The introduction of the new LMP2 class as well as changes to GT Daytona prompted revisions to the sporting regulations ahead of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
Owing to the Pro-Am nature of both LMP2 and GTD, the new regulations specify that at least one Silver- or Bronze-rated driver must be in the lineup for each car with the total number of drivers capped at two for all sprint races.
The season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona will feature mandatory four- or five-driver lineups for both classes with a maximum of one Platinum-rated and one Gold-rated driver. Teams without a Platinum driver may field no more than two Gold-rated drivers.
The three remaining endurance races will require a three-driver lineup with no more than one Platinum or Gold driver for both LMP2 and GTD.
During race weekends, Silver and Bronze GTD drivers will have a standalone practice session ahead of qualifying. In both Pro-Am classes, drivers with a Silver or Bronze rating must qualify the car and start the race.
Silver-rated drivers that have not previously raced in the WeatherTech Championship will be required to obtain approval from the IMSA Driver Evaluation Committee. Lack of driver approval will prevent a team’s entry from being accepted.
Prior to the season’s start, the Roar Before the Rolex 24 will serve as the only IMSA-sanctioned test with GTD entries participating in the first two days of the three-day event. Private testing will be limited to four days for LMP2 and GTD while the DPi and GTLM classes are allowed eight private test days.
At the end of the season, the Jim Trueman and Bob Akin Awards for the top Pro-Am driver in the LMP2 and GTD classes, respectively, will be based on driver points. This contrasts the previous criteria which included laps and miles driven in addition to finishing position.
With the series’ switch to Michelin tires for all cars, tire usage and allocation will be centrally tracked through the use of RFID chips.
The 2019 WeatherTech Championship season, with 12 races across 10 months, will get underway at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 26–27.