ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Stability and sustainability have been among the many key messages delivered Friday night time in IMSA’s annual State of the Sport presentation to stakeholders and media in Highway America’s Tufte Heart.
IMSA President John Doonan revealed 2023 season schedules and shared particulars on a variety of subjects with IMSA Radio host John Hindhaugh forward of what’s anticipated to be a watershed season in 2023 for the flagship IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and all IMSA-sanctioned sequence.
“IMSA has a once-in-a-generation alternative to re-energize our current base of sports activities automotive racing followers and attain new audiences in 2023 and past,” Doonan mentioned. “With the introduction of our new GTP prototypes, a sturdy and steady platform for GT racing, a renewed deal with sustainability and a calendar stuffed with legendary street racing venues, all the elements are in place for continued success.”
2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Reveals 11-Race Schedule
The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will characteristic a complete of 11 races, with six occasions to characteristic all 5 WeatherTech Championship lessons: GTP, LMP2, LMP3, GTD PRO and GTD.
The IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup will embrace all lessons for the 4 conventional endurance occasions: the Rolex 24 At Daytona (Jan. 26-29), Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Offered by Advance Auto Elements (March 15-18), Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (June 22-25) and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Highway Atlanta (Oct. 11-14). 5-class races additionally will probably be held at Highway America (Aug. 4-6) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 15-17).
The brand new GTP class could have a complete of 9 occasions in 2023, including Lengthy Seaside (April 14-15), WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Might 12-14) and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 7-9). The GTD PRO and GTD lessons will compete in all 11 WeatherTech Championship races, together with GT-only occasions at Lime Rock Park (July 21-22) and VIRginia Worldwide Raceway (Aug. 25-27). The WeatherTech Dash Cup for GTD has been discontinued.
The LMP2 class additionally will compete at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and LMP3 will return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Rolex 24 At Daytona won’t depend towards full-season WeatherTech Championship factors for the LMP2 or LMP3 lessons.
Along with the race occasions, the annual Roar Earlier than the Rolex 24 At Daytona returns on the weekend of Jan. 20-22. In preparation for the 2023 season, IMSA-sanctioned testing for GTP automobiles will probably be held at Michelin Raceway Highway Atlanta on Oct. 3-5 and at Daytona Worldwide Speedway on Dec. 6-7.
A sanctioned check for all WeatherTech Championship rivals is also deliberate for Sebring Worldwide Raceway in February 2023.
Sustainability Alliance Strengthened with New Alternatives
A key aspect of the State of the Sport presentation centered on IMSA’s continued sustainability alliance. For greater than a decade, IMSA has loved a partnership with the Environmental Safety Company (EPA), U.S. Division of Vitality (DOE) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Worldwide.
The introduction of the brand new GTP class presents new sustainability alternatives. Every GTP automotive will use a single-source hybrid powertrain, which is able to permit for a discount of gas consumption by greater than 10 p.c. For every automotive’s inner combustion engine, IMSA’s Official Gasoline Provider, VP Racing Fuels, will provide renewable VP R80 gas.
Michelin, the Official Tire Provider of IMSA, has developed a singular new tire for GTP, which could have the power to double stint. This might result in a discount in tire utilization of as much as 25 p.c. Present WeatherTech Championship Michelin race tires have almost 30 p.c sustainable uncooked supplies.
Michelin additionally displayed a brand new racing tire that comprises 53 p.c sustainable uncooked supplies. IMSA and Michelin are working collectively to discover bringing this tire into IMSA competitors.
Competitors Enhancements Together with Bob Akin Bronze Cup Championship Highlighted
On the competitors entrance, IMSA confirmed the continuation of a five-class format for the WeatherTech Championship in 2023 with the identical driver mixture necessities as in earlier years.
Whereas Bronze- and Silver-rated drivers stay eligible in GTD driver lineups, IMSA bolstered its dedication to Bronze-rated drivers by way of the Bob Akin Bronze Cup championship. Prime Bronze drivers in GTD will probably be acknowledged on the postrace podium at every race and the Bob Akin Bronze Cup season champion will obtain an entry to the next 12 months’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
IMSA is evaluating further incentives for Bronze drivers concerning qualifying format and drive-time. Updates will probably be supplied as they turn into out there.
The GTP class is about by at the very least 2027, whereas LMP2 and LMP3 have been confirmed by 2023. The GTD PRO and GTD lessons will proceed to make use of GT3-spec race automobiles by at the very least 2026.
Occasions at Detroit, Indianapolis Spotlight 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem Schedule
The 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem season will characteristic a complete of 11 occasions, with every of the sequence’ two lessons, Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Automobile (TCR) competing in 10 races.
9 GS-class races will run as companion occasions to the WeatherTech Championship, with a brand new standalone occasion in downtown Detroit on June 2-3 as a part of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. The TCR class will accompany the WeatherTech Championship for all 10 of its occasions, with a single-class race slated for Lime Rock Park on July 21-22.
The Michelin Pilot Problem season will open with the standard four-hour race at Daytona Worldwide Speedway on the weekend of Jan. 26-29. Indianapolis Motor Speedway returns to the Michelin Pilot Problem schedule for the primary time since 2014 with a four-hour race deliberate for the weekend of Sept. 15-17.
The Michelin Pilot Problem additionally will probably be eligible to take part in February’s IMSA-sanctioned check at Sebring.
Six-Occasion Schedule Deliberate for Inaugural IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Problem Season
The brand new IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Problem will debut with a six-event calendar for the brand new dash sequence comprising presently homologated LMP3 and GT4 race automobiles.
Every occasion will embrace two lessons – LMP3 and GSX (GT4) – with 45-minute dash races and no pit stops. To be eligible, drivers have to be both Bronze- or Silver-rated and all automobiles will experience on Michelin tires.
The season will embrace a race at Sebring Worldwide Raceway on the weekend of March 11-12 as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Prologue check. 4 occasions will run as a companion to the WeatherTech Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (Might 12-14), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 7-9), VIRginia Worldwide Raceway (Aug. 25-27) and Michelin Raceway Highway Atlanta (Oct. 11-14).
The sixth occasion will probably be introduced at a later date.