As with any 24-hour sports car race, it’s impossible to make any predictions or assertions too early given the event’s longevity. At last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche’s #1 car looked to have victory secured with a 14-lap lead, only to suffer a shock retirement!

The same will be true at Daytona. While there is a certain amount we can predict and be sure of, the result is definitely wide open.

Strategy will be key to success at Daytona. You can expect the Prototype cars to make pit stops around every 45 minutes – more often for fuel than tyres – and occasional drivers swaps, while the GT runners should be in around every hour. Depending how safety cars, full course cautions and weather play out, though, things may be shaken up.

The length of the race also means that teams can often get back in contention despite issues that would prove terminal in a sprint event. Many cars will be taken ‘behind the wall’ and back to the garages through the race when lengthier repairs are required.

The best rule of thumb drivers have at Daytona is to simply make sure that you are in the mix come the final hour – and from there it is flat out!

Last year’s race went down to the final lap, while arguably the most dramatic moment in recent Daytona history came in 2016 when the two Corvettes were separated by just 0.034 seconds after 24 hours of frantic racing.

Can Fernando Alonso make up for his car disadvantage and ‘ghost’ his way to a debut victory at Daytona? Or will it boil down to a battle between Cadillac, Nissan and Acura for the win?

Stay tuned to Crash.net throughout this week for all the latest coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, including news, analysis and features.