IMSA has announced that the GTLM class in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship will be replaced by a GT3-based class called ‘GTD Pro’.
Cars in GT3 will be built to FIA GT3 technical regulations. According to IMSA, GTD Pro is primarily focused on factory teams and driver line-ups.
Customer teams, Pro-Am or fully Am teams will have the option of competing either in GTD Pro, or the existing GTD class, which will continue to exist.
The FIA will release new GT3 regulations in 2022 and all cars built to those regulations, or existing cars upgraded through “Evo” kits will be eligible to compete in GTD PRO and GTD starting next year.
The switch marks the end of the GTLM category. 2021 will be the final season in which the class will compete under the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s LMGTE regulations.
GTLM has been a part of IMSA competition since the start of what is now the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship in 2014. It was carried over from the American Le Mans Series and has enjoyed great popularity, but has been declining over the past few years.
The 2021 season features just three full-season GTLM entries, while the Rolex 24 sees six cars entered into the class.
The closure of GTLM could potentially also have an impact on the GTE classes in the World Endurance Championship, as its car count has also been dwindling in recent years, with a switch to more GT3-based rules often mentioned as a possible solution. This solution has now been adopted by IMSA.
“The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship has long been regarded as featuring the world’s greatest GT manufacturers, teams and drivers and some of the world’s most exciting and competitive professional GT endurance racing through the GTLM class,” said IMSA President John Doonan.
“We believe the move to GTD PRO offers the best opportunity for manufacturers and teams to continue that legacy well into the future.”
“We expect considerable manufacturer participation when we kick off the GTD PRO class a year from now in the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona.”