NASCAR Race Weekend Central

IMSA Reveals 2022 Schedules, Changes

At Road America Friday evening (Aug. 6), IMSA held their annual State of the Series presentation.  Here, the series made a series of announcements pertaining to the upcoming year.

WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: A Third Attempt To Race The 2020 Schedule

IMSA officially released their 2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule.  It ultimately looks a lot like the schedules originally released for 2020 and 2021 before COVID-19 derailed plans.  The race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), which has been cancelled the last two years due to the closure of the border between the United States and Canada, is back on for 2022.  It will be on July 3, the same weekend that it was scheduled to be on this year.  That is the only new race on the schedule, although as noted above, it isn’t really a new race.  The return of CTMP means that the WeatherTech 240 at the Glen will not be back for 2021.

The Michelin Endurance Cup is back once again for 2022 and is more or less unchanged.  It will be comprised of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen and Petit Le Mans.

There are a couple of additional shifts.  Both Long Beach and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will return to the Spring.  Long Beach will be one week earlier than originally scheduled for this year and will serve as the third race of the year.  Laguna Seca will be May 1.  VIR will be back in August, while the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will be back to the very beginning of October.  If the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is similar to this year, this would mean that it would be possible to go to both Petit Le Mans and the fall Cup race at Talladega in the same weekend like you could in 2018 and 2019.

There will be two races that will only count towards the WeatherTech Sprint Cup for GT Daytona teams.  These races are Long Beach and CTMP.

2022 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Schedule

DatesTrackEventRace LengthClasses
Jan. 21-23Daytona International SpeedwayROAR Before the 24N/AAll
Jan. 29-30Daytona International SpeedwayRolex 24 at Daytona24 HoursAll
March 19Sebring International RacewayMobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring12 HoursAll
April 9Streets of Long BeachN/A100 MinutesDPi/GTD Pro/GTD
May 1WeatherTech Raceway Laguna SecaN/A160 MinutesDPi/LMP2/GTD Pro/GTD
May 15Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseN/A160 MinutesDPi/LMP2/LMP3/GTD
June 4The Raceway at Belle IsleN/A100 MinutesDPi/GTD
June 26Watkins Glen InternationalSahlen's Six Hours at the Glen6 HoursAll
July 3Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP)N/A160 MinutesDPi/LMP3/GTD Pro/GTD
July 16Lime Rock ParkNortheast Grand Prix160 MinutesGTD Pro/GTD
Aug. 7Road AmericaN/A160 MinutesAll
Aug. 28VIRginia International RacewayN/A160 MinutesGTD Pro/GTD
Oct. 1Michelin Raceway Road AtlantaPetit Le Mans10 HoursAll

GTD Pro Tweaks For 2022

2021 is the final year for the GT Le Mans class.  As previously announced, GT Le Mans will be replaced by the new GT Daytona Pro (or GTD Pro) class.

See also
IMSA to Drop GT Le Mans Class After 2021; GTD Pro to Replace

Thursday saw additional announcements as to how the classes will ultimately work in 2022.  Both GTD and GTD Pro will run on the same compound of Michelin tires.  They will be also be treated as one large class in regards to Balance of Performance.

In addition, there will be changes to qualifying in 2022.  The session will continue to award points to all classes.  However, the multiple sessions for GTD cars will be omitted.  The GTD and GTD Pro cars will qualify together in 2022, similar to the current GT Le Mans/GTD Points session.  However, the requirement for a Bronze or Silver-rated driver to qualify the car in the GTD class will remain.

Both GTD and GTD Pro classes will have the same minimum drive-time requirements in 2022.  As of now, the GT Le Mans class has the same minimum drive-time requirements as the DPi class.  That can be as little as five minutes.  The new minimums for GTD Pro will be 30 minutes for the 100-minute street races, 45 minutes for regular sprint races, 90 minutes at Watkins Glen, 2.5 hours at Petit Le Mans, three hours at Sebring, and 4.5 hours in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Minimum times for refueling will be harmonized between the GTD and GTD Pro classes as well.  Currently, the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona classes have separate minimum refueling times.  Finally, the Bob Akin Award, which provided an automatic entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the best amateur GT driver, will go to the best Bronze-rated driver in the GTD class.

Michelin Pilot Challenge

For Michelin Pilot Challenge, there are only minor changes for 2022.  The class will once again have a 10-race schedule that starts in January at Daytona International Speedway and wraps up in October at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

There will still be two four-hour races and eight two-hour races on the schedule.  The first four-hour race will continue to be at Daytona.  The second one will move from Watkins Glen International to Road America in early August.

Finally, there will be a new Bronze Cup for 2022 in the Grand Sport class.  To be eligible, both drivers must be Bronze-rated.  There will be a separate Bronze Cup podium at each race and Bronze Cup standings that will build towards a Bronze Cup championship.

2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Schedule

DatesTrackEventRace Length
Jan. 21-23Daytona International SpeedwayROAR Before the 24N/A
Jan. 28Daytona International SpeedwayN/A4 Hours
March 18Sebring International RacewayN/A2 Hours
April 30WeatherTech Raceway Laguna SecaN/A2 Hours
May 14Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseN/A2 Hours
June 25Watkins Glen InternationalTioga Downs Casino Resort 1202 Hours
July 2Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP)N/A2 Hours
July 16Lime Rock ParkLime Rock Park 1202 Hours
Aug. 6Road AmericaN/A4 Hours
Aug. 28VIRginia International RacewayN/A2 Hours
Sept. 30Michelin Raceway Road AtlantaN/A2 Hours

IMSA Prototype Challenge

The IMSA Prototype Challenge will look a little different in 2022.  The number of races have been dropped from six to five.  In addition, the P3-2 class for previous generation LMP3 cars has also been dropped.  The series will only be open to current generation LMP3 cars, or previous generation cars updated to 2020 standards.

The season-opener will continue to be part of the ROAR Before the 24 test weekend in Daytona.  It has been expanded back to three hours in length after being dropped down to 105 minutes for 2021.

The series doesn’t look to have much of a future beyond 2022.  In the address, it was announced that the winner will receive $100,000 to be used as a credit towards entries in WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races in 2023.  The money would be split if the series ends

2022 IMSA Prototype Challenge Schedule

DateTrackEventRace Length
Jan. 22Daytona International SpeedwayROAR Before the 243 Hours
May 14Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseN/A105 Minutes
July 2Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP)N/A105 Minutes
Aug. 27VIRginia International RacewayN/A105 Minutes
Sept. 30Michelin Raceway Road AtlantaN/A105 Minutes

Television

IMSA’s TV current deal with NBC Sports was set to expire after this season.  During the address, it was announced that NBC Sports will stick with IMSA for at least the Rolex 24 at Daytona next January.  The first hour and final two hours of the race will air live on NBC.  The remainder of the programming schedule is unavailable as of press time and will be announced later.

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