If the build-up to last year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was all about the new hybrid GTP prototypes, then 2024 is the year when the GT classes are cranking up the excitement and anticipation levels.
That’s not to say that GTP isn’t providing its own share of fresh storylines — try record-breaking lap times in qualifying for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, or Lamborghini coming in as the fifth manufacturer, to name just two. But in the GTD Pro and GTD classes, exciting new cars, even bigger fields, and what’s set to be even closer competition make IMSA’s production-based classes just as compelling as the high-tech prototypes chasing overall wins.
Out now, the new issue of RACER sets the scene for a 2024 GT battle royal, with the latest installment of one of racing’s best and biggest rivalries, Ford vs. Chevrolet, taking center stage.
Sure, the official line from the Blue Oval and the Bowtie is that their all-new Ford Mustang GT3 and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R have to beat everybody to win a GTD Pro or GTD championship. But for fans of each marque, this classic Motor City matchup between two V8-powered heavyweights is going to be the biggest story of what’s set to be a classic season.
In 25 packed pages, our 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship preview runs the tape over all four classes in the big show and sets the scene on a bumper field of support championships, too. We’re not predicting who’ll win it all — it’s way too close to call for that — but we are setting you up to enjoy the excitement and unpredictability of a must-see season for North American sports car racing.
Elsewhere in a packed issue, we take a look at the fall and rise of Alex Albon, a driver dumped by Red Bull Racing who’s now dragging Williams Racing back to respectability and beyond in the Formula 1 pecking order.
Plus, heading into the first-ever F1 season with zero rookies on the grid for the opener, we ask why? For the teams, it’s all about stability, but for a new generation of talent forced to kick its heels, it’s more like stagnation.
One driver who is getting his big break in 2024 is David Malukas, NTT IndyCar Series heavyweight and Arrow McLaren’s new signing. He’s yet to win an IndyCar race, but Malukas’s performances with Dale Coyne Racing were enough to convince his new team of his potential. We sat down with the Chicagoan and got his take on a massive opportunity.
On a very sad note, we remember 2003 Indy 500 winner and good friend of RACER Gil de Ferran, who passed away suddenly in December. An incredibly intelligent racer, but one who could still push the limits when it was called for (check out his throttle-bending, 241mph-plus lap of Fontana in 2000 for vivid confirmation), Gil was always fascinating to talk to about racing — or anything, really — and his columns for RACER merely confirmed that.
We’re also saying goodbye to NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough, a driver as tough as he was successful, as you’ll read in our tribute to the three-time Cup Series champ.
Add in a scene-set for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, including an interview with rising star Ty Gibbs, plus insight from World Superbike G.O.A.T. Jonathan Rea on his switch to Yamaha and a look at Ferrari’s tragic 1957 season — the subject of Michael Mann’s new “Ferrari” movie — and we think there’s something for everybody in RACER No. 326.