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IMSA Establishes Minimum Refueling Times

IMSA establishes minimum refueling times in wake of controversial Daytona BoP penalty…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

IMSA has established minimum refueling times for all three classes of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, in the wake of the controversial Balance of Performance penalty issued to the Montaplast by Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The sanctioning body released Thursday a bulletin to teams confirming minimum times for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, listed at 30 seconds for Prototype, 34 seconds for GT Le Mans and 40 seconds for GT Daytona cars, for full tank fill.

This minimum is understood to override any refueling restrictor sizes issued, and will also be listed in the class-specific BoP tables that are expected to be released by the end of the week.

Land’s Audi, which had nearly a two-lap lead at the time in the Rolex 24, was hit with a five-minute stop-and-hold penalty for having a “consistent and beneficial” advantage in refueling during the race.

The penalty relegated the Christopher Mies, Jeffrey Schmidt and Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde-driven entry to an eventual seventh place class finish, in the first in-race BoP penalty of its kind.

The German team later explained that it made “changes to the contents” of the car’s fuel cell for increased fuel flow, which was permitted within the rules.

It’s unclear if IMSA will police minimum times for short-fill stops as well, although it appears unlikely given the bulletin’s wording.

In addition to the new minimum refueling time, IMSA has added the possibility of completing “fuel delivery” and “fuel consumption” audits to the WeatherTech Championship Sporting Regulations.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Jenner

    March 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    So much for innovation in IMSA.

    IMSA states that no rule was broken, yet Land gets penalized.

    Thanks NASCAR.

    So are short fills illegal now?

    • Andy Flinn

      March 2, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Yes, Jenner, I want fuel flow to determine the winners in IMSA.

      • DOH

        March 3, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        Yeah, Andy, lets’ not have anyone try innovation.

        Dumb comment.

  2. Kevin

    March 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    This is complete garbage. I understand doing it for a pro-am category but not In GTLM, an ALL PRO class. There’s no sense in practicing out stops anymore. Being good is a damn curse nowadays.

  3. RobertB

    March 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Boo. No more splash and dash near the end of the race. It wasn’t much but it added a little excitement from time to time.

    • Max

      March 1, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      No where in the linked bulletin does it say the fuel probe has to be in the car the whole time once inserted. It states the time for a full fuel fill may be audited and must at least as long as the specified time.

  4. John mann

    March 1, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    How about a splash and go when you only need 2 laps to finish

  5. Kyle

    March 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm


    The bulletin says “full refueling time”. So, what is or isn’t a full refuel, and will there be various minimum times set for various amounts of short fills?

    • Slicks in the wet

      March 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Easy. If you put ANY fuel in, you sit these amounts of times. If you just need 3 seconds of fuel…oh well, you sit for thirty…Because IMSA is assuming you are OUT of fuel and therefore need to sit thirty seconds to get fully refuelled.

      Get it?

  6. Jerome Higgins

    March 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Looks to me they have taken pages out of the asscar rulebook,that’s why I no longer watch asscar,they change rules daily to suit who they want to win,why can’t they just eliminate the BOP,and let them race,like imsa was in the 80s,but I guess they can’t do that since a France is on the board,they are going to drive fans away just like asscar has don’t,it’s time to wake up.o love sports car racing but I just hope they see the light before it’s too late

    • Me

      March 2, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      We are now dumber for having your post in our lives.

    • Larry

      March 3, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      Yeah, Jerome, letting the race what they brung pretty much killed IMSA in the ’80s. Keep up with history much? Can-Am? Trans-Am (I ain’t talking about that current joke of a series by the same name), even ALMS got too expensive and all withered leaving us with NECKCAR in control.

      I have worked corners for every one of those series all the way back to the ’80s and it was sad to see each one pass, particularly the old CamelGT.

      Having said that, Jerome is right about NECKCAR and we are seeing their influence in WeatherTech. They know who they want to win and make the rules accordingly.

      this is a BS penalty for that team and it’s a BS rule.

      They also don’t understand something one of their own stars said years ago, that being that NECKCAR fans were all about the drivers whereas sportscar fans are all about the cars. Kyle Petty said that long ago yet NECKCAR is now trying to the do the driver intro nonsense and other crap, trying to “NECKCARize” sportscar racing.

  7. pierre

    March 1, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    this leaves me and probably others with more questions than answers/solutions. i wonder if we’re not getting the whole story here?

  8. Lets do some E

    March 1, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Can’t wait for the WEC season! Fuck this series

    • Overtake24

      March 1, 2018 at 10:55 pm

      Didn’t the WEC start doing the same thing last season?

    • DHMotor

      March 2, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Ummm. did you read the proposed regs for the new LMP1 class when they came out last year? They went over like a lead balloon. The sound you could not hear over the crickets was manufacturers saying No thank you to joining the class. The WEC is worse at designing regs than IMSA.

  9. asdf

    March 1, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    just make this a spec series

  10. Matt

    March 1, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Why not require fuel tank displacement blocks to all be of the same shape?? This change eliminates eliminates short fills. All these racing series handle problems so irrationally.

  11. Slicks in the wet

    March 1, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Just remove minimum stop times in last 30 mins of sprints and last hour of enduros.


  12. pdxracefan

    March 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm


  13. Haskellb

    March 1, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    1) The bulletin says those are the minimum time for a full load of fuel. It doesn’t say anything about ending short fills.
    2) This is about gassing up a car. QUIT WHINING AND GET OVER IT.

    • tracer

      March 1, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Wow, someone actually read the article… it says clear as day, people, that this minimum refuel time does NOT cover a short fill.

      • DHMotor

        March 2, 2018 at 8:05 am

        True, but what constitutes a “short” fill? I appreciate that IMSA (or any series) wants to equalize the fueling process for many reasons – top of which is safety, but they already had a method for doing this with restrictors. If there was an ability to finesse the restrictor with internal baffling/blocking, then homologate the blocking – don’t impose artificial times on fueling that neuter a good crew. In the alternative, don’t allow work on the car while refueling. But removing the drama of a stuck wheel nut or not pulling the air hose back in time, etc. out of the equation because everyone has a leisurely amount of time to get the work done due to a refueling time mandate.

  14. Luna

    March 1, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    Imsa is part of Nascar…. They have in their DNA the Manipulation of Races.

  15. Jason

    March 1, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Why do this for gtlm and dpi? That is crazy.

  16. Jordan

    March 2, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Andy Flinn slavishly supports this.

    After all, he can’t go against Dear Leader IMSA.

  17. The Fisherman 🎣

    March 2, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Tin-pot national series.

  18. Chips O'Toole

    March 2, 2018 at 7:25 am

    This series just loves to micro-manage things. I can understand the min. fuel time for pro-am GTD but not the pro classes.

  19. DHMotor

    March 2, 2018 at 7:50 am

    This problem was already solved with the restrictors on the fuel tanks. Land was consistently putting down the fastest laps in class. This means their drivers were skilled enough to work through traffic with less difficulty than their competitors. Some of that is luck in how and where you hit traffic, but in a 24 hour race it all evens out – so they were better, and got screwed for it. If someone figures out how to innovate within the rules, IMSA, you don’t penalize them during a race. You change the rule(s) for the next race.

  20. Just a guy

    March 2, 2018 at 8:17 am

    You guys are missing something. This fill time is based on going from 100% empty to 100% full. Obviously this never happens in a race. You will fill your car and go, just like always. This fill time is based on a flow rate ( which is devised from completly empty to full ) and you need to make sure you meet this rate on any fill, any amount of fuel. Half fills, splash and go, this will all still happen.

    The fuel rigs now have flow sensors on them and IMSA will monitor them to make sure you meet the flow per second rate.

  21. Brandon

    March 2, 2018 at 8:21 am

    What a terribly written regulation! There are still tons of holes in the logic that are left open to interpretation. What is considered a “full” fill? So, if you have a 70 liter fuel cell and pull the fueling probe after 69 liters have gone in, is it a “full” fill? Nice job as usual, IMSA…..

  22. Michael Brown

    March 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

    argh, nobody cares how much fuel they use ! IMSA should stop wasting peoples money caring about it so much.

  23. WBrowning

    March 2, 2018 at 10:29 am

  24. The Brad

    March 2, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Oh for the love of God.

  25. gtgianlu

    March 2, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Blancpain endurance has minimum pit stop time too,it’s not exactly an unexciting series…It was enforced to stop ref systems cost boom

  26. vanillachinchilla

    March 2, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Dont understand why people are upset about this. Minimum refueling time refers to time to fuel full tank, its a BoP metric that’s a part of a number or sports car classes including in the WEC. Dpi and GTLM and basically full BoP classes. Fuel flow and fuel tank size were already regulated heavily, its not like any team was working a significant fueling advantage. This is just a clarification really and won’t change the races themselves much at all.

    • Just a guy

      March 3, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Thank you vanilla, finally someone who gets it!!!

  27. peter p

    March 5, 2018 at 7:24 am

    in GTD that is 120ltr fuel tank in 40 sec means 3ltr/sec so if you refuel 60ltr refueling time is 20 sec I hope I got it right
    GTD needs someting like this (BOP) as there are no technical regulations for GT3 cars all you need is FIA approval that it is GT3 homologated this can only work with BOP!!
    also due to the different shape of all the fuel cells in GT3 you have different flow rate to fill car so to make it equal you need BOP or otherwise you not get a motor race you get a pitstop/refueling competition!!

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