IMSA Development Series Wrap Up Two-Day Winter Test With just a little more than a month before their season begins, the three International Motor Sports Series (IMSA) Development Series finished two days of pre-season testing at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012.
The teams and drivers of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series, the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin shared the 3.74-mile, 17-turn Sebring circuit during the two-day test in preparation for the season opening Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, March 14-17.
Tristan Nunez, from Boca Raton, Fla., topped the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites time chart with a lap of 2.00.882 seconds (1:10.190 mph). The 17 Prototype Lites drivers completed 937 laps (3,504 miles) around the famous Sebring circuit.
Houston’s Paul Barnhart stopped the clocks with a lap of 2:07.654 seconds (104.345 mph) to lead all of the GT3 Challenge Series competitors. The 26 drivers representing both the U.S. GT3 Challenge Series and the Canadian GT3 Challenge Series drove 1,834 laps (6,859 miles) of testing.
“This was a good, productive test for both IMSA and the competitors,” said IMSA Development Series Director Steven Sewell. “For the veteran drivers, the test was a chance for them to shake off the winter rust. The test also helped the new teams and drivers get familiar with IMSA and how we operate.”
Since its inaugural season in 2006, the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series has sought to provide both an opportunity for semi-professional racing drivers to compete in world class equipment in premier venues, as well as to provide aspiring professionals an avenue to hone their skills in preparation for a career in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n.
The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama is the largest one-make series in North America. Featuring semi-professional and professional drivers racing iconic Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in multi-class racing, the series provides the ideal environment for aspiring racers and weekend warriors alike. High car counts and stiff competition characterize the series, which is embarking on its seventh season.
In 2012, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin begins its second season with triple the car count from its inaugural year.