IMSA will not follow the ACO’s recent moves to further slow down the LMP2 class in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship according to series president John Doonan, who has confirmed the platform’s current configuration through at least the 2022 season.
The second tier prototype category has faced pre-season power reductions and minimum weight increases in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series plus the mandatory use of the Le Mans aero kit in all WEC races in an effort to increase the ‘stratification’ to the debuting Le Mans Hypercar class in the globe-trotting series.
Doonan said this will not be seen in the WeatherTech Championship, particularly with its current two-year commitment to the LMP3 class and its crop of LMP2 customers that have already started the season in what was intended to be the ACO’s planned 2021 configuration for the WEC and ELMS.
“The good news is that we are in constant communication with the ACO,” Doonan told Sportscar365.
“At the moment, I can emphatically say that we don’t plan to change LMP2 and the stratification that we have with DPi for the rest of 2021. And, I can emphatically say that it’s not our intention to change performance levels for 2022 either.
“I’d like to maintain consistency with the stratification we have with DPi and LMP3.
“Obviously we made a commitment for two years with LMP3, when we made the announcement. We continue to evaluate it, but right now we have no intentions of changing LMP2 performance levels for the rest of this championship season or in 2022.”
When asked if IMSA LMP2 teams are in support of keeping the current formula locked in, Doonan said “the market spoke at Daytona.”
“It was great to see so many LMP2 cars there,” he said. “My hope is that we see that again at The Glen and carrying on into 2022.
“It would be excellent to see so many teams come to the States to kick off the 2022 season at the 60th edition of the Rolex 24.
“I appreciate [teams like United Autosports] and several other European teams. Then you’ve got your PR1s of the world and the Starworks program that Peter [Baron] runs. I hope they can continue.”
While the difference in specifications between the WeatherTech Championship and ACO-run championships may detract potential European teams from entering, such as Inter Europol Competition, Doonan believes it won’t have an impact on IMSA teams taking part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I think the way that the LMP2 cars are built – and what the constructors have done there – if a team wanted to go, they could make the necessary changes,” he said.
“I think a lot of the performance is related to engine mapping. The aero kits are pretty versatile. Conceivable, people could still go and not have too much difficulty.
“A lot of the teams have found ways to utilize their Le Mans award that they get by working with teams that are already over there.
“I spoke to Bobby [Oergel, PR1/Mathiasen team principal] this week. He had a great experience at Spa (WEC race).
“Maybe there’s that scenario where if [IMSA LMP2 teams] get the opportunity to go to Le Mans, that they can just work with a unit over there.”