, BMW revealed the new BMW G80 M3 CS to the public and then positioned it front and center for the grid walk mid-day. BMW CCA enjoyed Meet and Greet events at the garages of Turner Motorsport and Paul Miller Racing. Members met and heard from the drivers and spoke with team representatives, but the almost-hands-on (don’t touch!) walk around the cars in the garage was special, too. Elsewhere, the 1986 March 86G BMW GTP and the Z4 Coupe GTLM were among the past IMSA cars on display.
Many BMW CCA members will enjoy the pre-arranged parking corral in the infield, while the hospitality tent opens Saturday with breakfast concurrent with the Team RLL Racing Meet and Greet. Mid-day will be highlighted by the fan grid walk before the Rolex 24 Hour gets underway at 1:00 p.m.
For those of you on site, enjoy! For those of you watching from home, enjoy, perhaps with cleaner restrooms. And for those of you who might not think of yourselves as race fans, you should strongly consider adding this to your bucket list. —Kyle van Hoften