The entry list for January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona is full, giving IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship an early gift heading into the holidays.
RACER has learned IMSA is ready for Round 1 in January with an expanded field of 60 cars, including 25 entries coming from the prototype ranks and 35 from the GT paddock. Extra entries have been placed on a wait list, and will be accommodated if any withdrawals take place. The rise to 60 cars marks a 22-percent increase in entries from the 49 that registered for the event in 2021.
For the January 21-23 Roar Before The 24 and the Jan. 27-29 Rolex 24, the top DPi class will have seven cars, with two hailing from Acura and five from Cadillac. The Pro-Am LMP2 class has 10 entries booked for Daytona, and IMSA’s LMP3 training category is fixed with eight cars. In 2021, the entry numbers were identical for DPi and LMP2, with LMP3 down by one at seven.
The greatest growth is found with the new GTD Pro class, which replaces GT Le Mans. In 2021, GTLM presented six cars for the race; in 2022, it’s more than doubled to 13 with the debut of GTD Pro. And while there were fears that the GT3-based GTD Pro class would take away from the all-GT3 GTD category, an increase has been produced there as well, climbing from 19 cars in 2021 to 22 being dispatched for the next Rolex 24.
Looking to the full season, more encouraging numbers are found with prototypes contributing 20 cars with six apiece in DPi and LMP2, and eight for the year in LMP3. The GT faction is bringing 19 to its rounds, with GTD Pro settling at seven full-timers and GTD at 12, giving the WeatherTech Championship 39 entries when all five classes are in motion at the same time.
Additional entries for the three other endurance races at Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans are anticipated to bring the base of 39 up to 45-50, and when the WeatherTech Sprint Cup begins in GTD, its entry numbers are expected to reach 14-15.