Mid-Ohio In, COTA Out in 2018 IMSA Calendar Shuffle

by Paul Hensby

The calendar for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has been announced, and it sees a return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the first time since the merger of the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series at the end of 2013.

All three classes – Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona – will race at the circuit on Sunday 6 May for 160-minutes, although the race around the Circuit of the Americas has been discontinued for 2018.

The season starts in earnest with the traditional trip to the Daytona International Speedway for the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of January, with the Roar before the 24, mandatory to all teams and drivers who wish to compete in the 24 hour race taking place on the first weekend of the same month.

The championship remains in Florida for another of the legendary events on the schedule, with the Twelve Hours of Sebring taking place in mid-March, with two opening races being dubbed the ’36 Hours of Florida.’

The Prototype and GT Le Mans classes hit the streets of Long Beach in April before everyone races at Mid-Ohio, while the Prototype and GT Daytona classes will race around the streets of Belle Isle at the beginning of June.

The Six Hours of the Glen, at the Watkins Glen International, and the Mobil1 SportsCar Grand Prix, at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park take place in the first two weekends of July, before the two GT classes head to Lime Rock Park for the Northeast Grand Prix on 20-21 July.

Road America will host the ninth round of the season on the first weekend of August, again for all three classes, before the GT classes again head off on their own, racing this time at the Virginia International Raceway on 17-19 August.

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will play host to the penultimate round of the season on 7-9 September, before the season concludes with its now familiar closing event, Petit Le Mans, at Road Atlanta on 10-13 October.

“The 2018 WeatherTech Championship schedule again showcases the stability of our platform, while at the same time reaffirming our commitment to the best road racing venues and events in North America,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.

“And this time offering a few surprises for our fans. Each race on our 2018 calendar has a rich history of sports car competition, which we expect to be at an all-time high next season across all three classes.

“The on-track product will include legendary manufacturers and competitors – some of which are returning to IMSA competition in 2018 after a short time away – and we’re confident it will capture the imagination of race fans everywhere.”

2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Schedule

5-7 JanuaryRoar Before The Rolex 24 At DaytonaDaytona International SpeedwayALL
25-28 JanuaryRolex 24 At DaytonaDaytona International SpeedwayALL
14-17 MarchMobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From FloridaSebring International RacewayALL
13-14 AprilBubba Burger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long BeachLong Beach Street CircuitP/GTLM
4-6 MayMid-Ohio Sports Car CourseMid-Ohio Sports Car CourseALL
1-2 JuneChevrolet Sports Car ClassicThe Raceway on Belle IsleP/GTD
28 June-1 JulySahlen's Six Hours of The GlenWatkins Glen InternationalALL
6-8 JulyMobil1 SportsCar Grand PrixCanadian Tire Motorsport ParkALL
20-21 JulyNortheast Grand PrixLime Rock ParkGTLM/GTD
3-5 AugustContinental Tire Road Race ShowcaseRoad AmericaALL
17-19 AugustMichelin GT ChallengeVirginia International RacewayGTLM/GTD
7-9 SeptemberContinental Tire Monteray Grand Prix powered by MazdaMazda Raceway Laguna SecaALL
10-13 OctoberMotul Petit Le MansRoad AtlantaALL

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