“That is Highly Unusual” – Nerve Wracking Contention in Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona for the Lead Has Broadcasters Baffled

Published 01/28/2024, 1:46 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The 2024 IMSA season has officially kicked off with the Rolex 24 weekend at the Daytona International Speedway. Things got off to a fantastic start in the 24-hour race, and after about 6 hours, the broadcasters were losing their minds over an epic battle for the lead between Ben Hanley and Malthe Jakobsen. At a star-studded event, the action lived up to the hype, and fans could not have asked for a better start to the 2024 motorsports season.

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Several big names are at the track for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. One of the big-name drivers that are taking part in the event is none other than Cup Series racer Bubba Wallace. Off the track, legendary Hollywood actor Brad Pitt was also at the track, shooting for an upcoming Formula One movie.

Commentators are baffled as cars go side-by-side through the tight sections in Rolex 24

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Navigating the road course section of the Daytona International Speedway is a challenging task. There are tight sections in a lot of places on the track where it is difficult even for the LMP2 cars to pass through side by side. That is what happened about 6 hours into the race as Hanley and Jakobsen were fighting for the lead.

The 2 drivers went side by side through a section that the commentators did not expect, and they could not believe what they had seen. “Ben Hanley there on the outside, here comes Jakobsen trying to take the lead, side by side as they head to the high-speed kink,” one of the broadcasters said.

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As they approached the area, another broadcaster called, “Only one will make it,” but when both of them made it through, he shared his shock at what had just transpired on the track. “Both did…that is highly unusual,” he added. It is action like this over the years that has made the Rolex 24 one of the iconic races in American motorsports.

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The 2024 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona is currently underway, but ahead of the event, a 5-time winner of the event was inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame with an emotional message that won the hearts of fans across the country.

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IMSA legend honored ahead of 24 Hours of Daytona

Hurley Haywood is one of the legends of IMSA, winning the 24-hour Daytona race on five occasions. He has been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame and the IMSA Hall of Fame in the past. The motorsports veteran was also inducted into the NMPA Hall of Fame by John Doonan, who had a heartfelt message.

“After 5 overall victories at the Rolex 24 and three overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, nearly a dozen IMSA victories, you’ve accomplished a lot in this sport, and I know how proud you are of all those wins and championships. I also know that this particular Hall of Fame induction means possibly the most to you. To be recognized by the press, the media, the journalists who’ve covered our sport for decades and told the stories of those championships and wins,” Doonan said.

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Hurley Haywood is one of the IMSA greats who paved the way for the current generation to perform at the highest level. Where does the 5-time 24 Hours of Daytona winner stack up in your list of all-time motorsports greats?

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

753Articles

One take at a time

Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports, where he is known for his creative yet easy-to-read writing style. Before taking up his role as a sports journalist at ES, Nilavro has written for some of the top publishing houses, like The Telegraph. While most journalists stop at covering live events and taking the news to the readers, Nilavro goes the extra mile to give fans a platform for them to express their thoughts through his 'race reaction' pieces.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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