The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship has confirmed it will split its two prototype categories into separate classes in 2019.
The Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and global LMP2-spec cars will compete in distinct classes from next season, with LMP2 becoming a Pro-Am class similar to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s regulations.
The cars had competed together in America under the prototype umbrella for the past two seasons, with a Balance of Performance system that sometimes proved awkward to manage.
The manufacturer-backed DPi category will now become the premier class with all-professional driver line ups, and the cars will no longer will be balanced against the best LMP2 example.
DPi will shift to a class-specific BoP process managed by the IMSA Technical Committee – similar to the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes. The LMP2 class, meanwhile, will no longer need BoP applied, as in the WEC.
It means the WeatherTech series will again will feature four classes – as it had from 2014 through 2017 – including Pro-Am classes in both the LMP2 and GTD categories.
LMP2 and GTD teams will be required to field at least one Bronze- or Silver-rated driver for every non-endurance race and will be allowed a maximum of one Platinum-rated driver per car.
IMSA will continue to utilize FIA Driver Ratings as the basis for determining driver eligibility in the LMP2 and GTD classes, as has been the case since the series’ inception in 2014.
IMSA’s Driver Evaluation Committee will review each driver’s recorded pace in the U.S. series based on both the FIA Driver Rating Committee’s established criteria and the IMSA Technical Committee’s standardized BoP driver’s weighted average lap time distribution.
The results of this analysis then will be shared with the FIA Driver Ratings Committee for consideration before the next applicable driver rating period.