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New Points Structure, Qualifying Format for 2021

IMSA reveals new points structure, qualifying format for 2021 sanctioned series…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

IMSA will adopt a new points structure for the WeatherTech Championship, Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge next year.

Announced during Wednesday’s virtual ‘State of the Sport’ address, points will be 10 times what they were in previous years, with a win now worth 350 points, 320 for second, 300 for third, etc. Points will continue to be awarded to 30th place in each class.

In addition, the WeatherTech Championship will begin awarding points for qualifying at 10 percent of the 2021 points structure

A pole will be worth 35 points, with 32 points for a second-place qualifier, 30 for third, etc. down to 30th place in each class.

Points from qualifying will be awarded for all drivers in each car in addition to each team. Each manufacturer’s highest-qualifying car also will earn points toward the manufacturers’ championship.

“The introduction of qualifying points will bring even more excitement to our event weekends and the season championship,” said IMSA President John Doonan.

“With points on the line, we expect teams will go all out in qualifying as well as the races to earn as many points as possible. Qualifying points also will reward a team’s performance throughout an entire weekend.”

New Qualifying Format for LMP2, LMP3 and GTD

Qualifying sessions for WeatherTech Championship LMP2, LMP3 and GTD classes will be broken into two segments and split between two drivers. The first segment will see Am drivers on new sets of tires in each car to set its starting position.

At the end of the Am segment, there will be a mandatory driver and tire change.

The driver in the second segment will qualify for championship points, also using new tires. The tires used in both qualifying segments must be used in the race, and all qualifying tires are considered part of each team’s event tire allocation.

“Including multiple drivers in qualifying for our Pro-Am classes provides some unique opportunities,” Doonan said.

“The Am drivers will continue to play the ultimate role of establishing each car’s starting position, while the Pro drivers should contribute to further showcasing each car’s performance.”

The DPi and GTLM qualifying structure continues as it was in 2020, with each car being qualified by a single driver and also earning championship points.

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