On Thursday, IMSA sent out a competition memo to all teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pertaining to new drive-time requirements in all classes. As compared to 2016, requirements for “amateur” drivers are slightly lower.
In the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Silver and/or Bronze-rated drivers must complete five hours each in the car in order to be eligible for points. All other drivers in all classes have to do a minimum of two hours in the seat to earn points, regardless of their driver rating. Finally, no driver can drive for more than 13 hours in the race, down from 14 last year. The rule banning drivers from driving more than four hours in a six hour span, which got Wayne Taylor Racing disqualified in 2015 when Jordan Taylor violated the rule, is still in effect.
In the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, Silver and/or Bronze-rated drivers must complete three hours each in the car. Other drivers must only run one hour to earn points, regardless of rank. Maximum drive-time for any driver is seven hours.
Similar rules have been enacted for the other two endurance races (Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta). Road Atlanta sees Silver and Bronze drivers required to run two hours and 45 minutes for points, while they are required to do one hour and 45 minutes at Watkins Glen. Other drivers must complete 45 minutes for points at Road Atlanta and 30 minutes at Watkins Glen.
For the regular sprint races, minimum drive-time for Silver and Bronze drivers is now 45 minutes for both the PC and GTD classes, down from 60 minutes for PC teams. Other drivers only have to complete ten minutes to score points. For the 100-minute street races at Long Beach and Belle Isle Park, minimum drive time for Silver and Bronze drivers in both PC and GTD classes has dropped to 30 from 35. Other drivers must only complete five minutes to earn points. At the two street races on the schedule, a five minute requirement means that pro drivers need to complete only four laps under green flag conditions to earn points.
As in past years, the number of drivers required to meet the amateur drive time requirement is dependent on the total number of drivers in the car. Most of the time, it will only be one driver per PC or GTD entry. However, teams with four or five drivers at Daytona or four drivers at Sebring will be required to run two amateur drivers that are held to that standard.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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