Two of the teams competing in the LMP2 category of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship have announced that they will be scaling down or curtailing their programs significantly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or involvements elsewhere, leaving the championship potentially short on entries.
Dragonspeed, the team that won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, confirmed that it will be scaling back its IMSA involvement in order to focus on its two-car entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans in September.
The team was initially set to contest the full IMSA campaign, but will now only be contesting the upcoming round at Road America and the season-closing Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Dragonspeed initially had only the #21 ORECA 07-Gibson entered for the French endurance classic, driven by Ryan Cullen, Memo Rojas and Pipo Derani. Due to several withdrawals from the race, the car’s #27 car for Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley and Renger van der Zande has also been granted entry.
The team explained in a statement that the “demands of preparing and transporting” its IMSA car to mainland Europe to compete in Le Mans was the reason for scaling down its IMSA program.
Starworks, meanwhile, confirmed in a lengthy post on Twitter that the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to abandon plans to run the entire LMP2 season.
The team had entered the #8 Tower Motorsport by Starworks ORECA 07-Gibson for John Farano and Ryan Dalziel, but has withdrawn from the upcoming round at Road America and will likely only run the remaining Michelin Endurance Cup rounds.
“We are sorry to inform our fans that like many other race teams, our 2020 plans have changed due to the current COVID pandemic,” the team wrote.
“We have officially withdrawn from next weekend’s event at Road America, and will likely only run the three remaining endurance events.
“With several European crew members and a Canadian driver, who is also a full-time businessman, the current quarantine mandates in their respective countries make it impossible to able attend other commitments and maintain quarantine guidelines.
“We are so grateful to everyone at IMSA for all their hard work, consistently rolling with the punches that 2020 has dealt. They’ve done everything to make our return to racing as safe as possible and we applaud them for their successful previous two events.
“We are very sorry to have to deliver this news, and will be sure to keep our fans updated as things progress.”
With Dragonspeed and Starworks no longer present, the LMP2 field for the remaining non-endurance rounds will be brought down to three, with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, Era Motorsport and Performance Tech Motorsports remaining.