IMSA announces procedural changes


2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona (Courtesy of IMSA)

IMSA have announced modifications to competition procedures following a review of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Following two rounds of the inaugural championship which saw the Level 5 Ferrari penalised and then non-penalised at Daytona as well as the WeatherTech Porsche GTD getting a stop and hold penalty rather than the GTLM Porsche North America 911 at Sebring.

“The first two events of the new IMSA and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship have generated many positives and successes,” said IMSA President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Atherton. “Full fields of world-class cars, teams and drivers, incredible competition in all four classes, impressive digital, social media and other business metrics, and, most importantly, record-breaking crowds of sports car racing fans at both the Daytona and Sebring events. In addition, Scot Elkins and his technical staff should take a bow for achieving remarkable performance balance within all classes, especially with the P2 and DP cars.” 

“However, there also have been some notable situations related to our competition procedures that unfortunately have partially overshadowed these positive aspects of our debut. We are committed to rectifying these areas in order to conduct the most professional, fair, consistent and entertaining form of professional racing with industry benchmark personnel, equipment and practices.”

While it should have been plainly obvious officials had penalised the wrong car at Sebring – the GTLM Porsche has massive Michelin stickers on the roof whilst the GTD Porsche has to run on Continentals – a new rule has been introduced which sees the car numbers placed in front of the onboard cameras.

More changes, especially to potential on track incidents include:

  • Upgraded video review equipment to high definition (HD).
  • A new system for cross-checking cars and drivers involved in on-track incidents.
  • Addition of a third driver advisor to work alongside the IMSA Race Director and two driver advisors to assist with evaluating responsibility in incidents and other on-track situations.

Another notable change pertains to the pitting and wave around procedure when there is a full course caution.

If there is only one type of prototype class in the race, they will be allowed to pit while the GT fields sort out their wave around order. Series organisers are hoping that a move as simple as this will be able to knock an entire lap off a full course caution and avoid the same lengthy cautions as were experienced at Sebring.

More details on other rule changes can be found on IMSA.com.