IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Twelve races in the USA and Canada make up the 2017 calendar of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Some of the highlights include the long distance classics at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta, and, of course, the street race around the port district of Long Beach. The factory-run Porsche GT Team fields the new 911 RSR in the GTLM class in North America’s premier sports car championship, with customer teams campaigning the 911 GT3 R in the GTD class.
The Frenchman and IMSA GT Champion Patrick Pilet shares the cockpit of the #911 car with a new factory driver, Dirk Werner (Germany). At the long-distance classics at Daytona, Sebring and the Petit Le Mans, they are joined by Frédéric Makowiecki (France) as the third driver. The regular driver crew in the #912 Porsche 911 RSR is Kévin Estre (France) and the Porsche newcomer Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). They pair receives support at the long-distance races from Austrian Richard Lietz.
In the GTD class, which is run this season under the universal FIA GT3 regulations, the customer teams Park Place Motorsports, CORE Autosport and TRG contest the entire season with the 911 GT3 R. Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) again drives for Park Place Motorsports and his works driver colleague Wolf Henzler (Germany) competes for TRG.
The races in Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen as well as Petit Le Mans again count towards the North American Endurance Championship.
Huge spectator interest
The enthusiasm of American motor racing fans for sports car racing is unwavering. With classics such as the 24 Hours at Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans, as well as tradition-steeped circuits like Watkins Glen and Road America, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the most important sports car racing series on the North American continent. This is the most important sports car market for Porsche in the world. Last year, around 150,000 fans made the pilgrimage to Sebring alone. The Petit Le Mans event on the legendary Road Atlanta circuit attracted more than 120,000 spectators, and the same number travelled to witness the race on the famous Long Beach street circuit.
The huge interest in thrilling sports car racing is underlined in the TV figures of FOX. The TV giant broadcasted virtually every race of the fiercely-contested 2016 championship live on its main channel as well as on FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and the app FOX Sports GO. This coverage as well as the highlight programmes produced by FOX were viewed in 154 countries around the globe, equivalent in theory to a reach of more than 310 million households. Sports car fans in Europe can also witness the action live and at no cost on www.imsa.com.
In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, sports prototypes and sports cars start in four different classes. All classes start together at the races in Daytona, Sebring, Austin, Watkins Glen, Bowmanville, Road America as well as Petit Le Mans. The GTLM class is contested at all races except Detroit.
GTLM (GT Le Mans): Open to heavily-modified GT vehicles that are based on production sports cars, including the Porsche 911 RSR. Internationally, this is the equivalent of the GTE-Pro class.
GTD (GT Daytona): This class consists of near-standard GT vehicles complying with the FIA GT3 regulations, like the new Porsche 911 GT3 R.
P (Prototype): The class for Daytona prototypes from the former Grand-Am Series and the LMP2 prototypes from the former American Le Mans Series. The experimental Deltawing is also eligible.
PC (Prototype Challenge): This class is reserved for the Oreca prototypes powered by Corvette engines.
A driver and team champion is determined from each class. Moreover, in the GTLM class, championship titles are awarded for the most successful automobile manufacturer and the most successful tyre manufacturer, with championship titles also handed out in the P class for chassis and engine manufacturers.
At each race and in each class, points are awarded to the 30 top-placed finishers according to the following system:
|1st place||35||16th place||15|
|2nd place||32||17th place||14|
|3rd place||30||18th place||13|
|4th place||28||19th place||12|
|5th place||26||20th place||11|
|6th place||25||21st place||10|
|7th place||24||22nd place||9|
|8th place||23||23rd place||8|
|9th place||22||24th place||7|
|10th place||21||25th place||6|
|11th place||20||26th place||5|
|12th place||19||27th place||4|
|13th place||18||28th place||3|
|14th place||17||29th place||2|
|15th place||16||30th place||1|
New in the 2017 season: For the fastest race lap in every class, a bonus point is awarded to the drivers of the respective cars and the team. The previously awarded additional point for driver and team participation in the race has been eliminated.
One driver can be entered for a maximum of two cars in a race. A competitor who is entered to drive two vehicles in the same class can only earn points with one of the vehicles, which must be nominated at least one hour before the first official practice session.
Rolex 24 at Daytona*
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring*
BUBBAburger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long Beach
Circuit of the Americas
Chevrolet Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix
Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen*
Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix
IMSA WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix
Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
Michelin GT Challenge
Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
|07 October||Petit Le Mans*
Road Atlanta – Braselton, Georgia
* These races count towards the North American Endurance Championship.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is contested with the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) as the governing body.
International Motor Sports Association
One Daytona Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Senior Manager Communications
Phone: +1 386 310 6568
Phone: +1 386 310 6082