2018 Calendars: IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

IMSA Weathertech.png

The highest level of endurance sports car racing in North America is the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.

The Championship has three classes of car competing within the same race:

  • Prototype:  For DPi and LMP2 cars, all Pro drivers;
  • GTLM:  GT cars identical to those in WEC’s GTE Pro class, all Pro drivers;
  • GTD:  GT3-class machinery, Pro-Am class, entries must have at least one non-Pro driver;

Races include the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans and a host of shorter races at such iconic tracks as Long Beach, Road America and Laguna Seca.

It also includes the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC), which is scored as a separate competition made up of the four longest races: Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans.

Google/iCal Calendar links:   ICAL  -or-  HTML

For more championships click here.

*As at 2 January 2018*

2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship

  • Prototype:  10 races;
  • GTLM:  11 races;
  • GTD:  11 races;
Date Event Classes Circuit Location Country
27 Jan Rolex 24 at Daytona P, GTLM, GTD Daytona International Speedway Daytona, Florida USA
17 Mar Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring P, GTLM, GTD Sebring Sebring, Florida USA
14 Apr Bubba Burger Sportscar GP P, GTLM Long Beach Long Beach, California USA
6 May Mid-Ohio P, GTLM, GTD Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio USA
2 Jun Chevrolet Detroit GP P, GTD Belle Isle Detroit, Michigan USA
1 Jul Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen P, GTLM, GTD Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, New York USA
8 Jul Canadian Tire Mosport Park P, GTLM, GTD Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Bowmanville, Ontario Canada
21 Jul Northeast GP GTLM, GTD Lime Rock Park Lakeville, Connecticut USA
5 Aug Continental Tire Road Race Showcase P, GTLM, GTD Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA
19 Aug Michelin GT Challenge GTLM, GTD Virginia International Raceway Alton, Virginia USA
9 Sep Continental Tire Monterey GP P, GTLM, GTD Laguna Seca Salinas, California USA
13 Oct Motul Petit Le Mans P, GTLM, GTD Road Atlanta Braselton, Georgia USA

What’s Changed?

Returning or New:

  • Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio.

Deleted:

  • Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas.
  • The Prototype Challenge class.
  • GTD will not visit Long Beach.

There is one change of venue, the much-missed Mid-Ohio makes a very welcome return.

It is unfortunate to have to lose COTA, the races there were good even if the rule-makers were quite liberal with the officiating of track limits!

The PC class has been killed off. It was a great class 7 or 8 years ago and added a lot, but after some recent weak seasons it was overdue to be retired. And with plenty of full-season entries in the top Prototype class there is no longer a need for a ‘baby’ class to support it. Instead, a support race series has been renamed as Prototype Challenge and their races extended from 45 minutes to 120 minutes.

The only other change is that GTD will not visit Long Beach, making 2017 a one-off for that class at the street track. That race ended in a bit of a crash-up for the GTD’s, but I don’t think it is fair to punish them for it. Personally I think GTD should have a separate race at Long Beach and ditch PWC from the meeting instead, but I’m just being selfish because I can’t watch PWC races in the UK.

Unchanged are the other ‘split’ races:

Belle Isle will feature Prototypes and GTD cars. The GTLM entries get a pass as Le Mans Test Day falls on the same weekend – bad luck if you have an LMP2 car and want to go to Le Sarthe.

Lime Rock and Virginia International Raceway will again be GT festivals, for GTLM & GTD cars, as they successfully have been now for a few years.

Support Series

There are two major support championships for which I provide calendars and I’ll cover those together in another blog post tomorrow, these are:

  • IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge – for GT4, TCR and ST cars.
  • IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda – for LMP3 and MPC cars.

IMSA also sanctions many high profile one-make series including the Ferrari Challenge North America, Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, Porsche Challenge USA and Porsche Challenge Canada. I do not offer calendars for these series but the dates are available to view at www.imsa.com.

 

 

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