IMSA has confirmed the name of its new top-level category as GTP, reviving the classic category moniker from the past.
Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) and Le Mans Hypercar (LMH)-spec machinery will compete in the new GTP class beginning with next January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The GTP name dates back to a previous so-called ‘golden era’ of IMSA prototype competition, where from 1981 to 1993, IMSA GTP cars featured innovative prototypes from a variety of manufacturers.
The original GTP era helped to develop what then were emerging technologies such as antilock braking and traction control among others, while also placing an emphasis on limiting fuel consumption.
The new GTP class will place a renewed emphasis on fuel economy, sustainability and green initiatives, such as the spec hybrid powertrain system to be used by all LMDh cars along with other technologies relevant to participating manufacturers.
The GTP moniker also is appropriate given that each car will carry significant design cues and styling to closely align with each manufacturer’s road-going products.
“If you were a race fan in the 1980s and early ‘90s as I was, you probably have fond memories of those epic IMSA GTP race cars, drivers and teams,” said IMSA President John Doonan.
“We are on the precipice of an amazing new era of GTP competition, with a real opportunity to eclipse the previous success of GTP.
“There is so much for IMSA fans – and really endurance sports car racing fans around the world – to look forward to in the coming years, led by the introduction of the new GTP class here at Daytona in 2023.”
The same cars eligible in GTP will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship under the existing Hypercar class name.
In addition to unveiling the new name, IMSA also unveiled a new GTP logo as part of a news conference Thursday evening at Daytona International Speedway.
The logo, which will be displayed on all GTP cars beginning next season, is a modernized take on the previous generation IMSA GTP logo.
Five manufacturers have already have confirmed participation in the GTP class beginning next season with new LMDh cars. Additional manufacturers with LMDh and LMH machinery are in the pipeline as well.
Porsche recently became the first LMDh manufacturer to publicly unveil its car, with others slated to roll out throughout the year.