The 2023 American motorsports season kicks off this weekend with the 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship schedule and the premier endurance racing event this side of the Atlantic. The grueling race will see Acura, Cadillac, Porsche, and BMW battling in the top class for overall victory, with around 50 other cars competing among four lower classes for their own shot at a trophy. Along with the action on track, several automakers are here in Daytona Beach, Florida, showing off their latest sports cars. We've rounded up all of the must-see vehicles at this year's 24 Hours of Daytona below.
A New Corvette Race Car
Chevrolet Corvette is already competing in this year's 24 Hours of Daytona in the form of the Corvette C8.R GTD, but the bow-tie brand is also using the event to show off an updated version of the race car. Called the Corvette Z06 GT3.R and first revealed in 2021, the new track missile conforms to the FIA's GT3 technical regulations and will make its debut at next year's 24 Hours of Daytona.
Power comes from a flat-plane-crank DOHC 5.5-liter V-8 that shares over 70 percent of its components with the engine in the road-legal Z06, originating on the same production line in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Z06 GT3.R also gains a stronger crash structure and revised cooling, aerodynamics, and suspension. The race car's bodywork also mimics that of the standard Z06.
Acura Integra Type S
We already drove a prototype version of the 2024 Acura Integra Type S last year in Japan, but the high-performance Acura will make its North American debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. While it will still be wearing a dazzling camouflage wrap, the Type S will serve as the lead vehicle at the start of the race, along with behind displayed in the paddock at Daytona International Speedway.
The Integra Type S will be officially unveiled this summer, but we already know that it will use a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with over 300 horsepower, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and routing the power through a limited-slip differential.
BMW M3 CS
BMW just revealed the M3 CS, a more hardcore version of the venerable sports sedan, earlier this week. Now the M3 CS is making its first public appearance at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where BMW is competing in the top GTP class with the M Hybrid V8 and in the lower GTD with the M4 GT3. The M3 CS brings an extra 40 horsepower over the 503 ponies in the M3 Competition while also shedding about 75 pounds. Other highlights of the limited-production M3 include Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tires, a no-cost option, and the lurid Signal Green paint.
The Race, of Course!
The biggest attraction of all is the race itself. The 2023 season sees new regulations for the top class of race cars, which is renamed GTP. Acura and Cadillac return, while BMW and Porsche have now developed their own entries, and nine GTP cars will challenge for top honors. Behind them are four more classes: LMP2 and LMP3 use prototype race cars while GTD Pro and GTD use touring cars. The race field also features several big names in the world of motorsports, from six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and two-time champ Josef Newgarden to former F1 driver Romain Grosjean and reigning Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric. The race kicks off at 1:40 p.m. ET tomorrow and ends at the same time on Sunday, with coverage on NBC and USA Network and streaming on Peacock.