"We requested and received feedback from the TUDOR Championship paddock and the overwhelming desire was to establish consistency as we enter our second season," said Scot Elkins, IMSA Managing Director, Technical Regulations. "Today’s release of the 2015 rules and technical regulations is the result of extensive open dialogue with our competitors. That dialogue will continue throughout and following next month’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 test and into the 2015 TUDOR Championship season.
While there were no significant changes to the technical regulations, the following are notable additions and revisions to the 2015 IMSA Sporting Regulations:
Â· To protect season-long driver pairings in the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes, both drivers entered in a car will receive the same TUDOR Championship points in instances where a car starts the race, but does not finish.
Â· In the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, teams may declare their season-long pairing in endurance races with lineups of four or five drivers. If the car does not finish the race, but the paired Silver or Bronze driver achieves the minimum driving requirement, the driver and the paired Gold or Platinum co-driver would receive the same points.
Â· The Jim Trueman and Bob Akin Awards no longer apply to the PC and GTD classes and now apply to the P and GTLM classes. The season-ending Trueman and Akin Award winners will have the opportunity to earn automatic invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016.
Qualifying Procedures/Race Start
Â· The qualifying driver must be the starting driver of the race. If a team changes its starting driver following qualifying, the car must start the race at the rear of the grid in its category (P, PC and GTLM, GTD).
Â· In races with all four classes competing simultaneously, the starting grid will be split by category, with P and PC cars starting ahead of GTLM and GTD cars. The Prototype and GT fields will have separate race starts with a single safety car.
Â· Under dry conditions, the tires for the race start must be the marked tires from qualifying. A change in dry-type tires will result in the car being sent to the rear of the category grid. Under wet conditions the team has the option to start the race on wet or dry tires unless declared a wet race.
Â· All other back-of-grid penalties will result in the car going to the rear of the category grid.
Yellow Flag Procedures
Â· In the interest of simplification and maximizing green flag racing, there will be two versions of full-course yellow flag procedures, Standard and Short. The pits will be open during Standard yellow flag periods with pit stops separated by category (P, PC and GTLM, GTD). The pits will be closed under a Short yellow flag period. Cars must take the green flag on track prior to pitting, unless emergency service is required.
Â· A Standard yellow will be the default full-course yellow period. Short yellow flags will be used for the first of any full-course yellow within 15 minutes of a preceding green flag and the final 30 minutes of the race, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
In addition to the changes to the 2015 IMSA Sporting Regulations, IMSA officials also made reductions or eliminations in penalties for consistency, including a warning applied for the first offense in some cases.
The first on-track activity for the TUDOR Championship will be the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 test Jan. 9-11. The 2015 season opens with the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25.