The 60th Daytona 24 Hours opens the American sports car racing season this weekend, with a whopping 61 cars – the most since 2014 – jostling for space around the 3.56-mile circuit made up by the famous tri-oval combined with an infield road course.

The calibre of the drivers competing is astonishing: Nascar and Indycar legends, ex-Formula 1 aces and the cream of rising talent who are now targeting futures in a code of motorsport that’s on the cusp of a fantastic new era. Sports car racing is where it’s at, outside of F1.

Among the new elite is Londoner Alex Lynn, who will make his Daytona 24 Hours debut this weekend as he embarks on a fulltime campaign in the IMSA Sportscar Championship, at the wheel of a top-class Cadillac DPi prototype for one of America’s most iconic teams, Chip Ganassi Racing.

Not so long ago, Lynn was knocking for opportunity in F1 as a Williams development driver, but like so many before and since, hit a financial glass ceiling. Formula E beckoned, and last year with Mahindra Racing he became a winner in the electric single-seater series. But at 28, he’s now fully focused on collecting overall wins in the world’s biggest sports car races.

Along with his Ganassi deal in 2022, he will juggle a full-time drive in the World Endurance Championship in an LMP2 category also fit to burst with quality, racing for United Autosport, with which he finished fourth in class at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year. “I’m excited about where I am in my life,” says Lynn, and no wonder.

Banking on Daytona