2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (January 2019)
|2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship|
Michelin Pilot Challenge
IMSA Prototype Challenge
IMSA Michelin Encore
The 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the 49th motor racing championship sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) (which traces its lineage back to the 1971 IMSA GT Championship), and the sixth as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It began on 26 January with the 24 Hours of Daytona, and will conclude on 12 October with the Petit Le Mans. The 2019 season marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Motor Sports Association.
- 1 Series News
- 2 Classes
- 3 Schedule
- 4 Entries
- 5 Season report
- 6 Race results
- 7 Championship standings
- 7.1 Points systems
- 7.2 Drivers' championships
- 7.3 Team's Championships
- 7.4 Manufacturer's Championships
- 8 References
- NBC Sports Group took over from Fox Sports as the series' official broadcaster. Coverage alternates between local NBC stations, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, and livestreams.
- Michelin became the new official tire supplier of the series, following the departure of Continental Tire at the end of 2018.
- As part of a plan to attempt to cut costs for the series' GT Daytona (GTD) class, the 2019 season will feature a new support championship called the WeatherTech Sprint Cup. Competition is available to GTD cars only, featuring seven races on the calendar.
- After an eleven year partnership, Tequila Patrón ended their involvement with IMSA altogether at the end of the 2018 season. They also ended their sponsorship of the Extreme Speed Motorsports prototype team, who subsequently closed down operations. Michelin took Patrón's place as the sponsor of the endurance cup.
- As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of IMSA, multiple teams have adopted racing liveries created in tribute to iconic teams throughout IMSA's history, such as Brumos Porsche, Electramotive Engineering, Roush Racing, and Comptech Acura.
- Daytona Prototype international (DPi)
- Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2)
- GT Le Mans (GTLM)
- GT Daytona (GTD)
Class rule changes
- The DPi class is now the lead class of the championship, and features teams with full professional lineups running DPi cars. The class has its own Balance of Performance (BoP). The LMP2 class is the lower prototype class in the championship, featuring Global LMP2 cars with Pro-Am lineups. There is no BoP applied to the LMP2 class.
- Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) and GT Daytona (GTD), the Pro-Am classes of the championship, must adhere to driver rating requirements. Each car is only allowed 2 Platinum-rated or Gold-rated drivers for the endurance events, alongside the requirement of at least one Bronze-rated or Silver-rated driver for all Sprint races. In these classes, the Bronze or Silver-rated drivers are required to start the race.
The 2019 schedule was released on 3 August 2018 and features twelve rounds.
- The GTD class will only score points towards the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
Daytona Prototype international (DPi)
Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2)
|DragonSpeed||Oreca 07||18||Ryan Cullen||1|
|Performance Tech Motorsports||Oreca 07||38||Cameron Cassels||1|
|PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports||Oreca 07||52||Gabriel Aubry||1|
GT Le Mans (GTLM)
GT Daytona (GTD)
|Starworks Motorsport||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Audi 5.2 L V10||8||Parker Chase||1|
|Ezequiel Pérez Companc||1|
|Pfaff Motorsports||Porsche 911 GT3 R||Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6||9||Scott Hargrove||1|
|GRT Grasser Racing Team||Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo||Lamborghini 5.2 L V10||11||Mirko Bortolotti||1|
|AIM Vasser Sullivan||Lexus RC F GT3||Lexus 5.0 L V8||12||Townsend Bell||1|
|Via Italia Racing||Ferrari 488 GT3||Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8||13||Andrea Bertolini||1|
|Moorespeed||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Audi 5.2 L V10||19||Will Hardeman||1|
|Montaplast by Land-Motorsport||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Audi 5.2 L V10||29||Ricardo Feller||1|
|Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Mercedes-AMG M159 6.2 L V8||33||Jeroen Bleekemolen||1|
|Magnus Racing||Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo||Lamborghini 5.2 L V10||44||Andy Lally||1|
|Ebimotors||Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo||Lamborghini 5.2 L V10||46||Giacomo Altoè||1|
|Precision Performance Motorsports||Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo||Lamborghini 5.2 L V10||47||Linus Lundqvist||1|
|Paul Miller Racing||Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo||Lamborghini 5.2 L V10||48||Andrea Caldarelli||1|
|Spirit of Race||Ferrari 488 GT3||Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8||51||Paul Dalla Lana||1|
|Acura NSX GT3 Evo||Acura 3.5 L Turbo V6||57||Bia Figueiredo||1|
|Simona de Silvestro||1|
|Scuderia Corsa||Ferrari 488 GT3||Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8||63||Dominik Farnbacher||1|
|P1 Motorsports||Mercedes-AMG GT3||Mercedes-AMG M159 6.2 L V8||71||Dominik Baumann||1|
|Park Place Motorsports||Porsche 911 GT3 R||Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6||73||Nick Boulle||1|
|WRT Speedstar Audi Sport||Audi R8 LMS Evo||Audi 5.2 L V10||88||Roman de Angelis||1|
|Kelvin van der Linde||1|
|Turner Motorsport||BMW M6 GT3||BMW 4.4 L Turbo V8||96||Bill Auberlen||1|
|NGT Motorsport||Porsche 911 GT3 R||Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6||99||Klaus Bachler||1|
|Black Swan Racing||Porsche 911 GT3 R||Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6||540||Matteo Cairoli||1|
|Compass Racing||McLaren 720S GT3||McLaren M840T 4.0 L Turbo V8||TBA||Paul Holton||TBA|
- Car No. 5 entered as Mustang Sampling Racing and car No. 31 entered as Whelen Engineering Racing.
- Car No. 57 entered as Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing and car No. 86 entered as Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian.
Roar Before the 24
The 2019 season began with an official pre-season testing session held at Daytona International Speedway from January 4th to January 6th, known as the "Roar Before the 24." All cars entered in the 24 Hours of Daytona participated in this test session. The fastest times of the first day from each class: 1:35.989 in the DPi class from the #77 Mazda of Mazda Team Joest, 1:39.575 from the #52 Oreca of PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in LMP2, 1:44.718 from the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE in GTLM, and a 1:46.452 from the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GTD class.
On Saturday, the #10 Cadillac DPi-V.R of Wayne Taylor Racing improved on Mazda's pace in the DPi class, setting a time of 1:34.534. The #55 Mazda car would lead a Mazda 1–2 in the night session, improving on the Cadillac's time by 0.001 of a second. PR1/Mathiasen led LMP2 once again and improved on their previous best by over two seconds, with a 1:37.083. #67 Ford GT of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing topped the GTLM timesheets, with a new class best of 1:43.148, while the #86 Acura NSX GT3 of Meyer Shank Racing set the new best time for the GTD class with a 1:45.533 lap. That same day, GTD had a qualifying session which would allocate the pit garages for the teams. Bia Figueiredo in the all-female #57 Meyer-Shank Acura NSX GT3 secured the top spot with a 1:45.537, after the disqualification of the #71 P1 Motorsports Mercedes for using a Gold-rated driver for their best time.
On Sunday, only the DPi, LMP2 and GTLM classes ran. The #55 Mazda RT24-P once again topped the DPi class with a new best of 1:34.224. The #81 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 was the fastest in LMP2 with 1:35.975. Finally, the #67 Ford GT set the best time in GTLM once again, shaving their previous best to a 1:43.083. That same day, DPi, LMP2 and GTLM had a qualifying session of their own similar to that of GTD. In this session, Oliver Jarvis put the #77 Mazda on top for Mazda Team Joest with a 1:33.898, which unofficially broke the standing 26-year-old track record for the Daytona Sports Car Course. The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Oreca 07 took the top spot for the LMP2 class, while GTLM was led by the #3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, with a 1:42.561. The #54 Nissan DPi of CORE Autosport led the final session in the afternoon, in which only prototypes ran.
Rolex 24 at Daytona
On the 16th of January 2019, IMSA released a technical bulletin regarding the Balance of Performance (BoP) for the cars competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona. In contrast to previous seasons, there were little changes with regards to performance, and only minor tweaks were made elsewhere.
The free practice sessions began on thursday, with the Action Express Racing Cadillacs setting the pace in a low-risk session in the DPi class. The #81 DragonSpeed Oreca set the fastest initial time in LMP2, the Porsche GT Team took a 1-2 in GTLM, and GTD was led by the #48 Lamborghini Huracán of Paul Miller Racing. Free Practice 2 saw an upturn in pace and participation in all classes. In DPi, #55 Mazda Team Joest driver Jonathan Bomarito set the fastest time with 1:34.672. LMP2 saw little change, as the #81 DragonSpeed oreca topped the timesheets once again. In GTLM, the #911 Porsche 911 RSR set 1:43.475, which was enough to be fastest, just 0.086 faster than the #3 Corvette C7.R of Corvette Racing. In GTD, the top 15 cars were separated by only one second, with the fastest time coming from the #51 Ferrari 488 GT3 of Spirit of Race. The official qualifying session for the race followed. Oliver Jarvis would put the #77 Mazda RT24-P in pole position for Mazda Team Joest, officially breaking the standing track record with a 1:33.685. The Acura ARX-05 cars from Acura Team Penske qualified second and third. The #81 DragonSpeed Oreca was once again fastest in LMP2, taking pole position. Nick Tandy would put Porsche GT Team on pole in GTLM with 1:42.257. Corvette Racing, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Risi Competizione completed the top 4 for their respective manufacturers. In GTD, times were once again very close. Marcos Gomes put the #13 Via Italia Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 on pole position, taking it from Riley Motorsports driver Ben Keating by just 0.067 seconds. Four Lamborghini Huracáns qualified in the top 10.
After the green flag dropped on Saturday, Acura Team Penske held the advantage thanks to a strong performance from Juan Pablo Montoya, who passed Oliver Jarvis in the #77 Mazda RT24-P 30 minutes into the race. Though running strong, the Acura and Mazda cars faced pressure from the Action Express Racing Cadillacs in 5th and 6th two hours in. Kyle Masson and the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports team led the LMP2 class in their Oreca. In GTLM, Porsche and Ford's early challenge suffered teething troubles, after a splitter issue had put the #912 Porsche 911 RSR a lap behind class leader, and a three lap loss due to mechanical failure for the #67 Ford GT. Regardless, the sister car of the former manufacturer, #911, held the lead in the opening hour. In the GTD class, the #86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX assumed a lead over the #33 Riley Motorsports Mercedes in 2nd, and the GRT Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan in 3rd.
After a Full-Course Yellow, which was triggered from an engine explosion from the #99 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3, the standings in DPi shuffled, with Dane Cameron holding a small lead over Felipe Nasr in the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac. Behind them were both Mazdas, continuing to put pressure on the leaders. A similar shuffle occurred in GTLM, with the #66 Ford GT of Chip Ganassi Racing emerging the leader ahead of the #4 Corvette Racing C7.R in second and #911 Porsche RSR in third. In the GTD class, Rik Breukers of the #11 GRT Grasser Racing Team emerged the leader, but was handed a four-minute pitlane penalty for ignoring full course caution procedures. James Allen led a 1-2 for the DragonSpeed team in the LMP2 class.
The defending overall winning team, the #5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac had suffered a major blow to their challenge when, in the 3rd, hour, an electrical issue had seen them initially out of the race. After 25 minutes in the garage, the #5 car returned to the track. The #6 Acura ARX-05 in the hands of Dane Cameron continued to lead in the DPi class, with the sister car in 3rd in the hands of Hélio Castroneves. Mazda driver René Rast set in between them in second, posing a challenge to Cameron's lead.
As evening fell, two-time Formula One World Driver's Champion Fernando Alonso began his first stint in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac. He muscled his way into the overall lead of the Rolex 24, after inheriting the car from Jordan Taylor in 7th position. Alonso took the lead from Rene Rast in the #77 Mazda. After a third Full-Course Yellow flag, Alonso maintained his overall lead, and handed the car over to Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Kamui Kobayashi with a 15-second advantage over the #77.
The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 collided with the #85 Cadillac DPi-V.R. of JDC-Miller Motorsports, thus triggering a fourth Full-Course Yellow just before the 6-hour-mark of the race. Action Express Racing debutante Pipo Derani elected not to go to the pits when all other cars in the DPi class had, thus putting the #31 Cadillac in the lead. Prior to this, Kamui Kobayashi in the #10 Cadillac set the fastest lap of the race up to that point. In the GTLM class, Porsche GT Team driver Nick Tandy lost two places from pit stops after holding the lead, thus promoting the #4 Corvette C7.R to the lead, and the #62 Ferrari 488 GTE of Risi Competizione to an impressive second. The #33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Riley Motorsports held the lead in the GTD class, while DragonSpeed continued to be first and second in LMP2.
Bold indicates overall winner.
|Rnd||Circuit||DPi Winning Team||LMP2 Winning Team||GTLM Winning Team||GTD Winning Team||Report|
|DPi Winning Drivers||LMP2 Winning Drivers||GTLM Winning Drivers||GTD Winning Drivers|
|1||Daytona||No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac||No. 18 DragonSpeed||No. 25 BMW Team RLL||No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team||Report|
| Fernando Alonso
Renger van der Zande
| Ryan Cullen
| Connor De Phillippi
| Mirko Bortolotti|
|3||Long Beach||Did not participate||Did not participate||Report|
|5||Belle Isle||Did not participate||Did not participate||Report|
|8||Lime Rock||Did not participate||Did not participate||Report|
|10||Virginia||Did not participate||Did not participate||Report|
Championship points are awarded in each class at the finish of each event. Points are awarded based on finishing positions as shown in the chart below.
- Drivers points
Points are awarded in each class at the finish of each event.
- Team points
Team points are calculated in exactly the same way as driver points, using the point distribution chart. Each car entered is considered its own "team" regardless if it is a single entry or part of a two-car team.
- Manufacturer points
There are also a number of manufacturer championships which utilize the same season-long point distribution chart. The manufacturer championships recognized by IMSA are as follows:
- Daytona Prototype international (DPi): Engine & bodywork manufacturer
- GT Le Mans (GTLM): Car manufacturer
- GT Daytona (GTD): Car manufacturer
Each manufacturer receives finishing points for its highest finishing car in each class. The positions of subsequent finishing cars from the same manufacturer are not taken into consideration, and all other manufacturers move up in the order.
- Example: Manufacturer A finishes 1st and 2nd at an event, and Manufacturer B finishes 3rd. Manufacturer A receives 35 first-place points while Manufacturer B would earn 32 second-place points.
- Michelin Endurance Cup
The points system for the Michelin Endurance Cup is different from the normal points system. Points are awarded on a 5–4–3–2 basis for drivers, teams and manufacturers. The first finishing position at each interval earns five points, four points for second position, three points for third, with two points awarded for fourth and each subsequent finishing position.
At Daytona (24 hour race), points are awarded at six hours, 12 hours, 18 hours and at the finish. At the Sebring (12 hour race), points are awarded at four hours, eight hours and at the finish. At Watkins Glen (6 hour race), points are awarded at three hours and at the finish. At Road Atlanta (10 hour race), points are awarded at four hours, eight hours and at the finish.
Like the season-long team championship, Michelin Endurance Cup team points are awarded for each car and drivers get points in any car that they drive, in which they are entered for points. The manufacturer points go to the highest placed car from that manufacturer (the others from that manufacturer not being counted), just like the season-long manufacturer championship.
For example: in any particular segment manufacturer A finishes 1st and 2nd and manufacturer B finishes 3rd. Manufacturer A only receives first-place points for that segment. Manufacturer B receives the second-place points.