IMSA has put the finishing touches on its upcoming shift to an all GT3-based GT class structure for 2022 and beyond.
With the once-popular GT Le Mans category in the latter stages of its farewell season, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will replace the home for auto manufacturers in GTLM with a pro-grade version of GT Daytona while keeping GTD unchanged for pro-am competitors. Of the items solidified for GTD PRO and GTD today during IMSA’s annual State of the Series address at Road America, tire model, Balance of Performance, and a retooling of the current GTD qualifying procedure were the first items on the docket.
“All GTD PRO and GTD cars will utilize Michelin’s S9M tire specification and each will have the same tire allocation per event. IMSA will manage GTD PRO and GTD as a single GT category from a Balance of Performance perspective, although IMSA will retain the right to maintain competitive equivalency between cars within each class and between classes if necessary,” IMSA wrote.
“Qualifying for GTD PRO and GTD will be combined to establish an overall starting grid for the GTD category based on each car’s single-fastest lap time. Qualifying drivers in GTD will be required to be Bronze- or Silver-rated, whereas each GTD PRO car can use any one driver from its line-up to qualify. Class-specific points for qualifying will continue to be awarded in 2022, but the separate session for GTD qualifying points used in 2021 will be discontinued.”
More key details were also confirmed.
“All GTD PRO and GTD cars will be required to start the race on qualifying tires,” IMSA added. “In addition, all GTD PRO drivers will be subject to the same minimum drive time requirements as those competing in GTD beginning in 2022. The end result will be more required seat time for every GTD PRO driver and will be consistent with current minimum drive times for GTD.
“During pit stops, GTD PRO and GTD minimum refueling times will be equal for all cars. Full-course caution operational procedures for GTD PRO and GTD will be the same as in 2021. The Bob Akin Award, which annually provides an entry to the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be reserved for the highest-finishing Bronze-rated driver in the final WeatherTech Championship GTD point standings.”