IMSA officials today released the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sporting Regulations, which featured some key revisions for the upcoming season.
Beginning with next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the start of all WeatherTech Championship races will include the entire field in one pack taking the green flag at the same time.
Previously, the field was separated into two categories, Prototype and GT. The Prototype category included all Prototype and Prototype Challenge cars, while the GT category included cars from both the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes.
The two categories were separated by several seconds and each received its own green flag to start the race.
While the starting grid for each race will continue to be separated by category, the entire field will start each race together.
“While we saw some benefits of split starts, having the entire field start the race together will offer more excitement for our race fans both onsite and watching on television,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett.
“The 2017 WeatherTech Championship will include breathtaking machinery throughout the field. By putting the entire field together in one group, the opening moments of our races will be that much more exhilarating and set the tone for fantastic competition all the way to the checkered flag.”
Points Award Revisions
The 2017 Sporting Regulations also will include a number of revisions to the way points are awarded at each event.
If all drivers in each car achieve all drive-time requirements, the car and all drivers will be awarded the number of points associated with their finishing position in the race.
If a team’s drivers do not meet the drive-time requirements, the car and drivers will be placed at the back of their class in the finishing order and receive the points associated with that position, subject to drive-time infraction order priority.
Additionally, the car that achieves the fastest race lap in each class and each driver in the lineup will receive one bonus point. The single bonus point awarded at each event to all drivers and teams that started the race has been eliminated.