GT Daytona cars will be eligible to participate in all 12 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races in 2020 due to the addition of the Long Beach street race to the WeatherTech Sprint Cup schedule.
Next April’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend will include the first Sprint Cup round of the year after the historic temporary street circuit was left of the GTD schedule entirely in 2019, as it was in 2018 and previous to 2017.
No longer lacking just Long Beach, the Sprint Cup will include all eight non-endurance rounds in 2020 as a championship within the greater WeatherTech Championship for teams with GT3 cars to participate affordably in GTD perhaps before stepping up to a full-season program.
Like the 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic this season, the Long Beach event will only award points toward the Sprint Cup, meaning GTD teams pursuing just the Michelin Endurance Cup or season-long WeatherTech Championship will be allowed to skip the visit to the Southern California street circuit.
“The GTD class is the largest of the four competing in our flagship series from both a team and driver perspective as well as in the number of manufacturers participating,” IMSA President Scott Atherton said. “Southern California is the epicenter of car culture in the United States, if not the world, making it a highly desirable market for the manufacturers.
“We believe that by including Long Beach on the WeatherTech Sprint Cup calendar for 2020, it offers a ‘best of all worlds’ scenario for the GTD class. It’s not a requirement for those competing for either the WeatherTech Championship or Michelin Endurance Cup, but competitors with GT3 race cars and a desire to participate at Long Beach now have the opportunity to do so.”
The Sprint Cup will begin and end on the West Coast in 2020 by opening on the streets of Long Beach in April and concluding at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in September. The races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America and Virginia International Raceway will also have Sprint Cup points on offer.