IMSA considers “All Schedule Options” for 2023 – Sportscar365

Photo: John Dagys

According to Series President John Doonan, who has not ruled out the addition of an endurance race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IMSA is reviewing “all schedule options” for the 2023 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

The development follows Doonan’s comments last month that suggested a fifth round of the Michelin Endurance Cup was not possible “at the moment”.

However, IMS owner Roger Penske said he remains in talks with IMSA about a possible event for next year.

Penske told reporters at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa earlier this month that the scheduled IMSA race “has to” be an endurance race – believed to last at least six hours.

Sportscar365 understands that both organizations are currently in advanced negotiations, with Indy likely to replace one or even two existing events on the WeatherTech Championship schedule.

“We are reviewing all schedule options for next year,” Doonan told Sportscar365.

“It’s public; We’ve had talks with Indianapolis. We’re still looking into this, but we’re very careful with the running budget for the teams.

“Adding more hours — at any facility — adds more cost. We try to be smart and stay cost efficient.”

Doonan said that removing the WeatherTech Championship schedule from 12 events to a total of 11 to maintain a similar runtime for competitors is a “scenario that could be on the table.”

Such a move would result in the elimination of two existing rounds for the probable Indy-Enduro, which has been rumored to have a unique race length, possibly for marketing purposes.

“I think that’s a scenario; I think teams look at their costs after running time,” said Doonan.

“We have existing sanctions agreements with x number of tracks and we need to consider those agreements first and know where else we could go.”

It’s unclear whether a deal could be announced ahead of IMSA’s annual State of the Sport address at Road America in August, where the schedule for the following year is usually confirmed.

Should Indy be added to the schedule, it would be an Endurance Cup round five, with all four existing venues, including Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, serving as a “pillar” for the series.

Doonan said the six-hour enduro at Watkins Glen International, a track owned by NASCAR, has a long-term future, as does the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and Motul Petit Le Mans.

“I would say that’s the case,” he said. “[Watkins Glen] has been a great facility there for years and a great tradition for IMSA.

“What the team did there… Joe Sahlen supported it for so many years. That is a mainstay of our championship.”

The Indianapolis road course was scheduled for the 2014 WeatherTech Championship, but was scrapped due to a calendar change that included the addition of Lime Rock Park as a GT-only event.

John Dagys is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sportscar365. Dagys was a motorsport correspondent for and SPEED Channel for eight years and has contributed to numerous other motorsport publications worldwide. Contact John

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