A year of arduous work, dedication and success in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship was rewarded Sunday evening at the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort during the IMSA WeatherTech Night of Champions.
The ceremony hosted by NBC Sports announcers Brian Till and Calvin Fish honored the 2022 WeatherTech Championship season champions and other award winners, coming the day following the final race on the schedule, the 25th Motul Petit Le Mans at nearby Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
IMSA President John Doonan opened the evening reflecting on how IMSA founders Bill France Sr. and John Bishop established the series in 1969 based on the premise that teams and drivers could choose the level at which they wish to compete. He cited how the 2022 champions in each of the five WeatherTech Championship classes fulfilled that vision.
“Bill France Sr. and John Bishop would be very proud that we are operating this championship on that same core set of values,” Doonan said.
Doonan also thanked the 18 auto manufacturers that participate across the spectrum of IMSA’s seven sanctioned series — “more automakers than any sanctioning body in the world,” he emphasized — for their commitment. And he thanked the number of fans that continues to grow in parallel with the increasing popularity in the series and sport.
“We all share the common thread and passion for endurance sports car racing,” Doonan said. “On behalf of IMSA, thank you for all that you’ve invested in making this possible. In return, you have my commitment and the commitment from all of my IMSA teammates to continue to grow our sport and continue to add value for you all.”
Team, driver and manufacturer champions were recognized in the five WeatherTech Championship classes, with the champion drivers presented the Bishop-France Trophy and commemorative TUDOR Black Bay GMT watches. Champions honored were:
Daytona Prototype international (DPi): No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05, co-drivers Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis, and manufacturer Acura
Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2): No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 and driver John Farano
Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3): No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320 and co-drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun
GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO): No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, co-drivers Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet, and manufacturer Porsche
GT Daytona (GTD): No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3, driver Roman De Angelis, and manufacturer BMW.
In addition to the series champions, special awards were bestowed in other important categories:
VP Racing Fuels Front Runner Award: No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05, DPi; No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07, LMP2; No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320, LMP3; No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, GTD PRO; No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, GTD
Motul Pole Award: Sebastien Bourdais, No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R; Steven Thomas, No. 11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07, LMP2; Jarett Andretti, No. 74 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320, LMP3; Mathieu Jaminet, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R GT3, GTD PRO; Russell Ward, No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, GTD
Michelin All Hands for the Win: No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320, LMP3; No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, GTD PRO; No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, GTD
Jim Trueman Award: John Farano
Bob Akin Award: Ryan Hardwick
IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup: No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, co-drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow, and manufacturer BMW
IMSA Marketing Achievement Award: Cadillac.
Winners were also recognized in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, for teams, drivers and manufacturers that shined in the four endurance races on the 2022 calendar.
DPi: No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05, co-drivers Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis, and manufacturer Acura
LMP2: No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 and co-drivers Scott Huffaker, Mikkel Jensen and Ben Keating
LMP3: No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 and co-drivers Felipe Fraga, Gar Robinson and Kay van Berlo
GTD PRO: No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3, co-drivers Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra, and manufacturer Porsche
GTD: No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3, co-drivers Brendan Iribe and Jordan Pepper, and manufacturer McLaren.
The 2023 WeatherTech Championship season features the introduction of the new top-level prototype class, Grand Touring Prototype (GTP). The schedule kicks off with the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona, the iconic race on the Daytona International Speedway road course on Jan. 28-29. The Roar Before the Rolex 24 test session precedes it Jan. 20-22 at Daytona.