IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Race series

Endurance classics such as the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans make the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship one of the most attractive race series in the world. This season’s calendar is made up of twelve rounds on the most demanding racetracks in the USA and Canada. For 2018, the Porsche GT Team again fields two 911 RSR in the GTLM class. In the GTD class, Porsche customer teams compete with the 911 GT3 R with support from factory drivers.

Patrick Pilet (France) is joined by a new teammate in the cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 RSR: Britain’s Nick Tandy, the 2015 overall winner of the Le Mans 24-hour race with the 919 Hybrid, returns to GT racing, and thus back to his roots. With this pairing, one of the most successful duos of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is reunited. Unforgettable is their first Porsche overall victory at Petit Le Mans in 2015 with the 911 RSR. Frédéric Makowiecki (France) joins the two as the third driver for the endurance events at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans. New Zealander Earl Bamber, another outright Le Mans winner (2015, 2017), mans the #912 Porsche 911 RSR as the new teammate of Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium). Gianmaria Bruni (Italy) supports the pair at the endurance events.

Porsche customer teams such as Park Place Motorsports and Wright Motorsports tackle the GTD class with the 911 GT3 R. Two works drivers will contest the entire season for these squads: Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) drives the #73 entry for Park Place Motorsports, with the reigning overall World Challenge champion Patrick Long (USA) competing for Wright Motorsports (#58) at his return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. He shares the cockpit with Denmark’s Christina Nielsen, the 2018 Porsche Selected Driver.

At the opening round in Daytona, Manthey-Racing also fields a 911 GT3 R (#59). Joining the cockpit crew are the two works drivers Sven Müller (Germany) and Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy). The third driver competing for Wright Motorsports is Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (France).

The races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans count towards the prestigious North American Endurance Cup. In 2017, Porsche won the drivers’ and team titles in the toughest and most coveted category in terms of performance and reliability that exists globally in GT racing. 

Worldwide coverage

Traditionally, sports car racing enjoys huge popularity amongst American motorsport fans. Spectator interest in Porsche’s most important sports car market in the world is unwavering. Around 150,000 fans make the pilgrimage to Sebring alone. Petit Le Mans at the legendary Road Atlanta circuit regularly attracts more than 100,000 spectators. And the street race through the port district of Long Beach, one of the absolute highlights of the season, continues to lure racing fans every year.

The huge interest in North America’s premier sports car racing series is also reflected in the TV figures of FOX. The TV giant broadcasts every race of this thrilling championship live or pre-recorded 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, is viewed in over 150 countries around the globe, an equivalent theoretically to a reach of more than 300 million households. Sports car fans outside Europe can also witness the action live and at no cost on www.imsa.com.

The classes

In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, sports prototypes and sports cars start in three different classes. The previously contested PC class is no longer part of the programme. All classes start together at the races in Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Bowmanville, Road America, Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans. The GTLM class is contested at all races except at 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 Porsche 911 GT3 R. 

P (Prototype): This is the prototype class complying with the DPi regulations. This includes prototypes as well as LMP2 prototypes that are only eligible for the IMSA series.

A championship title is awarded for drivers, teams and manufacturers. The same applies to the classes of the North American Endurance Cup.

The classifications

At each race and in each class, points are awarded to the 30 top-placed finishers according to the following system:

Placing

Points

Placing

Points

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

 

The calendar

27/28 January

Rolex 24 at Daytona*
Daytona International Speedway – Daytona, Florida

17 March

Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring*
Sebring International Raceway – Sebring, Florida

14 April

BUBBA Burger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long Beach
Long Beach, California

06 May

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio

02 June

Chevrolet Sports Car Classic
Belle Isle Park – Detroit, Michigan

01 July

Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen*
Watkins Glen International – Watkins Glen, New York

08 July

Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

21 July

Northeast Grand Prix
Lime Rock Park – Lakeville, Connecticut

05 August

Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
Road America – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

19 August

Michelin GT Challenge
VIRginia International Raceway – Danville, Virginia

09 September

Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, California

13 October Motul Petit Le Mans*
Road Atlanta – Braselton, Georgia

* These races count towards the North American Endurance Championship.

The Organisation

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
USA

Phone: +1 386 310 6500
Fax: +1 386 310 650
Email: info@imsa.com
Internet www.imsa.com

Press contacts

Nate Siebens
Senior Manager Communications
Phone: +1 386 310 6568
Email: nsiebens@imsa.com

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