The Panoz DeltaWing speeds by at the Roar Before the 24.

Racing From Your Couch Survival Guide

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Originally published Jan 26, 2016

Happy Rolex 24 Week! The off season is just about over and as some of us get ready for the long race weekend, I know there are plenty of you who are looking forward to getting through the work week to watch the race from home. Last week, I gave some tips on how to survive IWSC’s biggest test of endurance at the track itself. But as any endurance fan knows, it can be an even harder battle to survive the full twenty-four hours from home. Your senses aren’t as engaged, your warm bed is calling, and the long cautions can lead to an accidental slip into napping. The good news? You’re warm at four in the morning. Nevertheless, it can be tough to stay up all night for the Rolex 24.

I haven’t watched the Rolex 24 from home in six years, but I do stay up for all twenty-four hours of Le Mans. It’s hard, it’s long, and, depending on where you are in the world, it takes all you have to survive. I’m a big fan of constantly moving around, of going to bed early the night before a twenty-four hour race. And hey, if you’re in North America, sleep in. The race doesn’t started until mid-afternoon, so, can sleep in if you can.

But, here’s the thing, I know not everyone wants to or can stay up all night. So, I asked Twitter for some advice. Overwhelmingly, the response was (contrary to what I do) to make sure you get some sleep. So let’s break down some advice from the fans who watch from home, as well as a special guest appearance from Sean Rayhall, one of the drivers of the DeltaWing.

 

 

I actually found it pretty cool that a lot of the tricks those who attend the 24 use translate over to watching from home. Keep yourself hydrated, eat well, and do what you need to do to get the most out of this incredible race. While your senses won’t be as engaged, I’ve often found that it helps to get up and move around when you feel yourself getting tired. I like to use commercials and/or cautions to get up, jog a bit in place, make myself a light snack, and get water or make another cup of coffee.

 

 

But hey, this is a fun race and you should give yourself the opportunity to have fun. So, as Sean points out, enjoy your Patron, but, just like all of us at the track, pace yourself. Getting tipsy won’t do you any favors. Plan your snacks and beverages (adult, coffee, or hydration) accordingly to get the most out of them before your nap-time. Nap-times should be planned around the inevitable fog caution, or you can do them cat-nap style. Either way, you absolutely don’t want to miss the sunrise and the renewed sense of vigor that comes with the long night coming to an end.

 

 

But how do you keep your senses engaged during this long night? While it would be fun to live off the pure caffeine high from energy drinks and coffee, there has to be some way to keep you riveted during cautions and the ups and downs of the natural rhythm of the race. At the Roar, someone informed me that they like to have the FoxSports broadcast on their TV, the stream on their iPad, and IMSA Radio playing on their computer. All are fantastic options. You want the great commentary as well as the visual pleasure of the four classes.

 

 

This is a great idea and one I utilized during every single WEC race this year. Get the stream on your TV in your living room, turn up the surround sound, and just enjoy this race.

 

 

Okay, so you have responsibilities in your life. The kids don’t have it in them to sit around with you all day to watch the race. Maybe you have some chores around the house to do. I get it. If you can, make sure you can keep track of the race no matter where you are. The IMSA app (iTunes) (Google Play) (Windows Store) is great if you’re on the go. Pull up the stream and live timing and follow along that way. Stay as connected as you can and just have a great time.

 

 

As Sean pointed out, the race starts to heat up around 9AM. So whether you’re well-rested or coming off the all-nighter, make sure you’re up for the early morning racing. For those of us at the track, the sun is a sign of the end of an incredibly long night. For those of you at home, this is when you can enjoy your breakfast while watching the cars, drivers, crews, and fans coming to life for the last few hours of the race. Anything can happen, and anything usually does happen. Those who survived the night know the race is coming to an end, but there is still a long way to go. There is basically a Six Hours of the Glen left to go, and we all know a lot can go wrong in six hours. So enjoy this amazing race!

 

 

The other good thing about being at home? You get to collapse when the race is done, or at least soon after. Of course, this may not be the case if you’re riding a high from your favorites winning, but I can’t help you there. It’s just the kind of thing you have to ride out, the kind of thing you really have to enjoy. Racing gives us these highs and lows, and we have to just accept it. I, for one, think this is going to be the kind of race that keeps us talking until Sebring. And whether or not you’re at Daytona International Speedway, make sure you’re paying attention to this race. It’s going to be a gamechanger, I think.

-Katie

SOURCE: IMSA.COM

SOURCE: IMSA.COM

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