Vintage racing has long been the province of lovable misfits who are into old cars, but now at least the Classic 24 at Daytona has a bit more weight behind it. IMSA—the same sanctioning body that hosts United SportsCar and a zillion support series—just teamed up to present the Classic 24 at Daytona.
IMSA president Scott Atherton and Historic Sportscar Racing president David Hinton announced the partnership today at Watkins Glen, emphasizing the extra marketing power IMSA couple put behind a vintage event.
Atherton explained that there was already a lot of overlap between the two series, so it made sense to make that connection a bit more official:
What we saw when we walked around the garage at the first Classic 24 Hour At Daytona last fall was many, many classic sports cars carrying the original IMSA logo. In some cases, these cars were being fielded by teams that compete regularly in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship or other IMSA-sanctioned series, or were being driven by current or former IMSA drivers. There’s a natural connection between our two organizations that we could not pass up.
The Classic 24 isn’t a continuous 24-hour endurance race, but rather, they divide up all the cars by generation and rotate groups on and off for 24 hours. It’s a bit more gentle on historic machinery that way, but still has all the cars out long enough to get all the classic cars a nice, thick coat of race grime after all is said and done (as they should have!).
Hinton said that a few cars have already signed up for the second annual running of the race, including a small herd of BMW Batmobiles.
As for what will finally convince the masses that vintage racing isn’t just for moneyed old farts who drive slow, we’re not sure—but the extra exposure and epic cool factor of many of the old prototypes certainly can’t hurt.
HSR is open and accessible to normal dudes with classic race cars, so much so that several of us in the press room were talking about entering our various vehicles. (A 944 would fit in, man!) There’s even a catch-all class at the Classic 24 that a newer Boxster won last year.
Hopefully it’s streamed like all the other IMSA events. Vintage racing is too much fun for it not to be.
Photo credit: Matt Rhoads
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