IMSA Splits Prototype Class into Two from 2019; DPi and LMP2 to Separate

by Paul Hensby
JDC/Miller Motorsports (LMP2) & Tequila Patrón ESM (DPi)

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will see the Prototype category split into two different classes from next season in a bid to simplify the Balance of Performance (BoP) system that has proved to be problematic across the past two seasons.

The Daytona Prototype International (DPi) and LMP2 cars will now have their own classes, with the latter now following in the footsteps of the FIA World Endurance Championship by becoming a Pro-Am class, and in-line with the GT Daytona class, each car will require to field at least one Bronze or Silver-rated driver for every non-endurance race, and a maximum of one Platinum-rated driver.

The Gold and Platinum-rated drivers will also have maximum drive time limitations enforced, while the leading LMP2 Bronze or Silver-rated driver in the final standings will earn the Jim Trueman Award, which will also enable them the opportunity to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the following year.

LMP2 will no longer need the Balance of Performance applied, while DPi will switch to a class-specific BoP that will be managed by the IMSA Technical Committee, similar to what is used in GT Le Mans and GT Daytona, while the FIA Driver Ratings, in play since 2014, will be used to determine the eligibility of drivers for the class.

The change ensures the DPi cars will no longer be balanced against the LMP2 cars, with the hope that it will improve the competitiveness of the championship, and it also means IMSA will once again have four categories, after the disappearance of the Prototype Challenge category at the end of 2017.

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