While the American Le Mans Series has opted for an ESPN television package this season that includes Internet-based coverage, its rival Grand-Am is sticking with traditional coverage on the SPEED cable network. Grand-Am Road Racing announced on Wednesday a 2011 TV coverage schedule that is highlighted by eight live SPEED broadcasts of the Rolex Sports Car Series, starting with next weekend's endurance classic, the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The Rolex 24, set for its 49th running on Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course, will be showcased with 14 hours of live coverage in two comprehensive seven-hour blocks – 3-10 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, Jan. 29 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 30.
Other Rolex Series races to be aired live this season include the Grand Prix of Miami from Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 5; Lime Rock Park's Memorial Day Classic on May 30; Watkins Glen International's events on June 4 and Aug. 13; Road America on June 25; New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 24; and the season finale, from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, on Sept. 17. Races to be aired on a delayed basis include Barber Motorsports Park on April 10; Virginia International Raceway on May 14; Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on July 10; and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20.
In addition, nine races in Grand-Am's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series will once again be aired on a delayed basis, beginning with the season-opening event at Daytona, to be shown on SPEED at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 5, with nearly 80 cars expected to enter.
"Our partnership with SPEED will deliver to our fans an impressive total of 64-and-a-half hours of television coverage this season; included in that total will be 35 hours of live Rolex Series coverage," said Grand-Am vp Kevin Hindson. "When you consider the full race coverage, combined with the various shoulder Grand-Am programming on tap for the season, it's clear that we have assembled a TV package that is relevant to the fans and will greatly benefit our sport."