IMSA to Replace Prototype Challenge with New Sprint Racing Class in 2023

·2 min read
Photo credit: Brian Cleary - Getty Images
Photo credit: Brian Cleary - Getty Images
  • The IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge will feature LMP3 and GT4 race cars in 45-minute sprint races with one driver per car.

  • To be eligible to drive in either class, all drivers must have an FIA Driver Categorization of either Bronze or Silver.

  • A five-event, 10-race schedule is planned for the series, which replaces the current IMSA Prototype Challenge series.

A new, multiple-class, sprint-race series will make its debut in 2023 as International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) officials on July 1 unveiled the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge, with entitlement sponsorship from VP Racing Fuels.

The series will feature currently homologated Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) and Grand Touring 4 (GT4) race cars in 45-minute sprint races with one driver per car. The new series class names will be LMP3 and GSX respectively. To be eligible to drive in either class, all drivers must have an FIA Driver Categorization of either Bronze or Silver. A five-event, 10-race schedule is planned for the series, which replaces the current IMSA Prototype Challenge series.

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will continue in its traditional endurance format, featuring the Grand Sport (GT4) and Touring Car (TCR) classes, competing across a 10-race schedule.

“We are grateful to our longstanding partners at VP Racing Fuels for expanding their relationship with us to bring a new and different brand of excitement for IMSA race fans,” said IMSA president John Doonan. “LMP3 and GT4 cars, drivers and teams have delivered fantastic competition over the years. Putting them together in a sprint format is a fresh and differentiated approach that we expect will be popular with fans and competitors alike.”

Each IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge event weekend will include a qualifying session in which the fastest timed lap will set the field for the first race. The second fastest qualifying lap by each car will determine the starting grid for the second race of the weekend. There will be no pit stops during the races, and all race cars will ride on Michelin tires.

All 2023 IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge races will be streamed live in the United States on Peacock, with television coverage airing post-event on USA Network. Live race streaming for international audiences will be available on IMSA.com.

The schedule for the inaugural IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge season will be unveiled as part of IMSA’s annual State of the Sport presentation planned for Saturday, Aug. 5 at Road America.