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Special Event Guide: The iRacing Roar Before The 24

The precursor to the Daytona 24 hours, let’s understand the Roar Before the 24.

The Roar Before the 24 acts as the precursor to iRacing first big endurance event of the season, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and is the service’s equivalent of the real-life IMSA Pilot Challenge sean opener at Daytona.

This is reflected by the fact it takes place over 2.4 hours, or 144 minutes, and is contested with entries made up of the GT4, TCR and Toyota GR86 categories. Let’s learn more about it.

When Is The Roar Before The 24 Held?

The Roar Before the 24 takes place across the second weekend of January, a week before the Daytona 24 goes ahead.

There will be a total of four-time slots for each race on iRacing, with each being chosen so that racers all over the world have the opportunity to compete in the long-distance contest.

  • Friday: 10 PM GMT
  • Saturday/Sunday: 8 AM GMT, 12 PM GMT, 4 PM GMT

How Is The Roar Before the 24 Structured?

Depending on where in the world you are based, there could be a split time perfect for how you want to race. This can be conditional in terms of location as well as how much experience you have with multi-class/endurance events.

  • The late Friday GMT fixture is ideal for drivers from North and South America as it will take place during the day
  • The early morning GMT splits are perfect for drivers in the Asia/Australasian regions because of the time difference
  • The 12 PM slot will be when the pro spilt race will take place, so if you are not participating and wish to spectate, this is the slot you’ll need to keep in mind. Less experienced drivers may want to give this time a swerve as it will be by far the most populated.
  • The later splits are also handy if you suffer a technical problem or crash out from an earlier race, giving you a second chance to complete the contest.  

The race is a solo event, so your destiny is firmly in your own hands as you’ll need to qualify your chosen machine as well as complete the full 2.4-hour encounter.

  • Download the free Coach Dave Delta app today to access the full range of setups to fight for supremacy whenever you hit the track, which is now available as part our new combined iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione Setup Subscription.

What License Is Needed To Race?

To take part in the iRacing Roar Before the 24, you need to reach a road racing licence of at least D level.

  • Bear in mind that the license you have doesn’t determine which split you are placed in, this will instead be sorted out by your total road racing iRating.
  • This means that you could potentially share a server with drivers that have a particularly high iRating but a lower license level, so don’t automatically assume everyone can operate at a pro level. 

The D-level license needed for this race should be pretty straightforward to reach as you just need to progress from the Rookie license. 

  • Putting together clean races in series such as the Formula 1600, Formula Vee and Global Mazda MX-5 Cup should quickly allow you to reach the required level.   

If you currently don’t have a high enough license level to take part in the Roar event, why not refer to Coach Dave Academy’s license guide so that you work towards getting to the required license level ahead of the race?

Competing in special events such as the Roar Before the 24 is also handy themselves for increasing your license level. Due to the extended length of these races, the opportunity for you to gain massive amounts of safety rating is huge as long as you drive cleanly across the full distance.

What Is The Daytona International Speedway?

The Daytona International Speedway, also known by the venue’s motto ‘The World Centre of Racing’, is one of the most recognisable motorsport facilities on earth.

Daytona’s road course layout may look simple from a track map, with the 31-degree banked oval portion of the circuit making up a large part of the lap. Only the short infield section and bus-stop chicane set it apart from the oval, though looks can be deceiving. 

The ever-tightening radius left-hander of Turn 1 is a tricky affair that demands the driver to brake as late as possible while keeping the car settled as you try to kiss the apex. This rapid opening bend then gives way to several slow 180-degree turns throughout the rest of the infield, which puts a premium on precise braking, mechanical grip and traction – which is even more difficult to manage with a typical low-downforce setup.

The infamous bus stop chicane is also a section that should be underestimated at your peril. Depending on what car you’re piloting, on entry to the left-right-left chicane, you’ll likely be travelling at near terminal velocity having just navigated Turn 2 of the oval.

Precision is the name of the game here, as you’ll need to take as much of the inside kerb as possible to open up the exit of the corner into the ultra-long run along the remainder of the oval down to Turn 1 once again.

For a full rundown of a lap around the Daytona International Speedway road course, why not check out a hot lap of the circuit by one of Coach Dave Academy’s professional drivers?

The Cars

The Roar Before the 24 is structured as a multi-class event that utilises the GT4, TCR and Toyota GR86 classes.

GT4

The GT4 roster that makes up the Roar Before the 24 field comprises five cars that represent five different manufacturers. If you want to avoid trying all the vehicles, why not utilise Coach Dave Academy’s guide to the best GT4 car in iRacing? 

The cars have relatively efficient ABS and traction control compared to their GT3 elder siblings, though they don’t have much downforce so they are designed to produce more mechanical grip. Their performance is equalised by iRacing’s Balance of Performance (BOP) system.

CarKey technical characteristics
Aston Martin Vantage GT4Front-engined layout, turbocharged 4.0-litre V8
BMW M4 GT4Front-engined layout, turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six
McLaren 570S GT4Mid-engined layout, twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 
Mercedes-AMG GT4  Front-engined layout, twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ClubsportMid-engined layout, naturally-aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six

TCR

The TCR class consists of four different vehicles built to the global TCR touring car regulations, which mandate all homologated models to use turbocharged four-cylinder engines that produce around 300 bhp, though they do allow for front and rear-wheel drive cars.

Three manufacturers are represented in iRacing, with the performance of all four cars being closely matched thanks to the service’s comprehensive BOP system. 

If you want to get ahead of the pack from the outset, make sure to install one of Coach Dave Academy’s bespoke setups for your favourite TCR weapon. 

CarKey technical characteristics
Audi RS 3 LMSRear-wheel drive, front-engined layout, turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four
Honda Civic Type RFront-wheel drive, Front-engined layout, turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four
Hyundai Elantra N TCFront-wheel drive, front-engined layout, turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four 
Hyundai Veloster N TCFront-wheel drive, front-engined layout, turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four 

Toyota GR86

The Toyota GR86 is a small two-door coupe racecar built for the single-make GR Buttkicker Cup within iRacing. It is the slowest of the three classes available for the Roar Before the 24 as its 2.4-liter motor produces just 228 horsepower.

Its lack of power only helps the entertainment value of the class though, as slipstreaming battles are therefore common – with the long stretches of Daytona, a strong argument can be made for this class being potentially the most fun of the three to compete in during the Roar.


Need Setups For The Series?

Our iRacing Setup Subscription allows you to focus purely on your on-track performance. And, with access to our free Coach Dave Delta app, installing them couldn’t be any easier.

  • Race setups
  • Qualifying setups
  • Onboard laps
  • Data packs
  • All crafted by professionals 

Race Format and Strategy

The grid for each split will decided by one of iRacing’s customary qualifying sessions that run over eight minutes and grant two fast laps. From there, drivers will have a rolling start to deal with and then the race will be underway.

Track Conditions

The Roar Before the 24 event will feature dynamic weather, so the grip that the track generates can change as the race progresses. A greater amount of cloud cover, as well as changes in the atmospheric temperature, can significantly affect the way your car drives through the stint.

  • Practicing in varied track conditions is advised so that tyre pressure changes can be made as the circuit changes throughout the race
  • Temperature differences can greatly affect tyre wear, so keep an eye on this value throughout the race to make sure you aren’t pushing your rubber too hard if the track is hotter  

Consistency

Consistency and keeping the car in one piece is key if you are to keep your team at the forefront of the contest.

  • Getting into a solid rhythm will help to mitigate mistakes, therefore ensuring your total race time will be as short as possible 
  • Consistency goes hand in hand with the track condition, if you can keep on top of both you’ll find your lap times staying strong well after your rivals’ tyres have lost grip 

Having the correct setup will make your job much easier, and Coach Dave Academy setup engineer Oriol explained what to look out for when preparing a car for Daytona. 

“For Daytona it’s important to reach a good top speed, so we always start with a low downforce adjustment in the setup,” explained Oriol.  

“Therefore we will also have to adjust the rake. Normally we will use a low rake to obtain better top speed. We also adjust the Toe and camber settings to achieve good traction and good turn-in, but also good speed for the middle track sectors. Low toe values will help us to reach a good top speed with low tyre wear. 

“A key part of the track is the entrance to the infield, as the vehicle must adapt well to the change in the asphalt. We can help this with a good spring rate setting, as a loss of traction at that point can negatively affect lap time. 

“The last chicane is also important. An agile car allows us to get on the throttle earlier on the exit, and that is important for the top speed. The ARBs can help us in this area.”

Variables

Being a multi-class event, you will need to take care of faster or slower classes that you share the track with in the Roar Before the 24.

  • Try to leave as many moves as possible until the straights, this mitigates risk and the slower corners featured within the Daytona layout means time loss behind slower traffic is minimal
  • The race being of a multi-class format makes it more difficult to get into a rhythm as you will always need to be conscious of other classes around you, either if you’re overtaking or being overtaken.

Taking advantage of this can pay dividends, as your rivals may struggle more with either passing or being passed, meaning if you can place your car correctly and think ahead you can lose less momentum and thus make an easier overtake.

The race will be over relatively quickly though, so measured aggression with calmness through traffic should stand you in good stead in trying to secure a strong result in the Roar Before the 24.Remember, bolting on a Coach Dave Academy-prepared setup means you’ll have one less variable to worry about when you take to the track!

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