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IMSA Confirms GTP, LMP2 Extensions

IMSA extends end dates on GTP, LMP2 eligibility for WeatherTech Championship in accordance with ACO announcement…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

IMSA has confirmed an extension of the eligibility for cars in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTP and LMP2 classes in order to match a similar announcement made by the ACO.

During its traditional pre-event press conference at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Friday, the ACO announced that the homologation cycle for cars in the Hypercar class has been extended by two years from 2027 to 2029.

Simultaneously, it confirmed a delay in the introduction for the new LMP2 regulations to 2028, thus making the current generation of cars eligible for competition until the end of 2027.

In a separate announcement on Friday, IMSA confirmed that identical end dates for each class will be applied for the WeatherTech Championships.

This means that the current crop of GTP-class cars will race in the series for at least two additional years after they made their debuts in 2023.

“My thought is, first of all, stability,” IMSA president John Doonan told Sportscar365 with regards to the GTP extension.

“For those who have already invested, they know that they have more years, perhaps, to amortize costs and to carry on with the design and the project that they had the foundational partners that have invested in.

“I also think, besides stability for them, it’s opportunity for others.

“We are getting more interest as of late, as the story has come out. There are some other manufacturers that are keen to potentially join LMDh.

“I’m encouraged. What we’ve seen so far has been amazing but I think there’s more good news to come.”

Currently, the GTP class only consists of LMDh machinery from Acura, BMW, Cadillac Porsche and Lamborghini, although that is set to change when the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR-LMH debuts next year.

That will mark the first time a car built to the LMH ruleset has competed in the WeatherTech Championship.

When it comes to the extension of the LMP2 eligibility, Doonan pointed to desire to retain a similar alignment with the ACO’s decision-making.

Current LMP2 machinery debuted in the championship in 2017 before it became a standalone class two years later. IMSA previously extended its own eligibility for LMP2 machinery until the end of 2025 last year.

“What you see today with LMP2 now through 2027, we’ll carry on with the same program, same cars, so we have alignment with the ACO on that as well,” Doonan said.

“It’s a good situation for the sport. I think stability for all those customers that have joined. We’re at record numbers of full-season entries in IMSA.

“There’s 13 LMP2 cars. Once again, I think there’s really strong space for that category.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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