DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The green flag has fallen Saturday afternoon on the 38 cars racing in the 58th Rolex 24 at Daytona.
For the second consecutive year, pole-sitter Oliver Jarvis led the field to the start of the IMSA season opener in his No. 77 Mazda Team Joest, followed by the No. 6 Acura of Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya.
In an early battle within the first 20 laps, Montoya lost second to Felipe Nasr.
A duel in the opening hour of the #Rolex24!
— Motorsports On NBC (@MotorsportsNBC) January 25, 2020
Ryan Briscoe was running fifth for Wayne Taylor Racing, which is the defending champion of the sports car classic in the premier DPI division.
Ben Keating (LMP2), Nick Tandy (GTLM) and Zacharie Robichon (GTD) were the early leaders in the other classes as the pole-sitters each held their positions on the opening lap.
Unlike last year when rain plagued the final eight hours, and the race ended under a red flag for the first time in its 59-year history, the race began under sunny skies and 67 degrees, and the forecast is clear for the weekend.
Among the notable stories in this year’s race is the Rolex 24 debut of two-time NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch, who is scheduled to climb into his No. 14 Lexus at 6 p.m. ET.
Here’s the full broadcast schedule for the 24-hour race, which will be shown on NBC, NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.