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IMSA reveals 2018 WeatherTech, Continental, Porsche schedules

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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule has been revealed on Friday, with only a couple changes from this year.

As announced last week, the series’ return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course takes place May 4-6, replacing Circuit of The Americas on the calendar.

The other change sees the GT Daytona class drop a round of the season, going from 12 races to 11, and drops the Long Beach race from the calendar. That reverts the race back to just the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes.

With just three classes in 2018, the Prototype Challenge class set to come to an end in two races, most WeatherTech Championship events will have all classes in action. The GT-only races at Lime Rock Park and VIRginia International Raceway continue and the Detroit street race will be just Prototype and GT Daytona.

“The 2018 WeatherTech Championship schedule again showcases the stability of our platform, while at the same time reaffirming our commitment to the best road racing venues and events in North America. And this time offering a few surprises for our fans,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “Each race on our 2018 calendar has a rich history of sports car competition, which we expect to be at an all-time high next season across all three classes.”

All four Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races continue as well.

The WeatherTech Championship schedule is below:

The 2018 season will kick off with the annual three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona test session on Jan. 5-7. The test is mandatory for all Rolex 24 participants.

2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Schedule

Date: Event / Venue, Classes / Duration

  • Jan. 5-7: Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona, P/GTLM/GTD, Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Jan. 25-28:Rolex 24 At Daytona, P/GTLM/GTD, Daytona International Speedway – Daytona Beach, Florida, 24 Hours
  • March 14-17: Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, P/GTLM/GTD, Sebring International Raceway – Sebring, Florida, 12 Hours
  • April 13-14: BUBBA burger SportsCar Grand Prix at Long Beach, P/GTLM, Long Beach, California, 100 Minutes
  • May 4-6: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, P/GTLM/GTD, Lexington, Ohio, 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
  • June 1-2: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, P/GTD, Belle Isle Park – Detroit, Michigan, 100 Minutes
  • June 28-July 1: Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, P/GTLM/GTD, Watkins Glen International – Watkins Glen, New York, 6 Hours
  • July 6-8: Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, P/GTLM/GTD, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
  • July 20-21: Northeast Grand Prix, GTLM/GTD, Lime Rock Park – Lakeville, Connecticut, 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
  • Aug. 3-5: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase, P/GTLM/GTD, Road America – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
  • Aug. 17-19: Michelin GT Challenge, GTLM/GTD, VIRginia International Raceway – Danville, Virginia, 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
  • Sept. 7-9: Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda, P/GTLM/GTD, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, California, 2 Hours, 40 Minutes
  • Oct. 10-13: Motul Petit Le Mans, P/GTLM/GTD, Road Atlanta – Braselton, Georgia, 10 Hours

CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE SCHEDULE

The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge calendar has also been released, with a 10-race slate and a couple quick changes.

Daytona resumes for a second straight year as a four-hour endurance race, while the second four-hour race moves from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to Watkins Glen International. As with the WeatherTech Championship, the series swaps Circuit of The Americas for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Schedule

  • Jan. 26: Daytona
  • March 16: Sebring
  • May 5: Mid-Ohio
  • June 30: Watkins Glen
  • July 7: CTMP
  • July 21: Lime Rock
  • Aug. 4: Road America
  • Aug. 18: VIR
  • Sept. 8: MRLS
  • Oct. 12: Road Atlanta

PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE USA BY YOKOHAMA

Most Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races fall on IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekends, with two exceptions: the Barber and Sonoma dates would fall on Verizon IndyCar Series weekends, unofficially revealing those dates.

That schedule is below:

2018 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Schedule

Date: Venue

  • March 14-16: Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida*
  • April 21-22: Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama
  • May 4-6: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio*
  • June 28-30: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York*
  • Aug. 3-5: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin*
  • Aug. 17-19: VIRginia International Raceway, Alton, Virginia*
  • Sept. 14-16: Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, California
  • Oct. 10-12: Road Atlanta, Braselton, Georgia*

* — In conjunction with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events

Extreme E reveals competition format for its global races next season

Extreme E
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Extreme E, a new series that will raise awareness about climate change by racing electric SUVs around the world, unveiled its competition format Friday.

The five-race environmentally conscious series will begin next season with races held in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are among the eight teams that will race in the series. Each team will have a male and female driver who alternate in each event.

ELECTRIC APPEAL: Why Ganassi is going to the Extreme E

In the details provided Friday, the two-day events will feature two qualifying races Saturday and two semifinals and a final round Sunday. Each race is two laps: One driven by the male driver and the other by the female. Results are based on finishes, not times.

The first semifinal is slotted with Saturday’s top four qualifiers, and the top three finishers advance to the final. The second semifinal (also known as the “Crazy Race”) will feature the last four qualifiers with the winner advancing to the final.

Click here to see the details of Extreme E’s sporting format.

Here’s the release from Extreme E:

29 May, London: Extreme E, the revolutionary electric off-road racing series, has outlined the race format for its five-event adventure to some of the most formidable, remote and spectacular locations across the globe, starting early 2021.

The series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to a Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, which is designed to break the mould in motorsport with all-action, short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing, world-class drivers and teams, the cutting-edge ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV and its stunning, formidable environments, all firmly in focus.

Each race, which will be known as an X Prix, will incorporate two laps over a distance of approximately 16 kilometres. Four teams, with two drivers – one male, one female – completing a lap apiece in-car, will race head-to-head in each race over the two-day event.

Qualifying takes place on day one to determine the top four runners who will progress through into Semi-Final 1 and the bottom four competitors who will go on to take part in Semi-Final 2: the unique ‘Crazy Race’.

The Crazy Race will be a tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight, with only the quickest team progressing into the Final, while the top three will make it through from Semi-Final 1. The winner of the Final – the fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers over the epic two-day battle – will then be crowned the X Prix Winner.

Another innovative feature is the Hyperdrive. This will award an additional boost of speed to the team who performs the longest jump on the first jump of each race. Hyperdrive power can be used by that team at any point in the race.

This initial format is designed to incorporate eight teams, and can be adapted to accommodate additional entries.

Teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.

The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially, with competitors kept in the dark as to other teams’ choices until the cars reach the start-line. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured.

X Prix circuits will also incorportate natural challenges that will leave viewers at the edge of their seats, and drivers and teams will be pushed right to the limits of their abilities; with hazards to navigate and defeat such as extreme gradients, jumps, banks, berms, pits, dunes and water splashes.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “Extreme E is a championship like nothing else that has come before in sport. Its goal and objective is to accelerate innovation and tackle climate change head on using transportation.

“Creating this innovative sporting format, which we’re likening to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, is vital in order to engage the next generation of motorsport fans. We hope our fans will enjoy the short, sharp, wheel-to-wheel racing this format has been built around, and with our high performance electric vehicle, driver changeover, the Hyperdrive feature, and the Crazy Race qualification format, there is plenty to watch out for, and many chances for positions to change hands, Our races really will go right to the wire.”

Extreme E’s cutting-edge 550-horsepower, ODYSSEY 21, incorporates a number of innovations to enable it to cope with all the rigours of racing over the toughest terrain, where no car has raced before. The battery-electric, 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide E-SUV is bespoke from the ground up. Capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

It is made up of a common package of standardised parts, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. This encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage, whilst tyres, for both extreme winter and summer requirements, supplied by founding partner Continental Tyres.

As well as being used as platform for equality and illutstrating the capabilities of electric vehicle technology, Extreme E will highlight the impact that climate change is having on its remote race locations, using a committee of leading scientists to help bring global attention to issues such as deforestation in Brazil, rising sea levels along the West African coastline, melting Arctic icecaps in Greenland, and more.

The championship will announce further drivers, teams and partners over the coming weeks as it builds towards its early 2021 start-date apace.