79rex
79rex New Reader
1/6/19 8:35 p.m.

So il looking into finally making this trip.  I'll be flying in and getting a rental car in the area.  Just have a few questions about how tickets and parking works once I'm at the race.  I'm planning on staying the whole 24 hrs so I'm assuming I can leave my car parked in its spot while I'm in attendance from Saturday to Sunday?  Are there any passes I should look into other than my Saturday/Sunday ticket with a garage pass?  Things to pack?  Im thinking clothes for rain with some pants in case it gets chilly (cold is relative as I'm a Midwesterner) 2 pairs of comfy shoes. I'm going to probably continue to ask questions in this thread as they come up.  But I'll leave it as is for now to get started.

kabel
kabel Dork
1/6/19 10:31 p.m.

Awesome!

Sounds like you have the right set of tickets. Garage access is key to the experience in my opinion. There should be parking available outside the track. Last year we parked in the lot outside speedway T3 and I would also assume you can be parked there the entire time. Though you might have to pay for parking if you leave and return the next "day".
There is always a chance of rain. It almost always gets a little chilly, especially with the wind. Hopefully you will need a hat and or sunscreen ;-)

Beyond that, just take it all in. Lots of great places to catch the racing including the grandstands. Night time is the best time when the crowd thins a bit. And be sure to join p at the GRM tent for the Midnight garage tour.
 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/7/19 8:27 a.m.

Yes, what kabel said: prepare for the weather, expect to walk (a lot), and have fun. Don't forget that the GRM tent will be open all weekend. Look for us on the shores of Lake Lloyd. Even if you don't have one of our passes, you're invited to chill out, cool your heels, make new friends, etc. Look for our visitor guide in the upcoming issue, too. To be announced very soon: Friday evening party at Ormond Brewing Company. 

This weekend's Roar was full and, of course, the big topic was parking. It sounds like you'll be parking outside the track and, to be honest, that's not so bad. The conga line to get in gets a bit tiresome. Relax and ride the tram. You can purchase parking tickets from the Speedway that get your fairly close. That Lot 5 pass sounds like the hot ticket now that infield parking is sold-out. 

More questions? Ask away. 

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
1/7/19 8:40 a.m.

You haven't said if you have a hotel or are planning to camp out in your car, but I'm guessing camping, in which case parking outside the track by turns 1 and 2 in the Geico campground can be good. Last year it sold out before the race fyi. They do have new parking across the street in a big new shopping plaza, not sure how/when you purchase parking there (One Daytona?). For the Geico parking, it is a bit of a walk to the tram to get in the track, but plenty of room for your car, tent, fire, etc.

I would say to bring a headset that gets AM/FM for IMSA radio, we've done that the past couple years and it is a huge help to know what is going on on track/in the pits. I've found that the best place to watch the race is way up in the grandstands towards turn 1, but definitely spend time down in the pits and wander around to lots of other vantage points.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/7/19 8:45 a.m.

I'll second that emotion: Watching from the grandstands is way cool. You're up high and can see the entire track. 

wae
wae SuperDork
1/7/19 9:00 a.m.

I think it's pretty interesting to have a scanner to listen to the onboard radio and race control.  I bought a used one on eBay two years ago for about the cost of the rental and then just go to the Racing Electronics booth and pay $5 for the freq list.

Comfy shoes and warm clothes for sure.  I also like to have my hydration backpack with me so I've always got something to eat and drink.  Earplugs are a good idea.

If you want to take some good pictures, investigate a stool or ladder so you can get over the catch fence a bit without having to be way up in the grandstands. 

The midnight garage walk is awesome, so do that. 

The pit lane walk for the Rolex itself is stupid crowded.  Just use that opportunity to stand on the banking and cross to the grandstands to watch the start from there.  If you go all the way up and to the corner you can see almost the whole track.  The pit lane walk for the support race is much less crowded, so do that. 

If you like loud sounds and glowing brake rotors, hang out in the entry to the int'l horseshoe once it gets dark. If you don't like those things, get off my lawn.  

The deck on top of the garages is a neat place to spend some time.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
1/7/19 3:49 p.m.

Don't let Florida fool you---- it can and does get cold at the Rolex.   Keep in mind that down here, we have lots of humidity, and when it drops into the 40's it feels downright cold.   No, it's not -20 below, but it is chilly and wet.   Dress in waterproof layers, and you'll be fine.  You are used to dressing for the cold---- just do that down here, and you'll be fine.   It's those who figure "Hey it's Florida" and only pack a hoodie that run into trouble.  

Ride the Ferris Wheel at some point---- it's pretty darn cool when the cars are running.   Free coffee and donuts at the GRM compound each morning to get a good start to the day!  

 

Be sure to stop by  and say hello to the entire GRM staff.  We'll all be there!  

79rex
79rex New Reader
1/7/19 7:41 p.m.

When the grassroots garage tour goes on is that an anyone is welcome thing or does that require credentials like a pass or something?

79rex
79rex New Reader
1/7/19 8:43 p.m.

And to touch on the camping question.  I have a hotel for Friday night. Didn't get one for Saturday as I plan on spending the whole weekend at the track.

kabel
kabel Dork
1/7/19 8:50 p.m.

In reply to 79rex :

everyone is welcome on the Midnight tour ;-) No special credentials required.

conesare2seconds
conesare2seconds Dork
1/7/19 9:24 p.m.

Take the GRM midnight garage tour and the facility tour if offered. Spend time in the grandstands and lots of time in the garages. Walk out to the infield stands past international horseshoe and watch the cars as they come off the high banking and take the back straight. They will seem like they’re overhead and you can get neat pictures. Pick a team or two and go to the autograph sessions. Do the grid walk before the race, it’s crowded but cool as can be. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/8/19 10:25 a.m.

Yeah, the pre-race fan walks are cool. The one for the Rolex will be packed. If you're there on Friday, definitely do the one for the Michelin race. 

Also, be prepared while walking around the garages. How so? Have your camera (and autograph pen) ready. The drivers are usually in a hurry. Those who are prepared will score. 

79rex
79rex New Reader
1/9/19 7:18 p.m.

I'm planning in driving in early Saturday morning. Curious as to what I should expect for traffic?

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
1/10/19 9:04 a.m.

We get there early on Friday, used to be to watch the Ferrari Challenge race (not sure if that is still an event) and it is pretty empty. Traffic gets quite a bit heavier on Saturday. We head East from St Pete area and there is really only a couple ways in/out of Daytona (I-4 or I-95) so I would imagine they start to back up pretty quickly. Traffic does seem to flow okay around the track the whole weekend though.

Leaving can be a bit of a mess too if you stay for the whole race.

I would let some of the more local people chime in on how bad it gets since we park Friday and ride it out from there the whole weekend.

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
1/10/19 9:07 a.m.

What is the time and location for the midnight garage tour? I know, "midnight" and "garage", but more interested in specifics lol.

Does everyone meet at the GRM tent around 11:30 or so and then head to the pits? I've never done that one before but would be interested in trying to go this year.

wae
wae SuperDork
1/10/19 9:22 a.m.

In reply to CobraSpdRH :

I think you're right on the money:  Meet at the GRM tent in the 2330 timeframe and then follow the flag.  Last year was pretty awesome as we got to gather in the driver's meeting room and had a really neat Q&A session.  There were enough of us that we kinda filled the room up.  If you're running late, just make a bee-line for the garage area and look for the Grassrootslandia National Flag...

Devilsolsi
Devilsolsi Reader
1/10/19 11:46 a.m.

This year will be my 3rd Daytona 24. Lot 5 parking is worth it as it is just outside of the track so easy to go to your car if you want to change clothes, recharge batteries, have a cooler, and not have to lug everything around. 

 

The IMSA radio broadcast is great for keeping up with what is going on and keeping entertained. I use the FM tuner on my ipod from the track's radio station, but you can also get it on scanner frequencies and Sirus XM.

 

A few other suggestions...talk to people. I have been to quite a few IMSA events and everyone is friendly, fans, drivers, teams, employees..everyone.

Stop by all the manufacturer setups. Almost all of them have free stuff they are giving away and racing sims. Mazda usually has an arrive and drive setup outside of NASCAR 1. 

If you are into photography like me, find a good spot for the fireworks at 11pm. Makes for some very interesting shots. Also for the photographers, they don't allow monopods or tripods in the paddock/garage area. They will make you leave it at the gate, so have a plan for that if you have nice equipment. 

car39
car39 HalfDork
1/10/19 3:03 p.m.

As a senior citizen, I like to crash some place about 9 for an hour or two nap.  The action in the dark is amazing.  If you bring a camera (real one, not a phone) consider bringing a step stool so you can shoot over some of the fences.   I like playing around with the light and speed settings on the camera.  This was a few years back.

Devilsolsi
Devilsolsi Reader
1/10/19 4:32 p.m.

Good call on the step stool. The fence in the infield is just high enough that you need one. There is also a Target across the street where you can buy one.

 

Night time shots are a lot of fun with the various lights. This is one of my favorites from last year.

 

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/10/19 4:59 p.m.

Very cool. The Rolex is a photographer's delight. Also, don't forget to take photos in the garages. 

79rex
79rex New Reader
1/10/19 5:28 p.m.

I have a cannon DSLR I plan to bring along with my GoPro.  Will for sure be looking to take some cool pics.  The GoPro I'm bringing with, but not sure I'll use it.

bullmanuga
bullmanuga New Reader
1/10/19 6:10 p.m.

How is the parking situation in the GRM area? If I get there early Saturday morning will there still be space in the lot?

wae
wae SuperDork
1/10/19 6:48 p.m.

In reply to bullmanuga :

It gets tight and you might not be able to get out, but I've never been denied a spot.

bullmanuga
bullmanuga New Reader
1/10/19 7:29 p.m.

Thanks for the info. I'm not worried too much about getting out. I don't plan on leaving until after it's over Sunday. I'm sure I can find some space for my 500 Abarth.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
1/10/19 7:43 p.m.

The trams run the entire event, take advantage of them.  I took several trips between the infield and grandstands and the only time I had to wait for a lift was when the race ended back to the infield.  The midnight tour is a fun look at everything behind the scenes that goes on to see what goes on, get a bit of rest first if you aren't used to walking and standing for a while.  Bring extra camera batteries.  I ended staying up the whole time and had a great time.  Go on the ferris wheel at some point in the middle of the night for some great views of the track, it helped compensate for not thinking to bring a step stool.

 

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