DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Of course Brad Pitt is at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the most prestigious endurance race in the United States.
The actor is not at Daytona International Speedway as a fan though. He’s actually on track filming scenes for his yet-to-be-titled Formula One movie, and the storyline contains an arc in which Pitt, an aging driver, has returned to sports car
His presence has been a bit of a headache to many of the other drivers in the field, mainly because of the heavy security at the driver motorhome lot, where Pitt has a spot for his downtime during filming. IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin complained he was denied access
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, a regular in the Daytona infield lot, said he’s been bumped to an overflow lot, same for many of the top drivers in the race. Among them? Former F1 champion Jenson Button and IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who wondered if he should ask Pitt for advice on how to make it into F1.
They’ve all complained that the filming scenes have kept them awake at night as shooting begins long after the track has been cleared of the actual Rolex 24 practices. A filming session requires at least six cars on track at a time.
Among them are three identically prepared Porsche 911 GT3’s painted as the actual movie car. The cars are also identical to the Wright Motorsports entry that will actually race in the twice-round-the-clock event that begins Saturday.
The other cars on track are a Mercedes and a BMW that have been described as “non-descript cars looking like they are racing,” as well as a 1999 Lola V8 that is the official “camera vehicle” and rumbles loud enough to sound like a stock car and keep the drivers awake.
Herta and Button both complained the filming has woken them up this week. Button had a practical view about the disruptions.
“This race is going to be super cool and the lack of sleep is the only issue, but I’m in the cheap seats,” Button said. “I think we’re doing OK. We’ve got a big race coming up and Brad Pitt is playing a part in the event.”
Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produced “Days of Thunder,” is producing this F1 movie. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton
It is due for release in summer 2025.