Special, Post-Season Event Offers Unique Opportunity For Pro-Am Teams, Drivers Leverages Popular Global Vehicle Technical Specifications Four-Hour Endurance Event Featured
BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 6, 2017) – The 2018 IMSA racing season promises to be a classic, with a variety of new teams and race cars coming online across several of the sanctioning body’s platforms and series.
In a news conference today at Road Atlanta, site of Saturday’s 20th Motul Petit Le Mans season finale, plans were unveiled for the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore to be held at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida on the weekend of Nov. 9 to 11.
The inaugural Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore will feature a four-hour race including LMP3, GT3, GT4 and TCR global specification race cars and Pro-Am driver lineups. The end-of-year non-points event will not be tied to any other series or championship, which positions the event as an exciting, free-standing opportunity to experience both IMSA and Sebring – and for some, their first taste of endurance racing.
“The Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore will offer a unique, fun and open opportunity for a variety of platforms to step into the spotlight in an endurance racing format,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “There will be an interesting mix of race cars and drivers. We anticipate existing IMSA teams will participate alongside additional teams that will have the opportunity to sample what IMSA and Michelin have to offer.”
LMP3 chassis from all ACO-homologated manufacturers will eligible to compete with the global Nissan-based V8 engine. GT3, GT4 and TCR homologated race cars from mainstream automotive manufacturers with established operations in the United States will be eligible to compete in the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore. No Platinum-rated drivers may compete in the Michelin IMSA Encore. Every car in the field will ride on Michelin tires, which will mark the first event for the new Official Tire of IMSA ahead of their first full season in 2019.
“We are looking forward to working for the first time with so many teams and drivers as everyone prepares for the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin SportsCar Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America. “The ‘Encore’ will also be a great opportunity to entice participants from the ELMS, VLN, and other series to take on the IMSA competitors.”
The weekend schedule also includes a promoter test day on Friday, Nov. 9, with practice and qualifying for the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore on Saturday, Nov. 10 ahead of Sunday’s feature race. Additional events, such as selected one-make series, are currently under discussion and consideration.
The 2017 WeatherTech Championship wraps up with Saturday’s 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans. Live television coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS1. The race also will be streamed live in its entirety on FOX Sports GO with FS1 authentication, with IMSA Radio flag-to-flag coverage airing on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio.