IMSA has announced the provisional entry list for the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours – the first race for the brand new generation of LMDh machinery from Porsche, BMW, Cadillac and Acura.
What cars are racing in IMSA in 2023?
With the announcement of top level sportscar convergence, IMSA revealed its new LMDh rules a couple of years ago. These cars are based on LMP2 chassis, with OEMs adding their own bodywork and engines, and will be eligible to race in IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, meaning that for the first time in decades the same cars can race at the Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours – competing for the triple crown of endurance racing.
In IMSA these cars will compete in the GTP class, as the series has resurrected the name of perhaps its most legendary era to herald this new one for American sportscar racing. As this is multi-class racing, and because nine cars wouldn’t make a good endurance grid, no matter how high the quality, these will be supplemented by three more classes. LMP2 and LMP3 cars have been racing in IMSA and WEC competitions for many years now and will fill the majority of the prototype grid. Behind them a huge fleet of GT3 cars make up the rest of the field, split between GTD Pro and GTD and featuring cars from BMW, Lexus, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ferrari, McLaren, Acura and Corvette.
What is GTP?
If you’ve heard of LMDh cars until now, the sudden move to GTP could be confusing. But simply put, the cars will race in America as GTP cars from now on.
What manufacturers are competing in GTP?
This year Porsche, Acura, Cadillac and BMW will compete for the top class honours. More cars are expected in the coming seasons.
Are GTP cars the same as Le Mans Hypercars?
No they are not. Although the two categories will race together in the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship in 2023 and are eligible to both compete in GTP, LMH cars are purpose built hybrid or non-hybrid cars, they can be based on racing or road car chassis and have strict regulations of power output. All the cars racing in the GTP class in 2023 are built to LMDh rules. These have LMP2 chassis from one of the four approved LMP2 manufacturers – Dallara, Oreca, Ligier, Multimatic – with engines and aero from major manufacturers. LMDh cars are all hybrids, and they run a spec hybrid system with motors from Bosch and batteries from the company formerly known as Williams Advanced Engineering, now WAE.
Can Le Mans Hypercars race at Daytona?
Yes, they can. So theoretically the cars from Toyota, Ferrari, Peugeot and Glickenhaus that are set to compete in the WEC this year could race in IMSA. For now, none of those brands has chosen to take the plunge and race.
What other classes race in IMSA and how many are there?
Alongside the GTP cars there are five other classes.
The first is LMP2 machines – this is the global second class of prototype sportscar racing. There are four potential cars that you could see, from Oreca, Ligier, Riley/Multimatic and Dallara, but due to the dominance of Oreca's 07 chassis, every car will be an Oreca. Each car is powered by a Gibson V8 engine.
Then comes LMP3, these are smaller prototye chassis that also race around the world. Each car has a spec Nissan V8 engine, but chassis set to race in IMSA come from Ligier and Duqueine.
GTD and GTD Pro make up the non-prototype field. These are all GT3 cars.
What’s the difference between GTD Pro and GTD cars?
Nothing. The difference is simply in the drivers. GTD Pro cars will be filled with mostly professional drivers and are under no obligations to give any lower rated pilots a certain amount of seat time. In GTD the cars must have lower ranked bronze and silver ranked drivers in their line-up. The cars themselves are identical and run the same BoP and tyres.