NBC Sports’ TV coverage schedule of the Rolex 24 and the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will kick off Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway.
The 61st annual Rolex 24 at Daytona will be streamed across the NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and Peacock, which will have coverage of the event from flag to flag.
Broadcast coverage of the race coverage will begin Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC and move to USA Network from 2:30-8 p.m. and then will be exclusively on Peacock and IMSA.TV from 8-10 p.m. Coverage will return to USA Network from 10 p.m. to midnight and then move to Peacock/IMSA.TV until 6 a.m.
From 6 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Jan. 29, Rolex 24 coverage will be available on USA Network. The conclusion of the Rolex 24 will run from noon through 2 p.m. on NBC.
INFORMATION FOR THE 61ST ROLEX 24: Schedules, start times, entry lists
NBC Sports will present more than 80 hours of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023 across NBC, Peacock and USA Network. The Rolex 24 at Daytona will mark the beginning of 12 hours of NBC broadcast coverage over the season, matching the 2022 total that was the most since NBC Sports took over rights to the sports car series in 2018.
In addition to the Rolex 24 at Daytona, races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (May 14), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 9) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sep. 17) also will be featured on NBC.
Peacock will feature live flag-to-flag streaming broadcasts of all IMSA races, including exclusive coverage for parts of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Twelve Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of The Glen and Petit Le Mans endurance races.
Peacock also will have exclusive live coverage of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, VP Racing SportsCar Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races in 2023.
.@NBCSports‘ 2023 @IMSA schedule is here!
80+ hours of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship coverage will be presented across NBC, @peacock and @USA_Network.
Full details:https://t.co/MSJ1pcvTvp pic.twitter.com/X8kpq96HFe
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) December 19, 2022
USA Network will present more than 35 hours of live WeatherTech Championship coverage throughout the year. CNBC will air encore presentations of all Michelin Pilot Challenge, VP Racing SportsCar Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the exciting, competitive racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023 and starting the engines in just a few short weeks with the iconic Rolex 24 At Daytona,” Matthew Grassie, director, programming and rights management, NBC Sports, said in a release. “IMSA fans won’t miss a minute of the action throughout the season with the return of comprehensive live race coverage on Peacock and extensive coverage on NBC and USA Network.”
“IMSA is embarking on a new era in 2023 with the introduction of our flagship Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, featuring the highest-technology and most sustainable race cars competing in North America,” IMSA president John Doonan said. “With NBC network coverage for the launch of this new platform combined with flag-to-flag availability on Peacock and many hours of programming on USA Network and CNBC, IMSA is poised to experience a substantial boost in interest and popularity beginning next season.”
Here is NBC Sports’ 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule:
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Powerhouse Rolex 24 teams tiptoed through navigating the high-tech machinery of the hybrid era that dawned Friday with the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) category at Daytona International Speedway.
Meanwhile, some of the best drivers in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s premier prototype class also were trying to dodge disasters on a 3.56-mile road course clogged with traffic on the opening day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 weekend as 61 cars scrambled to prepare for the 2023 season opener next weekend.
“It was very busy this morning, that is for sure,” Chip Ganassi Racing No. 01 Cadillac driver Sebastien Bourdais said after the first of two practice sessions. “With 61 cars, everyone was trying to find their references, and it did feel a bit like ‘Gymkhana’ in heavy traffic, which is a little scary because everybody is really scarce on spare parts, and we all got the message loud and clear.
PRACTICE RESULTS: Click here for Session I (by class) l Session II (by class) l Combined speeds
ROLEX 24 DETAILS: How to watch, entry lists schedules for the IMSA season opener
“You are already finding yourself in situations you do not want to be in because you can’t afford to damage anything, so that is going to be a consideration for sure.”
With the Rolex 24 looming Jan. 28-29 at Daytona, the four manufacturers that have spent millions preparing for the inaugural season of GTP are very concerned about reliability when the curtain rises on the 24-hour endurance race classic.
Aside from being extremely scarce on spare parts because of supply chain problems and startup limitations, teams also have been lacked real-world testing. Some have been unable to run their cars more than a few hours consecutively while focusing on durability gremlins.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN GTP: Rolex 24 at Daytona kicks off new golden era for sports cars
So the speed charts Friday might not necessarily be indicative of prerace favorites. But it still was notable that the top two speeds belonged to the top two finishers in last year’s Rolex 24.
Helio Castroneves, who made a memorable charge to his second consecutive victory at Daytona a year ago, turned a 1 minute, 35.210-second lap in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing ARX-06 that nipped Filipe Albuquerque’s No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing.
“It was a good lap, always keep working hard,” Castroneves told IMSA Radio’s Shea Adam. “I guess I put myself in the right positions. This is nothing. It’s all about (his teammates) and especially the engineers of Meyer Shank Racing and Acura. We’ll keep it going. It’s just the first day.”
WeatherTech Sportscar Championship: Practice One. #IMSA | @DAYTONA | @Rolex24Hours pic.twitter.com/pENXoueDsw
— #IMSA (@IMSA) January 20, 2023
Gearbox problems sidelined the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac V-LMDh for all but four laps (none at speed) during the morning session. But the new LMDh cars otherwise seemed to hold up in their first official sessions of the 2023 season.
The top nine speeds were claimed by all the GTP cars in the field – three Cadillacs, two Porsche 963s, two BMW M Hybrid V8s and two Acuras.
Team owner Chip Ganassi said it still was unlike any typical practice dominated by the top-end prototypes.
“This is obviously a new endeavor for a lot of people on pit lane this year,” Ganassi said. “Everyone’s having to change their way of thinking a little bit, the way they approach these practice sessions, the way we approach things like just understanding how to get the most out of the car with the little time you have in practice. These cars are very complex.”
Mike O’Gara, global director of operations for Ganassi, said much of the session was spent on the basics with two cars that are virtually new.
“This car depends a lot more on the data that it is generating itself to run itself,” O’Gara said. “So, things like tire pressures, brake sensors, brake pressures that were important before are critical now. They are mission critical, so we have to make sure all those basic things work before all the other systems like the hybrid system, the electronic brake bias.
“We have to have those basic things right before those other things work properly. So, this morning, we were just making sure all of that worked right, so this afternoon, and the rest of the weekend, we can just start pushing. There is a mountain of work and a mountain of data for all of our folks to look at just to make sure all of that is functioning properly before we can start pushing on the rest of the systems in the car.”
Top speeds in other categories:
LMP2: Mikkel Jensen, No. 11 TDS Racing, ORECA LMP2 07, 1:38.730
LMP3: Gabby Chaves, No. 36 Andretti Autosport, Ligier JS P320, 1:42.926
GTD Pro: Ben Barnicoat, No. 14 Vasser Sullivan, Lexus RC F GT3, 1:47.040
GTD: Andy Lally, No. 44 Magnus Racing, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 1:47.004
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