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Sights & Sounds: Rolex 24 At Daytona International Speedway

February 9th, 2011 by Stu

Pictured Above: Track level view just aft of the starting line at Daytona International Speedway

From trail-rated utes and pint-sized urban runabouts to svelte grand touring coupes and hyper exotic sports cars, automotive enthusiasm takes on many forms. So it comes as no surprise that the enthusiasts supporting these vehicles are an equally diverse bunch. Take our pal, fellow blogger and loyal Man on the Move reader John Kovalsky, for instance. He’s a former minor league hockey player turned Navy pilot who now lives and plays in Manhattan, “transitioning to the civilian world” as he puts it. John claims to have never done much photography, but these emotive pictures he snapped at the recent Rolex 24 endurance race in Daytona beg to differ. As I am sure you will agree, he did an amazing job of capturing the thrill and excitement behind this grueling season opener.

“If there is one race to go to in the US, it’s the Rolex 24 at Daytona. You can see the pits, talk to the drivers and have the same access to the race that the drivers do with the exception of actually driving the cars. This year’s highlights saw Mazda making a strong showing in the GT class with actor Patrick Dempsey’s team placing third. In the DP class, Action Express and Porsche ended their winning streak when the BMW powerplant managed to scratch out a win.  The weather was perfect…high sixties and one of the first times in memory when there was no rain”

Thanks for the great imagery and commentary John. Please do keep it coming.

The entrance to the track from the cold pits – throughout the course of the race cars will move between the hot and cold pits for serious mechanical work

Sunset over the track

Daytona Prototype leaving the pits under yellow flag

View of the main strait from the hot pits of GT class victors TRG (The Racers Group)

In the cold pits replacing the rear end. The access you have at this race is amazing, I have been asked to hand people tools before.

Action Express’s #9 entry and the car that won last year overall being walked out during the parade before the race

Rim from a Daytona Prototype class car

Alignment problem in the cold pits. Watched them plug the computer into the car and take out a bunch of tools but, in the end, it came down to placing a piece of string from the front end to the rear to straighten the car out. Some methods will never die.

In the hot pits about six hours into the race

Ferrari 330 from the early 60’s on display

Wife of one of the drivers of the Microsoft DP class # 95 Car.  She had a great Cali beach girl look to her

GT Class Porsche in a stunning Green

I have a Porsche, have always loved Porsches and of course am totally impartial to them in every sense

TargetChip Ganassi racing team with super stars such as Pablo Montoya, always in the hunt. Currently they are the only team to win the four major US races (Indy, Daytona 500, Rolex Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring).GT

Another Porsche DP shot

GT Class Brumos Porsche with the Legendary Hurley Haywood driving. He is the most successful driver in Rolex history and also two time winner at LeMans. Brumos is also a great Porsche dealer and the type of place where one can walk in, with no intention of buying, and spend hours talking to the salesmen. Very nice people.

The first 180 degree turn on the infield portion of the track

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  • I really enjoyed your work on the Rolex 24 at Daytona. I currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina and this year I made it down for the Rolex 24. When I lived in Florida, I use to go every year. It’s neat how you captured the colorful details of this wonderful greuling race.
    My brother is Bob Petillo who has also made significant contributions to the “Man on the Move” website with his work.
    Keep up the great work !

    Vic Petillo

    Vic Petillo