IMSA has made multiple changes to its 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship calendar, primarily around the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which has been moved to avoid a clash with the Indianapolis 8 Hour.
Announced on Thursday, the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup round, which was to take place on Oct. 1-4, will now be run on Labor Day weekend, taking the slot of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca event that has been pushed back to late October.
The change eliminates a highly publicized clash with the U.S. round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli and GT World Challenge America powered by AWS season finale, which would have impacted upwards of 100 people from drivers, crew members, manufacturer representatives, media and PR representatives that are involved in both series.
Sportscar365 understands that a movement led by driver Ryan Dalziel resulted in a plea document being circulated to affected parties, asking IMSA to change the date.
SRO Motorsports Group President and CEO Stephane Ratel previously told Sportscar365 that the date of the Indy 8 Hour, which now features a round of the NTT IndyCar Series, was “impossible” to move.
A third date change to the WeatherTech Championship calendar has also been made as a result, with the GT-only round at Lime Rock Park being moved up to Sept. 11-12, one week after Watkins Glen, in an effort to streamline logistics.
Lime Rock’s initial Oct. 30-31 weekend will now be occupied by the round at Laguna Seca, which faces an unknown future amid management issues at the renowned California circuit.
Other changes include moving the Michelin GT Challenge race to Sat. Aug. 22 instead of Sunday to help those competing or working the rescheduled Indianapolis 500 that weekend.
While no adjustment has been made to the Mid-Ohio weekend, IMSA President John Doonan said an agreement has been reached with GT Le Mans manufacturers regarding the clash with the Nürburgring 24, which had been another conflict largely involving drivers.
“These revisions to our 2020 schedules put all of IMSA’s stakeholders in the best possible position for success,” said Doonan.
“They are also the result of the ongoing spirit of collaboration with our promoter partners.
“Moving our Northeastern events into September should pay dividends from the standpoint of weather. WeatherTech Raceway on Halloween weekend also has the potential to be spectacular and will set the stage for a thrilling conclusion at Sebring.”
IMSA’s return to racing kicks off as scheduled at Daytona next weekend, followed by another sprint race at Sebring.
2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Schedule (Revised):
Jan. 25-26 — Rolex 24 at Daytona (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
July 3-4 — Daytona (DPi, GTLM, GTD)
July 17-18 — Sebring (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD**)
Aug. 1-2 — Road America (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
Aug. 21-22 — Virginia Intenational Raceway (GTLM, GTD)
Sept. 4-6 — Watkins Glen International (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
Sept. 11-12 — Lime Rock Park (GTLM, GTD)
Sept. 25-27 — Mid-Ohio (DPi, GTLM, GTD)
Oct. 15-17 — Motul Petit Le Mans (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
Oct. 30- Nov. 1 — WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
Nov. 12-14 — Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (DPi, LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
**WeatherTech Sprint Cup only