Three vintage racing groups will join forces later this year to stage the first 24-hour race for historic cars in North America. The Classic 24 at Daytona will be held November 12-16 at Daytona International Speedway, where a 3.56-mile course includes parts of the famed high-banked oval and an infield road circuit.
“Daytona is considered by many to be the toughest of the classic endurance races,” James Redman, general manger of Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) said in announcing the event.”The nights are long and the speeds are high around the famously steep banks. It is a true test of car and driver.
“The Classic 24 at Daytona will give owners, drivers and spectators a chance to relive and witness what the greatest names in racing went through en route to the top step of the podium at Daytona,” he added.
Joining HSR in the race are the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) and Vintage Racing Events (VRE).
Though known as the home of NASCAR, sports cars began racing at Daytona in 1962, when Dan Gurney won the three-hour Daytona Continental in the Arciero Lotus-Climax 19B.
The race expanded to 2000 kilometers (approximately 12 hours of racing) in 1964 and two years later joined Le Mans as a 24-hour test.
For the Classic 24 at Daytona will feature five days and nights of activity with preliminary events, night practice, and more. The 24-hour event begins at noon on Saturday, November 15 and will feature six historically period-correct groups of cars. Each group will race for an hour at a time, four times within the 24-hour period, and with a mandatory pit stop in each session for a driver change.
Months before the Classic 24, in fact, this weekend, the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona will be contested in brand new sports cars. During the race weekend, Ferrari North America will celebrate its victory on the track 50 years ago by displaying the 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO that Phil Hill and Ricardo Rodriguez drove to victory in the 1964 Daytona Continental, a 2000-kilometer event.
The winning No. 30 car, entered by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) was chassis 5571GT and the first of three Series II GTOs built for the 1964 racing season.