IMSA has gotten all the mileage it can out of the GT Daytona and GT Le Mans classes in 2021, so at the annual State of the Sport presentation at Road America last weekend, IMSA president John Doonan announced the final rules for the new-of-2022 GTD and GTD Pro classes that make up two of the five IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes for next year.
GTD is basically the same—GT3-spec cars driven by Pro-Am driver combinations, and the factory-backed, also GT3-based GTD Pro class made up of professional drivers. Qualifying will be a Bronze or Silver-rated driver in GTD, and any rated driver in GTD Pro. The class structure will be quite similar to WEC, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The two classes will be separate, but since the cars are the same, there will likely be crossovers in the overall podium finishes, but not the podium ceremonies themselves.
The 2022 Schedule
Expect a dozen races beginning with the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 27-30, and ending with the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on September 28-October 1. In between are the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca—consisting of one trip to the West Coast—then Mid-Ohio, Belle Isle, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (off the schedule this year due to COVID), Lime Rock, Road America, Virginia International Raceway and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta will make up the Endurance Cup, while the rest of the races constitute the Sprint Cup. As now, Lime Rock and VIR will be GT-only.
Of note, the race weekend on Belle Isle in Detroit sets the stage for an IMSA/IndyCar doubleheader the weekend after the 500. In 2021, the Belle Isle event was two weeks after the 500.
2022 Race Weekends
The Michelin Pilot Challenge will have a 10-race season, starting with Daytona and ending with Petit Le Mans, with Sebring, Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock, Road America and VIR in-between. The Daytona and Road America races will be four hours long.
The IMSA Prototype Challenge will have five races, starting with Daytona and ending at Petit Le Mans, with Mid-Ohio, Canadian Tire and VIR making up the rest of the season.
The new Prototype cars that will debut at Daytona in 2023 presently consists of Acura, Audi, Porsche and BMW, which have announced formally. Expect Cadillac to make an announcement, as well as Lamborghini and as many as three others.
The new-for-2021 LMH cars that will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be allowed to race with the LMDh cars after a Balance of Performance adjustment.
IMSA on TV
With the demise of the NBC Sports Network, or NBCSN next season, the IMSA WeatherTech races will air on NBC, the USA Network and the NBC Peacock streaming service.
The season will kick off with NBC airing the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
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