The previously-announced addition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the elimination of Detroit and Mid-Ohio highlight the announcement of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule during IMSA’s annual State of the Sport presentation at Road America. The full schedule otherwise includes the venues familiar to the series in recent years.
“IMSA has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-energize our existing base of sports car racing fans and reach new audiences in 2023 and beyond,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “With the introduction of our new GTP prototypes, a robust and stable platform for GT racing, a renewed focus on sustainability and a calendar filled with legendary road racing venues, all of the ingredients are in place for continued success.”
As expected, the increased participation of IMSA WeatherTech Championship teams at the 24 Hours of Le Mans precludes including the early June Grand Prix of Detroit on the schedule. The Detroit weekend will, however, feature the GS category of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will include a total of 11 races, with six events to feature all five WeatherTech Championship classes: GTP, LMP2, LMP3, GTD PRO and GTD. The new GTP class will appear in nine races, with GT classes in each race on the schedule.
The IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup will include all classes for the four traditional endurance events: the Rolex 24 At Daytona (Jan. 26-29), Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts (March 15-18), Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (June 22-25) and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (Oct. 11-14). Five-class races also will be held at Road America (Aug. 4-6) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 15-17).
The new GTP class will have a total of nine events in 2023, adding Long Beach (April 14-15), WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (May 12-14) and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (July 7-9). The GTD PRO and GTD classes will compete in all 11 WeatherTech Championship races, including GT-only events at Lime Rock Park (July 21-22) and Virginia International Raceway (Aug. 25-27). The WeatherTech Sprint Cup for GTD has been discontinued.
The LMP2 class also will compete at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and LMP3 will return to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The Rolex 24 At Daytona will not count toward full-season WeatherTech Championship points for the LMP2 or LMP3 classes.
In addition to the race events, the annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona returns on the weekend of Jan. 20-22. In preparation for the 2023 season, IMSA-sanctioned testing for GTP cars will be held at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 3-5 and at Daytona International Speedway on Dec. 6-7.
A sanctioned test for all WeatherTech Championship competitors also is planned for Sebring International Raceway in February 2023.
Although paddock rumors suggested an FIA bronze-rated driver requirement for GTD, that class will continue unchanged. However the series reinforced its commitment to bronze-rated drivers via the Bob Akin Bronze Cup championship. Top bronze drivers in GTD will be recognized on the post-race podium at each event and the Bob Akin Bronze Cup season champion will receive an entry to the following year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
IMSA is evaluating additional incentives for bronze drivers regarding qualifying format and drive-time.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2023 schedule
Roar Before the 24, Jan. 20-22
Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 26-29
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 15-18
Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 14-15
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, May 12-14
Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, June 22-25
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park,July 7-9
Lime Rock Park (GT only), July 21-22
Road America, Aug. 4-6
Virginia International Raceway (GT only), Aug. 25-27
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sept. 15-17
Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, Oct. 11-14