Daytona 24 to have new date in 2006

Rolex 24 At Daytona Moves Ahead One Week from Traditional Dates for 2006 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 9, 2005) -- The dates for the 44th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be a week earlier in 2006, Daytona International Speedway ...

Rolex 24 At Daytona Moves Ahead One Week from Traditional Dates for 2006

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 9, 2005) -- The dates for the 44th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona will be a week earlier in 2006, Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig announced today. The prestigious sports car race, which is traditionally held in the first week of February, will now be held on Jan. 26-29, 2006 - the weekend between the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.

"The Rolex 24 At Daytona is the premier sports car race in America and annually kicks off the international motorsports calendar as well as Speedweeks," Braig said. "Changing the date of the race will allow the sports world focus on America's only 24-hour sports car race."

"We feel strongly that by moving the date of the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona, it will bring even more attention to what we expect will be another star-studded event," Grand American Road Racing Association President Roger Edmondson said. "The Rolex 24 has already become a must-see event for hard core race fans of various series. Moving the race to a more open weekend on the annual sports calendar should make it easier to capture the attention of casual fans, and may also make it easier to get this historic event the attention it so richly deserves."

The Rolex 24 At Daytona, which serves as the kick-off race to Speedweeks, is the crown jewel event of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The 2005 edition of the twice-around-the-clock challenge featured a record field of competitive Daytona Prototypes and a star-studded cast of drivers that represented more than 100 major driving championships.

"I'm planning on driving in the Rolex 24 Hour race again next year," said 2001 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion Bobby Labonte, who finished ninth overall in the 2005 Rolex 24. "I had a blast driving Kevin Doran's car with Terry (Labonte), Bryan (Herta) and Jan (Magnussen). The date doesn't matter too much to me, I'm planning on being there anyway, no matter what the date. The atmosphere there is unbelievable and I think that moving the event up one week will help draw even more attention. It's just a really cool deal, and hopefully, with the race a week earlier, even more people will find that out."

Tickets for the 44th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

The Grand American Road Racing Association, which operates and sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is the premier road racing organization in North America. The 14-race 2005 Rolex Series schedule and the 11-race Grand-Am Cup calendar deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA, the Rolex Sports Car Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kevin Doran