IMSA has reduced the LMP2 class schedule from ten to eight races in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, amid an expected low car count in the newly spun-off prototype category for next year.
Announced late Friday, in a move aimed at “further optimizing” the market, the class will no longer participate in the two street races at Long Beach and Detroit Belle Isle.
The new-for-2019 DPi category, meanwhile, maintains its ten-race schedule as announced in August.
According to a series statement, the reduction has been made to “stimulate further interest” in the class.
“With the start of the season now 50 days away, it is important that we timely share these revisions so that our stakeholders can further evaluate, and plan based on the refined sporting strategy for the class,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.
“IMSA remains committed to offering an attractive LMP2 platform for Pro-Am competitors.”
While competitors will continue to compete for both the overall WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Endurance Cup titles, the class will now qualify at the same time as DPi cars at each event.
Only the class winners will be recognized in post-race podium ceremonies in the event of fewer than three LMP2 entries, although LMP2 will maintain separate class-specific number panels, driver regulations, drive-time requirements and race procedures as originally outlined in the sporting regulations.
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and Performance Tech are understood to be the only teams to have expressed plans to run the full season, although additional entries, including two Oreca 07 Gibsons from DragonSpeed, are set for next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.