The WeatherTech Championship Will Host Four Days of Sanctioned Testing at Daytona International Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As IMSA and its teams prepare for the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale coming up in two weeks, they’re simultaneously looking ahead to the 2024 season and the changes it will bring. To get a jump on next year, many teams are planning to participate in an IMSA-sanctioned test Dec. 6-9 at Daytona International Speedway.
More than 30 cars are already registered for the test, with a deadline today (Sept. 29) for submitting additional entries. In addition to general testing time, IMSA is setting aside specific on-track sessions to further evaluate the performance of all cars that will be racing in the four competition classes – Grand Touring Prototype (GTP), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) and GT Daytona (GTD) –in 2024.
The private test runs Dec. 6-9 on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course and will be the only IMSA-sanctioned test prior to teams returning to the track for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 from Jan. 20-22, followed by the Rolex 24 At Daytona that officially opens the season from Jan. 26-29.
The first day of testing will be exclusively for the two prototype classes, as the hybrid-powered GTP cars prepare for their second season and LMP2 expects a growth in 2024 entries as the WeatherTech Championship shifts to a four-class structure. A pair of 3.5-hour sessions are scheduled.
The second day of the test is open to all four classes for general testing, with two daytime sessions and a three-hour evening session on the docket.
The final two days of the test are reserved for the two GT classes, with general and targeted performance testing planned. Several manufacturers are introducing new GT3-spec models or evo updates to current models for 2024, with this test allowing IMSA to evaluate their performance along with returning models.
In addition, the Daytona test will allow GTD PRO and GTD teams to familiarize themselves with the new Michelin tire, the Pilot Sport Pro, that will be used by all competitors in those classes starting in 2024. There will be two test sessions on each of the final two days for the GT cars.
“This will be one of the most extensive sanctioned tests that IMSA has conducted in years,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “The momentum we’ve continued to build this season in the WeatherTech Championship is carrying right over into the next, beginning with the December test at Daytona. It will be important for IMSA as we move to the four-class structure with continuing record participation from teams and manufacturers. And the test will be just as important to those teams and drivers using the valuable track time to be better prepared when they return in January for the Roar and the Rolex 24.”
The Dec. 6-9 test is not open to the public. Tickets for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.