The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to a four-class format, with confirmation of separate DPi and LMP2 classes in 2019.
IMSA President Scott Atherton made the announcement Friday evening in the sanctioning body’s annual ‘State of the Series’ address at Road America, which also included confirmation of next year’s schedule.
Under the new format, DPis will become the new premier class, with the global-spec LMP2 cars to fall under a new Pro-Am enforced class.
Additionally, Atherton indicated that DPis will be restored to its initial performance levels, after having faced repeated slowdowns to the top-performing LMP2 car, which had been the class performance baseline.
DPis will now be subject to a class-specific Balance of Performance process managed by the IMSA technical committee, similar to the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes.
As initially reported by Sportscar365, a class separation had been under discussion since the launch of the joint DPi-LMP2 regulations last year.
The majority of teams with LMP2 cars had been in favor with the proposed change.
LMP2, which will run to the same technical regulations seen in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series, will require at least one Bronze or Silver-rated driver per lineup.
However, in a change for both LMP2 and GTD next year, maximum drive times for Gold and Platinum-rated drivers will be limited.
The criteria for the Jim Trueman Award, meanwhile, has also been adjusted, the highest-placed Silver/Bronze driver in the LMP2 championship winning the award and invite to the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Previously, points were awarded based on finishing position and drive time.
The same criteria will also apply to the Bob Akin Award in GTD, with ties broken in favor of the driver with the highest season-long cumulative drive time.