Split Prototype Classes Highlight 2019 IMSA Changes

-

During its annual “State of the Series” event at Road America, IMSA announced several competition changes affecting the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship including a revised class structure that divides the current Prototype class in two.

Following just two years of Daytona Prototype international and LMP2 cars competing under the Prototype moniker, the series will instead field the cars in two separate classes beginning in 2019.

The top-level DPi class will feature manufacturer-backed cars that will no longer be balanced against the best-performing LMP2 car, instead moving to a class-specific Balance of Performance process that will allow the cars to realize their performance potential.

The new LMP2 class will shift to a Pro-Am format and will follow the same rules as the Pro-Am GT Daytona category. Competitors in both classes will be required to field at least one Bronze- or Silver-rated driver and no more than one Platinum driver. For endurance events that feature lineups with three or more drivers, IMSA will balance combinations with an emphasis on drivers holding Bronze and Silver ratings.

Further competition changes affecting only GTD include additional practice time for Bronze- and Silver-rated drivers — who will be required to qualify for and start each race. To facilitate extra on-track time for these drivers, an extra set of dry tires will be allocated on each race weekend.

Driver ratings will take on added importance next year with IMSA creating its own Driver Evaluation Committee. Chaired by Paul Walter, IMSA’s director of racing operations, the committee will use FIA Driver Ratings as its basis for determining eligibility in both Pro-Am classes, however IMSA can adjust a driver’s rating based on aspects of the WeatherTech Championship that may not apply elsewhere.

The season’s changes will be put into action when the series gathers at Daytona International Speedway for the Roar Before the Rolex 24, IMSA’s only sanctioned test in 2019.

Ben Hinc
Ben Hinchttp://www.benhinc.com
Ben's executive editor title is purposefully broad to encompass the bottomless list of roles he fills for The Apex, which includes webmaster, graphic designer, quality consultant and writer. Ben's technical background and progressive media distribution approach set The Apex apart technologically and philosophically.

Latest news

Victory for Whelen Cadillac, Championship for Penske at Petit

Disaster for the No. 5 Cadillac DPi promoted the No. 31 to the lead in a dramatic conclusion to the 2019 season.

Risi Takes Ferrari to Petit Victory in GTLM

Risi Competizione's first WeatherTech Championship race since Daytona culminated in the GTLM victory.

Nasr Claims Final 2019 Pole for Action Express

Felipe Nasr made Action Express Racing the pole-sitting team for the final race of 2019 with its championship-contending No. 31 Cadillac DPi.

Enjoy The Apex?

It takes time and effort to keep The Apex on track. Your contribution supports our writing and makes this ad-free design work.

Must read

Related articles
More like this on The Apex