IMSA has elected to remove the street circuit races at Long Beach and Detroit’s Belle Isle from the 2019 schedule for its new Pro-Am prototype class.
Skipping the lone IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races held on temporary street circuits will eliminate the heightened risk for amateur drivers at the tight, challenging venues. Furthermore, interest in the class may grow given the budget reduction involved in cutting the schedule from 10 races to eight.
Despite the expectation of minimal entries in the secondary prototype class, IMSA maintains that LMP2 will be designated as a separate class from the premier DPi division with points available for its own driver and team championships. Qualifying sessions for the prototype classes will be combined, however.
The sanctioning body will recognize only the class-winning LMP2 entry on the podium following races featuring fewer than three entries in the class.
“With the start of the season now 50 days away, it is important that we timely share these revisions so that our stakeholders can further evaluate and plan based on the refined sporting strategy for the class,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “IMSA remains committed to offering an attractive LMP2 platform for Pro-Am competitors.”
LMP2 teams plus those competing in DPi, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona will complete the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona test Jan. 4–6, 2019 before returning for the season-opening 24-hour race later in the month.