IMSA has released the 2021 sporting regulations for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, confirming class-specific rules for the new LMP3 class, revised points structure and qualifying format and other changes.
The 155-page document, which was released to competitors on Tuesday, features few surprises following the sanctioning body’s multiple ‘State of the Series’ virtual addresses which had confirmed the majority of changes for next year.
It includes the arrival of the LMP3 class, which will compete over seven weekends, with the Rolex 24 at Daytona not counting towards season-long point but acting as the first round of the Michelin Endurance Cup.
As previously announced, a minimum of one Bronze-rated driver or one Silver that’s under the age of 30 will be required in each LMP3 lineup alongside a Bronze, Silver or Gold driver for the season.
A maximum of one Gold is permitted in the lineup for the Endurance Cup races in LMP3, with Platinums prohibited altogether in the class.
LMP2 will see the return of Platinum drivers, which will be able to compete in all races rather than just the Rolex 24 this year.
IMSA’s new point structure, meanwhile, has been confirmed, including bonus points for pole and the two-stage qualifying format for GT Daytona that will see both drivers in action.
The team’s Silver or Bronze-rated drivers will take part in the first segment for qualifying to set the grid, while each GTD entry’s professional driver will compete in the second segment to score qualifying points.
LMP2 and LMP3 teams will have an unrestricted number of testing days, with Bronze-rated drivers in GTD also no longer limited.
LMP2, LMP3 and GTD teams are permitted to test their Bronze or LMP3 Silvers under the age of 30 at two tracks per season up to and including the Sunday prior to the IMSA event, meanwhile.
IMSA has also confirmed the process and timeline overview for its Balance of Performance, while confirming the performance window for BoP at 0.30 percent for DPi and GTLM and 0.50 percent for GTD.
Previously the performance window was listed as above or below 0.15 percent for DPi/GTLM and 0.25 percent for GTD.
As has been the case in ACO-run championships, LMP2 and LMP3 cars are not subject to BoP.
Other Changes for 2021:
***A driver change in a closed pit is not considered emergency service and will result in a stop plus-60-second penalty.
***Failure to submit a starting driver to IMSA will result in the starting driver being determined alphabetically by last name.
***GTD cars must start on the four qualifying tires from Q1 or its assigned grid position and qualifying points will be forfeited and moved to the rear of the grid in its class.
***Qualifying points will also be forfeited in DPi, LMP2 and LMP3 for pre-race tire changes, with GTLM teams permitted to change tires and compound after qualifying.
***Bronze-rated drivers in LMP2 and either Bronze or Silvers under 30 must complete the single-segment qualifying sessions, with no restrictions for DPi or GTLM.
***A stop and hold penalty of five minutes will be given for any team not adhering to the starting driver rules.
***Should the first qualifying segment in GTD not be completed, the car will be prohibited from taking part in the second segment.
***Teams are not allowed to carry out “vehicle repair validation testing” on the grounds of an IMSA facility other than on-track sessions.
***Branding by or reference to an automotive or manufacturer that is not an official automotive partner of IMSA is prohibited in LMP2 and LMP3.
***Should no Trueman/Akin driver compete in all four Michelin Endurance Cup events, the guaranteed entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans is awarded at IMSA’s sole discretion.
***Disposing of any object other than helmet visor tear-offs from the car on the track or in the pit lane under green flag conditions, except when stopped in the pit box, is prohibited.