Rolex 24 Viewership Increases 47 Percent Television viewership of the Rolex 24 At Daytona broadcasted on SPEED for the opening round of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, increased by 47 percent over the 2008 ratings.
The SPEED broadcast featured 14-and-a-half hours of live coverage of the 47th running of the Daytona International Speedway classic. The initial tune-in on FOX averaged nearly one million households and 1.2 million viewers.
The Jan. 24-25 event featured the closest finish in the history of major international 24-hour races. The Brumos Porsche team and driver David Donohue held off Juan Pablo Montoya of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates by .167 seconds, with the top four cars within 11 seconds at the checkered flag. The broadcast of the finish had more than half a million households and nearly three-quarters of a million viewers tuned in as the cars received the checker flag.
"We feel the Rolex 24 was an excellent start to our 2009 season, and are happy that the television viewership reflects that," said Roger Edmondson, President of Grand-Am Road Racing. "We hope to build on the success of the Rolex 24 throughout our season of competition, and continue our viewership growth with SPEED as our broadcasting partner for the season."
Grand-Am also announced its television schedule for the 2009 season. Of the 11 remaining races, nine will be broadcast on SPEED live. The event at New Jersey Motorsports Park and the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen International will be aired on a same-day delay. Full details of the television schedule can be found on the Grand-Am website at www.grand-am.com.
In addition, ratings for the Fresh From Florida 200, the opening round of the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge, were up 77 percent. The race, originally held Jan. 23, was aired on Jan. 31.
The next Rolex Series race will be the April 24-25 Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Va. The KONI Sports Car Challenge will next race March 13-14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Grand-Am Fan Appreciation Weekend.