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2017 WeatherTech Championship Schedule Released

IMSA releases 2017 WeatherTech Championship schedule…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

IMSA has released the schedule for the 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which again features 12 events at the same circuits, but with some date and format changes.

Events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Circuit of The Americas have swapped, with the COTA round set for May 5-7, as an expected standalone round from the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The Monterey event, meanwhile, moves from its early May date to Sept. 23-24, to serve as the penultimate round of the season.

The GT Daytona class has been added to Long Beach, replacing the Prototype Challenge class, which will feature at only eight rounds next year. The Prototype class will be at 10 events, with GT Le Mans at 11 races, with Lime Rock becoming GT only.

“Aside from a couple of date changes and adjustments to the WeatherTech Championship content at some events, there are no major surprises,” IMSA President Scott Atherton said.

“This schedule represents the stability of our racing platform and a continuation of IMSA featuring the best-of-the-best racetracks and event promoters.”

2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Schedule:

Jan 26-29 Daytona International Speedway*
Mar 15-18 Sebring International Raceway*
Apr 7-8 Long Beach Street Circuit (P, GTLM and GTD only)
May 5-7 Circuit of The Americas
June 2-3 Detroit Belle Isle (P, PC and GTD only)
June 30-July 2 Watkins Glen International*
July 7-9 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
July 21-22 Lime Rock Park (GTLM and GTD only)
Aug 4-6 Road America
Aug 25-27 Virginia International Raceway (GTLM and GTD only)
Sep 22-24 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (P, GTLM and GTD only)
Oct 5-7 Road Atlanta*

*Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup events

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

52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Robert

    August 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    With Lime Rock as the GT showcase, I’d like to see VIR made into a full round.

    I guess this also confirms the IndyCar dates for Long Beach and Detroit, at least.

  2. Marc

    August 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Glad Lime Rock is an only GT race – makes sense due to it’s short bull-ring configuration.

    Though, VIR is such a big track – wish the P cars would be going there. Or maybe PC (which in the last year of the cars really is the stepchild of the series at the moment,) since the track is so big could handle having them.

  3. Mark - Toronto

    August 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Wait… so Watkins Glen and Mosport are back to back weekends again? That won’t be popular.

    • George 917-30

      August 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      No, I was really hoping for an extra week there – thought it had been mentioned as a probability. We haven’t been back to Mosport/CTMP since the year before the big changes started, though we had attended all the alms races for 10 years before that. Tough to explain to the wife how I just went back and forth to the Glen all weekend, and then want to go to Mosport a week later to see the same cars.

      • Joel

        August 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        Agreed, that is tough. I’ve been wanting to get back up to Mosport for years but with the Glen so close, it doesn’t make sense. If they moved Mosport back to late August we might be able to swing it.

        One would think IMSA would try to avoid double dipping in arguably the same market one week after the other, but what do I know? I suppose it is easier for the teams however.

        • Nick Pearson

          August 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm

          You’re right.
          I live 1/2hr from The Glen. With the kids doing stuff all summer and a somewhat limited entertainment budget I can’t justify going 2 weeks in a row, so I obviously choose The Glen. I’d love to do both.

          • Todd

            August 6, 2016 at 12:37 am

            the same with me but the other way around and it cost more to travel in the u.s.

    • NaBUru38

      August 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Even worse, Mosport and Toronto are on consecutive weekends.

  4. Michael

    August 5, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Still no Mid-Ohio…

    • Mike D

      August 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Not until Honda has a factory presence in IMSA again…

      • 7D3

        August 5, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        I think the NSX will help with that.

    • Bob

      August 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      I was hoping for a Mid-Ohio return as well. It’s time to bring it back.

  5. Matt

    August 5, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Yes!!!!!!! COTA not in the middle of the summer heat! Now we will only partially melt.

  6. Rus'L

    August 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    What’s the WEC doing? The COTA IMSA round is now the same weekend as WEC at Spa (already confirmed for 2017). So, they won’t be sharing the weekend with WEC. Is WEC staying at COTA in September with the World Challenge weekend (seems like a weird match)? Is WEC staying at COTA on a standalone weekend (makes no sense from a marketing standpoint)? Is WEC not going back to COTA, going somewhere else in America (or maybe Canada)? Is the WEC dropping the U.S. all together and just going to Mexico City for their North American schedule?

    • AJ

      August 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      How many questions can one ask in one comment box.

      Maybe they’re splitting that weekend up so GTLM cars can run in that we event?

      • Rus'L

        August 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        Endless amount of questions can be asked. LOL

        All the IMSA classes are running at COTA in May. That’s already been announced (besides, they all need to be at Laguna Seca in September). No IMSA at all in September.

  7. Matt

    August 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Where’s Mid Ohio???? If IMSA, PWC, and Indycar were all on the same weekend like they used to back during the ALMS, it’d be amazing

    • Rus'L

      August 5, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      It would be amazing, but I suspect they need a sponsor, and apparently Honda is no longer willing to sponsor the IMSA race. Although, your idea of PWC, Indycar *and* IMSA would be a bit impossible to fit into a weekend schedule… LOL

      • Bob

        August 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm

        The old ALMS/Indycar double header weekend DID include PWC! It was just an amazing weekend! I last attended in 2012. I wish IMSA could just have its own headlining weekend at Mid-Ohio. Add a couple support series and the weekend event schedule would be plenty. Any company can sponsor the IMSA weekend. Must be difficult to find one!

        • Rus'L

          August 5, 2016 at 4:08 pm

          That’s true now that I think about it because I was there. D’uh! There was even some junior formula races. That weekend was packed. Great for spectators.

      • Matt

        August 5, 2016 at 3:51 pm

        It definitely wouldn’t be impossible, especially this year when the PWC TC class got cancelled. There was tons of extra room in the paddock. If IMSA doesn’t bring Continental Tire Challenge there would be plenty of space.

  8. Jason

    August 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Great schedule! Good job IMSA

  9. Mike

    August 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Looks like I’ll be making a trip south of the border to go see the WEC boys since it looks like COTA is without a date.

    It will be nice to have IMSA in the cool part of the year at COTA though.

    • Rus'L

      August 5, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Unless … like I wrote above … the WEC is going to hookup with the PWC weekend at COTA in September.

  10. Greg

    August 5, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    The cota situation is bad for both imsa and wec. It is my favorite week end of th he year but is not very well attended. I put all the blame on cota for the lack of marketing. I wish both series well in the future but I see a day when cota turns into a walmart.

    • tyler

      August 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      While COTA fails badly at marketing. Its not all on them. Austin is a huge college football town. Any event during football season is going to be a very hard sell to locals. Spring could be a good thing with it not being as hot and no football.

      • Slow

        August 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm

        Last year they had the race on top of a texas home game, like how deft can they get.

  11. Jon

    August 5, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    This will be my first and last year at COTA is looks.
    With the schedule flopped I’ll be back at Mazda Raceway next year (this is first year in 9 years I didn’t go to Mazda raceway)

    Was trying out COTA as replacement because I live in the OKC now…
    Looks like if I love it I still don’t get to go.

  12. Jc

    August 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    interesting re COTA. Track attendance issues notwithstanding, is this very public step away from FIA wec a not so subtle response to the still-unresolved prototype curfuffle with FIA/ACO?

  13. Mike D

    August 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Did anyone hear about 2016 LMP2 cars being “grandfathered” into DPi for next year?

    Didn’t hear anything about it on the webcast for the schedule announcement, Atherton only mentioned DPi & LMP2 2017.

  14. Dario

    August 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    When was the photo taken? Because I thought black swan and Esm where not at this round?

    • Joel

      August 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Sebring

    • Fujis123

      August 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      I believe that is at Sebring.

  15. Keith

    August 5, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Lime Rock? YUK!

    • Matt

      August 5, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      You’re nuts man. Lime Rock is a way better track than COTA

    • Someone

      August 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      My thoughts exactly, I can think of at least a half dozen better tracks.

  16. WBrowning

    August 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Hate that they moved my Laguna Seca race to football season! Hope my team is away so I can go flag the race and not have to choose which to go to.

    Don’t understand why VIR doesn’t get the Prototypes.

    Still seems like a short season to me, needs Mid-Ohio.

    • Jason

      August 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      1. football is the most overrated sport ever
      2. Can’t complain about all GT races sir
      3. Probably right. I think a neat idea would be to take GTD out of Detroit (make that a proto only race) and have a GTD only race at Mid Ohio. But alas we got what we got and I think it still aint that bad.

    • Mike S.

      August 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Because if you look at MRLS schedule traditionally it has been in the fall then spring then fall again then stayed spring for last several years now back to fall. Just like the split races thing. Spilt then not then split then not then split and now a hybrid I guess. Thanks for the stability of MRLS IMSA. Toyed with MRLS more than anywhere else.

    • NaBUru38

      August 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Which college football teams are close to Laguna Seca?

  17. Jason

    August 5, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I like the schedule a lot. GTLM gets 4 races with no LMPC to worry about. Wow GTD is on the entire schedule! IMSA is very bullish about this category going forward. Surprised about that because it is a pro-am category. You could have easily left GTD out of Long Beach and Detroit. But they did not.

    Despite that do you think the FULL SEASON GTD entry list will increase in 2017?

    • Amlv20

      August 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      GTD is a great class,has better racing and great pro drivers and am drivers that are not all a bunch of idiots like Lmpc.gtd has had better racing than gtlm the last few races and more cars.dont forget the embarssaing crap race gtlm just had at lime rock.dont let your fanboism of gtlm get in the way of the great racing gtd provides.

      • Mike S.

        August 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

        GT3 is the best sportscar racing in the world right now. Blancpain as being the best. Super GT and PWC trying to get there as well. IMSA trying to get a piece of the action.

      • Jason

        August 5, 2016 at 6:32 pm

        Oh I agree, the silver drivers in GTD far and away are of a higher quality than LMPC.

        And yes at Lime Rock. GTD was the best show and the extensive TV coverage they got was justified and well deserved. I think it will get better in 2017 especially if the same full season runners this year are enhanced by entries from Mercedes, Lexus, Acura. Still dreaming of McLaren to come too

    • Someone

      August 5, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Gtd is at those races to make the field look fuller nothing more.

  18. kevlow

    August 5, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I think the COTA date change will be good for IMSA. Probably would have helped WEC as well. Last year the heat was difficult for many fans. The heat was brutal on the cars also.

  19. chris

    August 5, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    why not a full show at lime rock ?

    • Ben

      August 6, 2016 at 12:07 am

      Prototypes just too fast. It was great this year with all of the GTLM factory support and buzz. Wish they could fix the uphill chicane a little though.

  20. Karl

    August 5, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    VIR is great track, and I also would like to see the prototypes race at that venue but pit space was severely restricted when garages we’re built along pit row a few years ago. Maybe Connie can explain the logic of that project?

  21. Chris

    August 5, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Much better for the Seca race

  22. Mike coter

    August 6, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Good to see Lime Rock Park a gt only race, and it’s nice to see laguna seca move to the fall, IMSA did a good job on this schedule, yes I called them by their respectful name

  23. mfreire

    February 4, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    This series should be racing at Mexico City, Mont-Tremblant or Montreal, Portland and Mid Ohio

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