Through The Esses - The Rolex 24. It's Time
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© Andrew S. Hartwell

If you have never been - but always wanted to go to - the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, you probably couldn't pick a better time than February 5, 2005. Now, racing purists will argue that assertion until the cows come home - "'cause it ain't traditional sportscar racing" - but regardless of what has come before, it appears that what is yet to come is worth taking the trip to Florida to witness.

As we write this, the Daytona Test Days entry list has just been posted on the Grand American website. Test days are the time for teams new and old to get in some valuable track time at this often-torturous circuit. Teams make an effort to be here for a few days to best assess their chances at finishing this grueling 24 hour break-a-thon. And even the sportscar purists will admit this race is hard on cars, drivers, teams and fans. Add in some unpredictable Florida weather and the task becomes even more daunting. And faithful readers of this column (both of you) will remember that the Daytona Fate Fairy is always lurking about. She favors but a few and wreaks havoc with all the rest.

But this is the first race of the new sportscar season and this is the place that all racers want to finish first at. And there are many reasons why fans like us should be here to see it all unfold. (Or is that unravel?) We have made up a short list of reasons why you should be at the Daytona International Speedway in a few weeks time. If one reason isn't enough, perhaps a read further down the list will be all the justification you need.

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