The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has informed its competitors of a new testing ban that will supersede previous allowances for private testing. The ban comes in response to the racing-wide shutdowns related to the COVID-19 virus.
“Due to unprecedented events, for IMSA series where testing is governed by their respective Sporting Regulations, all IWSC Entrants are prohibited from conducting private testing until further notice,” the series wrote. “This includes, but is not limited to: on-track testing, wind tunnel (full and scale models), climatic tunnels, straight line, 7/8 post rigs, kinematics & compliance rigs (static and dynamic), Manufacturer or Constructor driver simulators, etc.
“All testing requiring IMSA approval is prohibited until further notice. When appropriate, IMSA will work with teams and manufacturers to re-implement testing permissions. We thank you for your understanding at this challenging time.”
Reactions to the ban are varied. With the inability to race for an undetermined period of time, smaller teams, mostly in the pro-am LMP2 and GT Daytona classes, asked IMSA to remove testing restrictions in order the generate income from paying drivers.
Although testing could prove challenging as a growing number of tracks are halting normal operations, the option to use testing as a financial backstop continues to hold value for some entrants.
“In the short term, we’re looking for ways to get on track during this time,” said one team owner who asked to remain anonymous. “We run a lot of cars, pro racing and otherwise, and if we can’t race, going and doing testing is the best way I can think of to help our business.”