IMSA has confirmed the introduction of the GT Daytona Pro class to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beginning in 2022, with GT3-spec cars replacing GTE machinery in the all-pro production-based ranks.
Announced Thursday ahead of this year’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, the new category will be eligible to factory driver and team lineups along with the allowance of customer teams.
Pro-Am and Am-Am lineups will have the choice of competing in either the Pro or standard GTD class.
Michelin, meanwhile, has been named the exclusive tire supplier for both classes, which will eliminate any potential for open tire competition in the WeatherTech Championship.
Confirmation of the GT3-based pro class comes amid a dwindling car count in GTLM, which sees six entries for the Rolex 24 but only three for the full season in two factory Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs and a WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19.
IMSA President John Doonan previously told Sportscar365 that the “market will speak” on the adoption of a GT3 class for all-pro driver lineups amid GTLM’s recent decline.
“The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has long been regarded as featuring the world’s greatest GT manufacturers, teams and drivers and some of the world’s most exciting and competitive professional GT endurance racing through the GTLM class,” Doonan said.
“We believe the move to GTD Pro offers the best opportunity for manufacturers and teams to continue that legacy well into the future.
“We expect considerable manufacturer participation when we kick off the GTD Pro class a year from now in the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona.”
Both GTD Pro and GTD will be run to the new FIA GT3 technical regulations that will debut in 2022, which will allow new cars, such as the BMW M4 GT3, as well as those upgraded through Evo kits.
IMSA currently has nine manufacturers represented in the GTD class heading into the 2021 season.