Connect with us

IMSA

IMSA ‘State of the Series’ Roundup

A roundup of the news and schedules released during Friday’s IMSA ‘State of the Series’ address…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Road America Returns to IPC Schedule

IMSA Prototype Challenge competitors will return to Road America for the first time since 2015, with LMP3 cars set for their debut on the four-mile Wisconsin circuit next year.

The July 31 – Aug. 2 event will serve as one of the four 1-hour 45-minute ‘sprint’ races on the schedule, which will again see a three-hour enduro at Daytona International Speedway, during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 weekend that will open the six-round season in early January.

It will be followed by trips to Sebring International Raceway, Mid-Ohio, a three-hour race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park as well as the season-ending round at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in October.

All races will run in support of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Several changes to the sporting regulations were announced, including the elimination of minimum pit top times, the requirement that each car has at least one Bronze-rated driver as well as at least two drivers per lineup.

Platinum and Gold-rated drivers will continue to be prohibited.

2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge Schedule:
Jan. 3-5 — Daytona International Speedway (3 Hours)
March 18-20 — Sebring International Raceway
May 1-3 — Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
July 3-5 — Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (3 Hours)
July 31-Aug. 2 — Road America
Oct. 7-9 — Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

Photo: Lamborghini

Super Trofeo to Debut on Streets of Toronto

Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America will make it debut on the streets of Toronto as part of the NTT IndyCar Series weekend next year, in the single-make series’ revised 2020 calendar.

The new round, set for July 10-12, will mark the first street race in the eight-year history of the North American series.

It replaces Road America on the six-round schedule, which retains Barber Motorsports Park as the season-opener in April and will conclude at the yet-to-be-determined venue of the World Final in October.

2020 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Schedule:
April 3-5 — Barber Motorsports Park (IndyCar)
June 25-27 — Watkins Glen International
July 10-12 — Streets of Toronto (IndyCar)
Aug. 21-23 — Virginia International Raceway
Sept. 11-13 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Oct. — World Final (TBA)

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

St. Petersburg to Kick Off Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Season

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama season will kick off on the streets of St. Petersburg, with the eight-round 2020 calendar having been released on Friday.

The series, which sees a return to the majority of the venues from 2018, will again see a total of 16 rounds of 45 minutes each.

It includes trips to Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Road America, VIR, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, which will close out the season in October.

NBCSN will carry television coverage of every event, with live streaming on IMSA.tv.

2020 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Schedule:
March 13-15 — St. Petersburg (IndyCar)
April 3-5 — Barber Motorsports Park (IndyCar)
May 1-3 — Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
June 25-27 — Watkins Glen International
July 31 – Aug. 2 — Road America
Aug. 21-23 — Virginia International Raceway 
Sept. 11-13 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Oct. 7-9 — Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta 

Photo: Jamey Price/IMSA

Trois-Rivieres, Calabogie Rejoin GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Schedule

The 2020 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama season will see a revised schedule, with Trois-Rivieres returning after a two-year absence and Calabogie back on the calendar for the first time in four years.

The 12-round season will again kick off at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in May as part of the Victoria Day SpeedFest, prior to a joint event with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama at Watkins Glen in June.

Toronto will mark the first of back-to-back street races for the series, with Mont Tremblant closing out the calendar for the second consecutive year.

It will mark the 10th season of competition next year, with the series retaining its structure of a Platinum class for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built in 2017 or later and a Gold class for those built from 2014-16.

Each race will remain at 45 minutes in length.

2020 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama Schedule:
May 15-17 — Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 
June 25-27 — Watkins Glen International
July 10-12 — Streets of Toronto
Aug. 7-9 — Trios-Rivieres 
Aug. 28-30 — Calabogie Motorsports Park
Sept. 25-27 — Mont Tremblant 

Photo: Ferrari

Ferrari Challenge Adds Daytona, Road Atlanta

The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo series will visit Daytona International Speedway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta as part of an adjusted schedule for 2020.

Daytona will return after a year out to open the seven-round season with a slot on the Rolex 24 undercard, while the single-make series will also stop in Atlanta in early March.

These events replace Circuit of The Americas and Sebring, which formed the first two rounds of the 2019 calendar.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been shifted from its late July slot to an earlier date in April, while a race supporting the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal will return for another year.

The North American schedule is completed by new rounds at Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen, replacing Homestead-Miami, while the season-ending world final location has yet to be announced.

2020 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo North America Schedule:
Jan. 22-25 — Daytona International Speedway
Mar. 6-8 — Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Apr. 16-19 — Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Jun. TBA — Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 
Jul. 23-26 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Aug. 27-30 — Watkins Glen
Oct. TBA — Finali Mondiali (location TBA)

News and Notes

***Friday’s annual ‘State of the Series’ announcement marked the first time in IMSA history that schedules from all seven of its series were released simultaneously. Both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge calendars remain largely unchanged for 2020.

“To confirm the details of every one of our 2020 series schedules so that all of our stakeholders – race teams, drivers, manufacturers, partners, and most importantly, our fans – can start making plans for next year is a real positive for everyone,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.

***LMP2 and GTD teams will have extended dedicated practice times for Bronze and Silver-rated drivers to 30 minutes, with 15 minutes of exclusive practice and 15 minutes combined with DPi and GTLM cars at the beginning of Practice 2 on each weekend.

***An extra set of Michelin tires will be allocated for all participating teams in the Bronze/Silver extended times.

***Automatic invites to the 24 Hours of Le Mans will again be on offer for the Jim Trueman (LMP2) and Bob Akin (GTD) awards for the highest-finishing Bronze or Silver driver in their respective classes.

***Atherton told Sportscar365 they elected not to move forward with a proposed GTD sub-class that would have mandated a Bronze-rated driver. “It was a topic of conversation and discussion, and for a number of reasons, we elected not to do that,” he said. Sportscar365 understands that multiple GTD manufacturers were behind the concept.

***IMSA confirmed the timeline for the release of its DPi 2022 regulations, which will come by the first quarter of 2020. A tender process for the spec hybrid powertrain will begin this fall, with Atherton confirming discussions with 10-11 different hybrid manufacturers.

***Atherton declined to confirm that a high-voltage hybrid system will be utilized, which is understood to have been agreed upon in a recent Steering Group Committee meeting.

***Nine manufacturers are currently involved in the Steering Group Committee.

***IMSA has also confirmed the intention of “increased styling freedoms” to provide “enhanced” production car relevance for auto manufacturers in the DPi 2022 regs, which will be valid for at least five seasons.

***The third annual Michelin SportsCar Encore at Sebring has been confirmed for Nov. 14-15, 2020, as part of a multi-year commitment from Michelin and Sebring International Raceway. Entries for this year’s event open on Sept. 18.

***Atherton told Sportscar365 that the adoption of the ACO’s second-generation LMP3 cars for 2021 is under consideration. “I think we’re very protective of our teams’ investments and not want to prematurely want them to have to invest again. But there’s no decision there,” he said.

***IMSA’s new television partnership with NBC Sports has so far delivered 4.1 million views, with more to come later this year in the two planned network broadcasts. Online streaming, meanwhile, has seen a 58 percent increase year-to-year courtesy of the NBC App, with a 34 percent increase in streaming for international viewers at IMSA.tv and on the IMSA App.

***IMSA will be the featured marque at the Rolex Monterey Reunion later this month, as the third cornerstone of the sanctioning body’s 50th anniversary celebrations. A tribute to the fans will close out the celebrations at Motul Petit Le Mans in October.

***Atherton said the first 1,969 fans to enter Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will receive a “special gift.”

Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report

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 FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

More in IMSA