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State of the Sport Reveals New Dates, New Venues and More for IMSA in 2023

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LAKE ELKHART, Wisconsin. “Stability and sustainability were among the key messages delivered Friday night at IMSA’s annual State of the Sport presentation to stakeholders and the media at the Road America’s Tuft Center.

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IMSA President John Doonan has unveiled the 2023 season schedule and shared details on a wide range of topics with IMSA radio host John Hindho ahead of the 2023 season, which is expected to be a game-changer for the flagship IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and all IMSA-sanctioned series.

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“IMSA has a unique opportunity to breathe new life into our existing sports car racing fan base and reach new audiences in 2023 and beyond,” Doonan said. “With the introduction of our new GTP prototypes, a robust and stable GT racing platform, a new focus on sustainability and a calendar filled with legendary road racing venues, the ingredients are set for continued success.”

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2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Reveals 11-Race Schedule

The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will include a total of 11 races, six of which will feature all five classes of the WeatherTech Championship: GTP, LMP2, LMP3, GTD PRO and GTD.

The IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup will include all classes of the four traditional endurance races: Rolex 24 At Daytona (January 26-29), Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts (March 15-18), Sahlen’s Six Hours. Glen (June 22-25) and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (October 11-14). Five class races will also take place at Road America (August 4-6) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (September 15-17).

There will be a total of nine races in the new GTP class in 2023, including Long Beach (April 14-15), WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (May 12-14) and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 7-9). The GTD PRO and GTD classes will compete in all 11 WeatherTech Championship races, including GT-only events at Lime Rock Park (July 21-22) and VIRginia International Raceway (August 25-27). The WeatherTech Sprint Cup for the GTD has been discontinued.

The LMP2 class will also compete at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, while the LMP3 will return to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Rolex 24 At Daytona will not count toward the WeatherTech Championship points for the entire season in the LMP2 or LMP3 classes.

In addition to racing, the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona returns on the weekend of January 20-22. In preparation for the 2023 season, IMSA-sanctioned GTP testing will take place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta October 3-5 and at Daytona International Speedway December 6-7.

Sanctioned testing for all participants in the WeatherTech Championship is also scheduled at Sebring International Raceway in February 2023.

Sustainability Alliance fueled by new opportunities

A key element of the State of the Sport presentation was IMSA’s ongoing sustainability alliance. For more than a decade, IMSA has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

The introduction of the new GTP class opens up new opportunities for sustainable development. Each GTP vehicle will use a hybrid powertrain from a single manufacturer, reducing fuel consumption by more than 10 percent. For each internal combustion engine in the car, IMSA’s official fuel supplier, VP Racing Fuels, will supply VP R80 renewable fuel.

Michelin, IMSA’s official tire supplier, has developed a unique new GTP tire that will last twice as long. This can lead to a reduction in tire usage by up to 25 percent. The current Michelin WeatherTech Championship racing tires are made up of nearly 30 percent sustainable raw materials.

Michelin also unveiled a new racing tire that uses 53% sustainable raw materials. IMSA and Michelin are jointly exploring the possibility of this tire entering IMSA competitions.

Competitive improvements including the Bob Akin Bronze Cup

In terms of competition, IMSA has confirmed the retention of the five-class format of the WeatherTech championship in 2023, with the same driver combination requirements as in previous years.

While Bronze and Silver rated riders are still eligible for GTD drivers, IMSA has reinforced its commitment to Bronze rated riders through the Bob Akin Bronze Cup Championship. The best GTD Bronze drivers will be honored on the post-race podium in each race, and the season’s champion Bob Akin Bronze Cup will be eligible to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.

IMSA is evaluating additional incentives for Bronze riders in terms of qualifying format and travel time. Updates will be provided as they become available.

The GTP class is set until at least 2027, while LMP2 and LMP3 have been confirmed until 2023. The GTD PRO and GTD classes will continue to use GT3-spec racing cars until at least 2026.

Events in Detroit and Indianapolis: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge 2023 Schedule

The 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season will feature a total of 11 races with each of the series’ two classes, Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR), competing in 10 races.

Nine GS races will accompany the WeatherTech Championship, with a new stand-alone event taking place June 2-3 in downtown Detroit as part of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. The TCR class will accompany the WeatherTech Championship at all 10 of its events, with a single class race scheduled at Lime Rock Park July 21-22.

The Michelin Pilot Challenge season will kick off with a traditional four-hour race at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend of January 26-29. Indianapolis Motor Speedway returns to the Michelin Pilot Challenge schedule for the first time since 2014. The four-hour race is scheduled for the weekend of September 15-17.

The Michelin Pilot Challenge will also qualify for the February IMSA-sanctioned test at Sebring.

2023 Schedule Slides 080522 Impc

Six events planned for first season of IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge

The new IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge will debut with a six-event calendar for the new sprint series, currently featuring homologated LMP3 and GT4 racing cars.

Each event will include two classes – LMP3 and GSX (GT4) – with 45-minute sprint races and no pit stops. To be eligible, drivers must have a bronze or silver rating and all cars will run on Michelin tires.

The season will include a race at Sebring International Raceway over the weekend of March 11-12 as part of the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship (WEC) prologue. In addition to the WeatherTech Championship, there will be four events: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (May 12-14), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 7-9), VIRginia International Raceway (August 25-27), and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (May 11-14). October).

The sixth event will be announced later.



Source: www.imsa.com

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