An Introduction to Sports Car Racing 2021: The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

Featured Image by Osajus Photography on Flickr (CC-BY 2.0)

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between DPi & LMP2? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the 2021 Season, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. This is an in-depth introduction to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, discussing it’s history & the categories.

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a sports car racing championship based in the United States & Canada, organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)

The championship had its inaugural season in 2014, consisting of 13 races, with 9 Sprint races & 4 Endurance Races. The inaugural championship in 2014 marked the reunification of Sports Car Racing in America, following 16 years of division between the IMSA GT Championship/American Le Mans Series and the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC)/Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (RSCS).

It is unique in that it features a “championship within a championship”, the Michelin Endurance Cup (MEC), formerly known as the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC), which is available in all classes. The GTD class also features a similar competition, the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, for the class at the sprint events of the calendar.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 10: The 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on Saturday, 19 September 2020. Ahead of the Grand Prix of Endurance, we’ve decided to produce Part 10 of our Introducing Sports Car Racing series. Part 10 is an in-depth introduction to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, discussing the history of the race and the categories.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans, also known as the 24 Heures du Mans, is the world’s oldest active sports car endurance race. The race has been held annually since 1923 on the Circuit de La Sarthe, a semi-permanent circuit located outside the town of Le Mans, France.. The race is considered to be one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world, forming one leg of both the Triple Crown of Motorsport, and the Triple Crown of Endurance Racing.

The winner of the event is determined by the race distance covered within 24 hours, plus one lap. Racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars’ ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Owing to the high amount of interest and prestige associated with the race,

The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), and also serves as the seventh round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 9: The Intercontinental GT Challenge

Image by Kytabu on Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between the AsLMS & ELMS? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part 9 is an in-depth introduction to the SRO’s Intercontinental GT Challenge, discussing it’s origins, history and the categories.

The Intercontinental GT Challenge, also known as the IGTC in short, is an Endurance Sports Car Racing Series organised by the Stephane Ratel Organisation (SRO). It is a series consisting of International Sports Car Racing events for Grand Touring Cars in the Group GT3 category. Unlike the SRO’s GT World Challenge series, it is aimed at manufacturers.

The series had its inaugural season in 2016, consisting of 3 rounds: The Bathurst 12 Hours, The 24 Hours of Spa, and the 12 Hours of Sepang. The series has used GT3 cars almost exclusively throughout its history, barring the 2017 season, when a GT4 Manufacturers Championship was introduced. However, this was not awarded in subsequent years.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 8: The Asian Le Mans Series

Featured Image by Morio on Wikimedia Commons

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between the AsLMS & ELMS? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part 8 is an in-depth introduction to the ACO’s growing Asian Le Mans Series, discussing it’s origins, rich history and the categories.

The Asian Le Mans Series, better known as the ALMS in short, or the AsLMS, is an endurance racing series organized by the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO).

The championship had its inaugural season in 2009, with a single round, held at the Okayama International Circuit with 4 classes, namely LMP1, LMP2, GT1 and GT2. However, following the 2009 season, the series went on hiatus until it was revived in 2013. The series has its roots in both the Japan Le Mans Challenge, and the 1999 Le Mans Fuji 1000km.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 7: The European Le Mans Series

Featured Image by Andrea Volpato on Flickr

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between LMP2 & LMP3? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part 7 is an in-depth introduction to the ACO’s long running European Le Mans Series, discussing it’s origins, rich history and the categories.

The European Le Mans Series, better known as the ELMS in short, is an endurance racing championship organized by the Automobile Club L’ouest (ACO).

The championship had its inaugural season in 2004, as the Le Mans Endurance Series, or the LMES, with a short, 4 round calendar, with 4 classes, namely LMP1, LMP2, GT1 and GT2.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 6: The Michelin Le Mans Cup

Featured Image by Kevin Decherf on Flickr

The Michelin Le Mans Cup, better known as the MLMC in short, is a sports car endurance racing series organized by the Automobile Club L’ouest (ACO). The events of the series serve as a support races for the European Le Mans Series, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the case of the ­Road to Le Mans, held during the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend.

The series was previously known as the Michelin GT3 Le Mans cup during its inaugural season, and barring the Le Mans round, where LMP3 was added, it ran exclusively on GT3 cars.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 5: The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship

Featured Image by Osajus Photography on Flickr

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between DPi & LMP2? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part 5 is an in-depth introduction to the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, discussing the history and the categories.

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, better known as the WeatherTech Championship, or the WTSC in short, is an endurance racing championship organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).

The championship had its inaugural season in 2014, consisting of 13 races, with 9 Sprint races and 4 Endurance Races. Not all classes participated in every sprint race. The inaugural championship in 2014 marked the reunification of Sports Car Racing in America, following 16 years of division between the IMSA GT Championship/American Le Mans Series and the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC)/Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (RSCS).

The Championship is unique in that it features a “championship within a championship”, the Michelin Endurance Cup (MEC), formerly known as the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (TPNAEC), which is available in all classes. The GTD class also features a similar competition, the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, for the class at the sprint events of the calendar.

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 4: The FIA World Endurance Championship

Featured image by thomas fülster on Flickr

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between LMP1 & LMP2? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part 4 is an in-depth introduction to the FIA World Endurance Championship, discussing the history and the categories.

The FIA World Endurance Championship, better known as the FIA WEC in short, is an endurance racing world championship organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

The championship had its inaugural season in 2012, consisting of 8 races. The championship is the first endurance racing series to be awarded world championship status since 1992, following the collapse of the FIA World Sports Car Championship. However, the Championship is not the first Sports Car Racing series to be awarded world championship status since 1992; this honour instead went to the FIA GT1 World Championship, which was organised by the Stephane Ratel Organisation (SRO).

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 3: GTs

Featured image by Takayuki Suzuki on Flickr

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between LM GTE & GT3? Curious about the difference between LM GTE? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part 3 is an in-depth introduction to the main GT classes used in Sports Car Racing today.

GT, or Grand Touring racing, is by far the most common form of sports car racing, and can be found globally, in both international and national series. Unlike Prototypes, GT Race cars must be based upon a production vehicle. In addition, to be eligible to race, a minimum production number must be met. Currently, GT Racing comprises of 6 main categories:

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An Introduction to Sports Car Racing Part 2: Prototypes

Featured image by Surreal Name Given on Flickr

Are you new to Sports Cars Racing? Curious about the differences between LM GTE & GT3? Curious about the difference between LM GTE? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the resumption of motorsport worldwide, we’ve decided to produce articles introducing Sports Car Racing to our readers. Part is an in-depth introduction to the main Prototype classes used in Sports Car Racing today.

Unlike GT racers, Prototypes are purpose-built racing cars with enclosed wheels, and have either open or closed cockpits, with no production minimum required. Prototypes represent the pinnacle of sportscar racing and are just as quick and technologically advanced as their single seater counterparts.

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