OPINION: IMSA runs a “car fans first” program.

If you are a car racing fan, are you into it because of the cars or the racing?

Okay, it’s not that simple because there are many other factors involved, whether it’s rooting for certain drivers or team owners, or showing loyalty to a favorite marque or sponsor. But at the end of the day, what drives people to be passionate about motor racing?

In racing, the automotive part of the equation has often taken a back seat over the past 20 years as the forces of commerce and competition have created market consolidation. The days of manufacturers releasing ‘new’ cars every year or two are long gone for any form of racing apart from F1, which continues to operate in its own exclusive orbit of the freebies.

But car fans should rejoice because we’re going through a couple of years that may not happen again for quite some time in the future. Almost all the major races – even F1 – have introduced or will introduce truly new equipment in 2022 or 2023, focusing on cars not seen for decades. The list includes NASCAR, IMSA and even Formula E.

F1’s first major rule changes since the start of the hybrid era in 2014 have not only brought about new thinking that has resulted in cars that no longer look nearly identical, but have also upended the established running order. Mercedes 1-2 is no longer a formality; In fact, the team’s mysterious struggle to get back on top pace was a major storyline.

The level of change is even greater in NASCAR, where the introduction of the Next Gen Cup Series car is not only a unique technological upgrade, but also a fundamental cultural shift in the way cars are designed, built and prepared. In this regard, NASCAR is far behind other racing series around the world, much to the dismay of the old guard. It will take a few more years to truly understand the impact of the next-gen car and its methodology on NASCAR, but for now, it has shaken up the established order of competition and created some truly wild playoff scenarios.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is arguably best positioned to capitalize on the new car feel. While the new LMDh prototypes currently under development by Porsche, Cadillac, Acura and BMW are the most technically advanced cars to compete regularly in North America in 2023, they are by today’s standards nothing more than remarkably good race cars. Lamborghini has already announced plans to build an LMDh car by 2024, and others may follow.

In addition, IMSA’s LMDh prototypes will be able to compete on equal terms for overall wins with hypercars in the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, not only here in the States, but also at WEC events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the first race at Le Mans, and American participation and interest is expected to reach an all-time high, with Porsche Penske Motorsport, Chip Ganassi Racing (with Cadillac) and the one-of-a-kind “Garage” expected to be present. 56′ Entry to the NASCAR Cup The car will be fielded by Hendrick Motorsports.

Top-level prototypes won’t be the only new cars on the IMSA grid in 2023. The latest iteration of the BMW M4 GT3 has already hit the track this year, and Porsche and Ferrari have just revealed their updated 2023 rivals. The new Porsche 911 GT3 R and Ferrari 296 GT3 look really impressive, and will be joined in 2023 by a fully GT3-certified version of the Corvette C8.R, and a year later by the long-awaited GT3 version of the Ford Mustang.

It goes without saying that for true car enthusiasts, IMSA is a series to follow. It’s not often that a golden era is talked about in advance, but things seem to be shaping up well for IMSA to turn that optimistic prediction into reality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.