Rolex 24 grid to be set by qualifying race in 2021

The starting order for next month's Rolex 24 at Daytona will be determined by a 100-minute qualifying race, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has announced.

Rolex 24 grid to be set by qualifying race in 2021

Known as the 'Motul Pole Award 100', the grid-deciding race will take place on the final day of the Roar Before the 24 test on Sunday January 24, the weekend prior to the main event.

Two drivers per car will participate in the race, which will incorporate all five classes that will be on the IMSA grid next year - DPi, LMP2, LMP3, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona.

The grid for the qualifying race will be decided by way of a 15-minute qualifying session on Saturday January 23, while there will also be a 20-minute warm-up session ahead of the race.

IMSA President John Doonan commented: "The Rolex 24 At Daytona is a special event that is worthy of a unique qualifying format.

"Not unlike the Daytona 500, which has set its field through the Duel At Daytona qualifying races for decades, introducing the Motul Pole Award 100 qualifying race for the Rolex 24 brings a new and exciting dynamic to the Roar."

Points will be awarded for the qualifying race as part of IMSA's radically overhauled 2021 points structure. Although only two drivers will take part in the race, all of the drivers entered for a particular car in the Rolex 24 itself will be credited with the points earned in qualifying.

A driver can only earn points for one car, however, so anyone hoping to pull double duty will need to choose in advance which entry they will earn qualifying points for.

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