IMSA Reveals New Sporting and Technical Regulations (Update)

UPDATE IMSA released Technical Regulations for all four classes heading into the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which opens on Jan. 28-29, 2017 with the 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Prototype class will see a major technical shift in 2017, as two different types of racecars, Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and Le Mans Prototype 2 (LM P2), are introduced and will compete together for overall race victories. All Prototype cars, regardless of type, will use chassis built by one of four chassis constructors approved by IMSA, the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO): Dallara, Multimatic Riley, Onroak Automotive (Ligier) and ORECA.

The technical differences between LM P2 and DPi are in the engines and bodywork. LM P2 cars will use constructor-specific bodywork and "spec" Gibson V8 engines. DPi cars are manufacturer-based, and require brand-specific bodywork and engines. DPi manufacturers for 2017 include Cadillac, Mazda and Nissan, with additional manufacturers showing strong interest in future participation.

All LM P2 cars will compete in the WeatherTech Championship as homologated by the ACO/FIA. In contrast, DPi cars are homologated by IMSA. As part of the IMSA homologation process, DPi manufacturers/constructors may select an alternative specification for certain components such as brakes, shocks and wheels.

Once declared and approved by IMSA, these alternative components – referenced in the IMSA Technical Regulations – become part of the overall homologation specification and required for use by each individual manufacturer-branded DPi car model. The DPi homologation process is scheduled to be completed prior to the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test on Jan. 6-8, 2017.

The GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes utilize homologations and technical regulations established by the ACO and FIA, respectively.

The Prototype Challenge (PC) class – which embarks on its final WeatherTech Championship season in 2017 – will continue to use the same IMSA Technical Regulations as in past seasons.

12/14/16 International Motor Sports Ass’n officials released the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sporting Regulations, which featured some key revisions for the upcoming season.

Beginning with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, the start of all WeatherTech Championship races will include the entire field in one pack taking the green flag at the same time.

Previously, the field was separated into two categories, Prototype and GT. The Prototype category included all Prototype and Prototype Challenge cars, while the GT category included cars from both the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes.

The two categories were separated by several seconds and each received its own green flag to start the race. While the starting grid for each race will continue to be separated by category, the entire field will start each race together.

“While we saw some benefits of split starts, having the entire field start the race together will offer more excitement for our race fans both onsite and watching on television," said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “The 2017 WeatherTech Championship will include breathtaking machinery throughout the field. By putting the entire field together in one group, the opening moments of our races will be that much more exhilarating and set the tone for fantastic competition all the way to the checkered flag."

The Sporting Regulations also will include a number of revisions to the way points are awarded at each event.

If all drivers in each car achieve all drive-time requirements, the car and all drivers will be awarded the number of points associated with their finishing position in the race. If a team’s drivers do not meet the drive-time requirements, the car and drivers will be placed at the back of their class in the finishing order and receive the points associated with that position, subject to drive-time infraction order priority.

Additionally, the car that achieves the fastest race lap in each class and each driver in the lineup will receive one bonus point. The single bonus point awarded at each event to all drivers and teams that started the race has been eliminated. Speed Sport

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