IMSA announced Wednesday (April 7) that the Grand Prix of Mosport, scheduled for July 4 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), along with the rest of the race weekend, has been cancelled. The move comes as a result of the continued closure of the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential use and Canada’s strict quarantine requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CTMP weekend was scheduled to be immediately after the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen. IMSA will replace the CTMP weekend with a second race weekend at Watkins Glen. This will be a race weekend for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge.
The new second race weekend at Watkins Glen International will be a compact two-day affair. Teams will practice and qualify on Thursday, July 1. All three races will be on Friday, starting with Prototype Challenge at 11:45 a.m. There are multiple reasons why the new race weekend has an unusual Thursday-Friday schedule. One is that the holiday weekend at Watkins Glen International was already booked for a weekend by the Glen Region of the SCCA previously. SCCA competition will begin Saturday. Another reason is that the holiday weekend is a big one for broadcast partner NBC Sports. This is the same weekend that NASCAR will race at Road America. The WeatherTech race is scheduled for July 2, but will not air until the next night on NBCSN.
The WeatherTech event, known as the WeatherTech 240 at the Glen, will be a 160-minute sprint race involving all classes that will run on the long course. The CTMP race was originally scheduled to feature everyone except the LMP2 class. Adding LMP2 to the new Watkins Glen event works in a couple of different ways. One is that the class is already scheduled to race in the previous weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen. In addition, the LMP2 class had previously been dropped from Belle Isle when the race weekend was pushed back a week and the GT Le Mans class was added to the docket. When the Belle Isle date switch was made, IMSA indicated that a race to replace Belle Isle for the LMP2 teams would be announced at a later date.
In addition, the race will not count for regular points for the GT Daytona class. Instead, the event will only count for points towards the eight-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup. For Michelin Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge teams, the new Watkins Glen weekend (second for Pilot Challenge and the first for Prototype Challenge) will be regular race weekends for regular points.
As for CTMP, the current situation in regards to travel into Canada rendered it nearly impossible to plan for an international event. This comes after SRO America also cancelled their Victoria Day race weekend at CTMP, which was scheduled for the weekend of May 22-23. All of the quarantine requirements, including expensive hotel stays at approved hotels at your own expense that are noted in the previously linked SRO America article are still in force as of this writing.
In a separate piece of news, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America races scheduled for CTMP as part of the Victoria Day SpeedFest in May have also been cancelled. Those races have been replaced with a doubleheader at Circuit of the Americas of May 2. These races will be part of SRO America’s race weekend at the 3.4-mile road course.
IMSA is saddened that they will not be able to race at CTMP in 2021. However, they do plan on having the fast and flowing 2.459-mile road course back on the IMSA schedule in 2022. The last of CTMP’s events involving a significant number of teams from the United States competing, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250k, scheduled for Sept. 5, is still on. If anything changes there, we’ll keep you updated here at Frontstretch.