Platinum-rated drivers will no longer be eligible to compete in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge next year, following an update to the sporting regulations, which includes the confirmation of revised drive times.
The ratings change impacts newly crowned GS class champion Billy Johnson, who in the provisional 2017 FIA driver ratings list, was upgraded from Gold to Platinum, likely due to his status as a factory driver for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.
In addition, occasional Continental Tire Challenge competitor Jeroen Bleekemolen would also no longer be eligible to race because of the new rule.
IMSA does not require Continental Tire Challenge drivers to possess a FIA driver rating, but only those that are listed Platinum would be prohibited from participation, with additional limits also able to be applied by sanctioning body “at it’s discretion.”
Meanwhile, minimum and maximum drive times have also been confirmed, due to the revised race formats for next year.
There will be a minimum drive time of 45 minutes and a 1 hour and 15-minute maximum for two-hour races. Four-hour races will see a 1 hour and 15-minute minimum and 2 hour and 45-minute maximum.
The fuel window target for ST cars will be reduced to approximately 65-minute stints, down by nearly 20 percent from last year, with GS remaining at 50 minutes.
The 2017 Continental Tire Challenge season kicks off with a four-hour enduro at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 27.