The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced modifications to some of its competition procedures and an investment in new technology to assist officials in race control beginning with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach, Calif. on April 12.
“The first two events of the new IMSA and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship have generated many positives and successes,” said IMSA President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Atherton. “Full fields of world-class cars, teams and drivers, incredible competition in all four classes, impressive digital, social media and other business metrics, and, most importantly, record-breaking crowds of sports car racing fans at both the Daytona and Sebring events. In addition, Scot Elkins and his technical staff should take a bow for achieving remarkable performance balance within all classes, especially with the P2 and DP cars.”
“However, there also have been some notable situations related to our competition procedures that unfortunately have partially overshadowed these positive aspects of our debut. We are committed to rectifying these areas in order to conduct the most professional, fair, consistent and entertaining form of professional racing with industry benchmark personnel, equipment and practices.”
Changes coming to IMSA Race Control include the following:
Enforcement of an IMSA rule requiring the display of the car’s number on its in-car cameras.
*Upgraded video review equipment to high definition (HD).
*A new system for cross-checking cars and drivers involved in on-track incidents.
*Addition of a third driver advisor to work alongside the IMSA Race Director and two driver advisors to assist with evaluating responsibility in incidents and other on-track situations.
IMSA also is adjusting its full-course caution procedures to maximize green-flag running time. Changes to the procedures, which will be confirmed by IMSA Rule Book bulletins, are as follows:
At events where there is only one prototype class in a race, the pits will be opened for that class when the field is packed up and while GT cars are still performing the Pass-Around procedure. This change will expedite the full-course caution process by a full lap.
The “Lap-Down Wave-By” procedure – which provides a strategic opportunity for cars a lap or more behind to gain a lap back by staying on course while leaders make pit stops – will be more limited in its application. There will be no Lap-Down Wave-By in races less than two hours and 30 minutes in length. For races between two-and-a-half hours through six hours, the Lap-Down Wave-By will be used only once in any 90-minute period after 60 minutes from the start of a race. No Lap-Down Wave-By will be used in the last 30 minutes of a race.
Efforts also will be made to use “Debris Yellows” where a situation is likely to involve the simple removal of debris or the flat-tow of a stopped car to a safe location. A Debris Yellow includes the Pass-Around procedure, but the pits remain closed until the race is restarted.