2018 WeatherTech Championship Schedule Includes 12 Venues

IMSA DPi LMP2 start at CTMP
Wayne Taylor Racing and JDC-Miller Motorsports lead the field to the green at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. | Photo: Scott R LePage / LAT Images

IMSA took the opportunity on the first day of its Continental Tire Road Race Showcase weekend at Road America to unveil next year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule during their “State of the Sport” presentation.

The 2018 WeatherTech Championship calendar features 12 events to be held at as many venues and shared between the three classes that will race next year: Prototype, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona.

Pipo Derani leads IMSA LMP2 car at Daytona IMSA race
A Nissan Onroak DPi and Riley Mk. 30 race through the chicane at Daytona in January 2017. | Photo: Extreme Speed Motorsports

Beyond a few minor date changes during the season’s closing rounds, the only notable change for next year is the addition of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The first event at Mid-Ohio for top-level sports car racing since 2013 — the year before the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series merger — replaces Circuit of The Americas’ slot on the schedule and will take place on the weekend of May 4–6, 2018.

As the fourth round on the 2018 schedule, the Mid-Ohio visit will mark the first “standard” two-hour, 40-minute race of the year following two Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds and a stop in Southern California for a shorter race at Long Beach.

“The 2018 WeatherTech Championship schedule again showcases the stability of our platform, while at the same time reaffirming our commitment to the best road racing venues and events in North America — and this time offering a few surprises for our fans,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton.

“Each race on our 2018 calendar has a rich history of sports car competition, which we expect to be at an all-time high next season across all three classes.”

Mazda and Cadillac DPi cars on Long Beach front straight
One of Mazda’s DPi cars leads three of its competitors into Turn 1 at Long Beach in April 2017. | Photo: Mazda Motorsports

Carrying over from the four previous seasons dating back to the championship’s launch in 2014, the schedule for IMSA’s premier series will be anchored by a quartet of longer endurance rounds under the Patron Endurance Cup moniker.

The 56th Rolex 24 at Daytona will open up the season with a twice-around-the-clock contest on the road course at the famed Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona round will again be followed up by the 66th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, completing the so-called “36 Hours of Florida.”

Cadillac and Mazda DPi cars in Belle Isle Detroit IMSA race
Two Cadillac DPi-V.Rs lead Prototype competitors at Belle Isle in June 2017. | Photo: Richard Prince / Cadillac Racing

Like the Mid-Ohio race, the four endurance events, rounded out by the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and Motul Petit Le Mans, will feature all three classes. The Prototype, GTLM and GTD divisions will each also race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

While those races will each last two hours and 40 minutes, the series’ customary 100-minute races at Long Beach and Detroit will also return, featuring the Prototype class and one GT class each (GTLM for Long Beach and GTD for Detroit).

Those two GT categories will race solo twice next year, with GT-only races scheduled for July 21 at Lime Rock Park and Aug. 19 at Virginia International Raceway.

“The on-track product will include legendary manufacturers and competitors — some of which are returning to IMSA competition in 2018 after a short time away — and we’re confident it will capture the imagination of race fans everywhere,” Atherton added.

1Jan. 25–28Rolex 24 at DaytonaDaytona International SpeedwayP, GTLM, GTD24 hours
2March 14–17Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringSebring International RacewayP, GTLM, GTD12 hours
3April 13–14BUBBA burger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long BeachStreets of Long BeachP, GTLM100 minutes
4May 4–6TBDMid-Ohio Sports Car CourseP, GTLM, GTD2 hours, 40 minutes
5June 1–2Chevrolet Sports Car ClassicRaceway at Belle Isle ParkP, GTD100 minutes
6June 28 to July 1Sahlen's Six Hours of The GlenWatkins Glen InternationalP, GTLM, GTD6 hours
7July 6–8Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand PrixCanadian Tire Motorsport ParkP, GTLM, GTD2 hours, 40 minutes
8July 20–21Northeast Grand PrixLime Rock ParkGTLM, GTD2 hours, 40 minutes
9Aug. 3–5Continental Tire Road Race ShowcaseRoad AmericaP, GTLM, GTD2 hours, 40 minutes
10Aug. 17–19Michelin GT ChallengeVirginia International RacewayGTLM, GTD2 hours, 40 minutes
11Sept. 7–9Continental Tire Monterey Grand PrixMazda Raceway Laguna SecaP, GTLM, GTD2 hours, 40 minutes
12Oct. 10–13Motul Petit Le MansRoad AtlantaP, GTLM, GTD10 hours

At the time of the announcement of the 2018 schedule, 155 days remain until the first official day of on-track action for IMSA next year: the Roar Before the Rolex 24, set for Jan. 5–7.

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