IMSA reveals future class format, 2017 schedule

The 2017 Prototype class in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will feature the new Daytona Prototype international and LMP2 cars, while Prototype Challenge cars will have one final year in the flagship series.

IMSA reveals future class format, 2017 schedule
IMSA Weathertech Series 2017 schedule
Scott Atherton
IMSA flags
Scott Atherton, President and COO of IMSA and Chip Ganassi
#3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen
#33 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen; #16 Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3: Spencer Pumpelly, Corey Lewis
#54 CORE autosport ORECA FLM09: Jon Bennett, Colin Braun, Mark Wilkins
Podium: winners #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Eric Curran, Dane Cameron, second place #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP: Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, third place #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP: Ricky Taylor, Jordan Taylor
Nick Tandy, Porsche Team
#91 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, Kevin Estre
Listen to this article

The 2017 WeatherTech Championship will mark the final season of eligibility for the single-spec PC class and its final season on track with the Prototypes, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona cars.

The PC class debuted as part of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2010, and next season will mark the eighth season of competition for the ORECA FLM09 chassis. Beginning in 2018, the WeatherTech Championship will shift to a three-class format comprised of P, GTLM and GTD.

For 2017, the Prototype class will feature the introduction of new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and Le Mans Prototype 2 (LM P2) race cars. The GTLM and GTD classes both are expected to feature racecars built to Automobile Club de l’Ouest's GTE technical regulations for GTLM and Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) GT3 specifications for GTD.

While there no longer will be a separate Pro-Am Prototype class, Pro-Am drivers in the Prototype class may compete for Jim Trueman Award honors at each event and at season’s end. The year-end Jim Trueman Award winner will earn an automatic invitation to compete in the LMP2 class at the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ed Bennett, IMSA CEO, said: “Over the past several months, we have engaged with nearly all of our stakeholders and competitors to gather their input and discuss the most appropriate way to modernize our various platforms. At the same time, we have analyzed trends in the global motorsports landscape to arrive at what we believe is the most logical strategy.

“While it’s impossible to make decisions that will satisfy the interests and needs of everyone, we feel confident that our plans for the future are sound and position our platforms for continued growth, stability and interest.”  

2017 schedule revealed

The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule features all 12 racetracks that have hosted the series since the 2015 season but includes a few notable alterations and date shifts for two events. The event at Circuit of The Americas which has been run in September since the WeatherTech Championship’s inception in 2014 and also hosted an American Le Mans Series event in September 2013, will move to the spring in 2017. In addition, the event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca shifts from May to September and becomes the series’ penultimate round.

IMSA president Scott Atherton commented: “These venues have outstanding support from race fans, and deliver exposure in important and strategic markets for our competitors and stakeholders.

“Aside from a couple of date changes and adjustments to the WeatherTech Championship content at some events, there are no major surprises. This schedule represents the stability of our racing platform and a continuation of IMSA featuring the best-of-the-best racetracks and event promoters.”

In addition to the full 2017 WeatherTech Championship schedule, IMSA officials also confirmed dates for four sanctioned test sessions, including two set for later this year. A two-day test for all four WeatherTech Championship classes has been scheduled for November 15-16, 2016 at Daytona International Speedway, followed by a second Daytona test for the Prototype, GTLM and GTD classes on December 13-14, 2016.

The annual Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona three-day test is slated for January 6-8, 2017. A two-day test at Sebring International Raceway for the WeatherTech Championship also is scheduled for February 23-24, 2017.  

2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Schedule

Jan. 26-29, Rolex 24 at Daytona –  P/PC/GTLM/GTD

March 15-18, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – P/PC/GTLM/GTD

April 7-8, BUBBA burger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long Beach – P/GTLM/GTD (1h40m)

May 5-7, Circuit of The Americas – P/PC/GTLM/GTD, (2h40m)

June 2-3, Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix – P/PC/GTD (1h40m)

June 30-July 2, Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen – P/PC/GTLM/GTD

July 7-9, Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix [Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] – P/PC/GTLM/GTD (2h40m)

July 21-22, IMSA WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix [Lime Rock Park] GTLM/GTD(2h40m) 

Aug. 4-6, Continental Tire Road Race Showcase [Road America] – P/PC/GTLM/GTD (2h40m) 

Aug. 25-27, Michelin GT Challenge [VIR] – GTLM/GTD (2h40m)

Sept. 22-24, Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix [Laguna Seca] – P/GTLM/GTD (2h40m)

Oct. 5-7, Petit Le Mans [Road Atlanta] – P/PC/GTLM/GTD (10 hours)

IMSA WeatherTech Championship-sanctioned tests

Nov. 15-16, 2016, Daytona International Speedway – P/PC/GTLM/GTD

Dec. 13-14, 2016, Daytona International Speedway – P/GTLM/GTD

Jan. 6-8, 2017, Roar Before The Rolex 24 at Daytona – P/PC/GTLM/GTD

Feb. 23-24, 2017, Sebring International Raceway – P/PC/GTLM/GTD 

shares
comments
Jan Magnussen: Looking forward to the next 100 wins
Previous article

Jan Magnussen: Looking forward to the next 100 wins

Next article

LMP3 to make North American debut in new-look IMSA support series

LMP3 to make North American debut in new-look IMSA support series
The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push Prime

The British pair at the heart of Lexus's sportscar push

Have you heard the one about two British guys driving for a Japanese manufacturer in America’s top sportscar series? Time to sit down and talk with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat about racing across the pond… and your accent being mistaken for Australian!

IMSA
Mar 16, 2022
Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022 Prime

Why Peugeot couldn't afford to take a Le Mans gamble in 2022

Ahead of the much-anticipated arrival of its new 9X8 Hypercar, Peugeot revealed that it would not be entering this year's Le Mans 24 Hours with its incoming machinery. Although development restrictions for homologated cars are partially responsible, the French marque can draw on its own lessons from its history in sportscars

WEC
Feb 28, 2022
Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC Prime

Why the GTP name undermines convergence between IMSA and WEC

OPINION: The adoption by IMSA of the GTP name for its forthcoming LMDh versus Le Mans Hypercar era in 2023 appeals to fans of nostalgia - but it undermines the commonality achieved by bringing its rulebook into line with the WEC. GTP or Hypercar, both sides should settle on a single name

WEC
Feb 15, 2022
Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing Prime

Celebrating the weird and wonderful monsters of sportscar racing

Few disciplines of motorsport offer better possibilities to build a colossus of the track than sportscars. For Autosport's recent Monsters of Motorsport special issue, we picked out some of the finest (and not so fine) that have graced sportscar classics including Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring

Le Mans
Feb 4, 2022
How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic Prime

How Castroneves and Meyer Shank conquered another US classic

Helio Castroneves continued his fine start to life with Meyer Shank Racing that netted the 2021 Indianapolis 500 victory by prevailing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours together with teammates Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud. As Cadillac fell by the wayside, the Brazilian veteran won out in an all-Acura duel to the finish

IMSA
Feb 1, 2022
How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories Prime

How Derani's long road to title success exorcised painful memories

It took Pipo Derani no time at all to establish himself as a winner in IMSA, winning the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours on his first two starts in 2016. But it took until the final corner of the 2021 season before he could become its champion, the culmination of a journey that he believes has made him a better driver.

IMSA
Jan 16, 2022
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021