Cars utilizing alternative technologies could end up being on the grid in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the future, via a new provision that’s under development by the sanctioning body.
Sportscar365 has learned that IMSA is working on the creation of a Garage 56-like initiative for the WeatherTech Championship, under the “Innovation Garage” moniker.
While details on the program remain unclear, the concept could allow innovative projects, previously only permitted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to compete Stateside, potentially as unclassified entries.
It’s understood at least one group has already had discussions with IMSA on a proposed project that could involve a 2016-specification LMP2 car as a base.
When reached by Sportscar365, IMSA declined comment on Innovation Garage.
“It would be premature to comment in any detail about a potential program like this,” an IMSA spokesperson told Sportscar365.
The ALMS had embraced alternative-technology cars, including the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid (pictured above) in 2010, and original Nissan-powered DeltaWing in 2012, which both ran unclassified at Petit Le Mans.
However, since the DeltaWing’s acceptance into Prototype class, there hasn’t been any form of experimental projects, particularly in the series post-merger.
A timeline for the launch of IMSA’s proposed initiative has not yet been determined and is understood to not be a top priority for next year, amid the debut of its new-for-2017 DPi/LMP2 platform.