The car count for IMSA’s upcoming GTD Pro class is pointing in a promising direction.
Based on calls with numerous manufacturers and teams in recent weeks, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s upcoming replacement class for GT Le Mans is on track to debut in January with respectable numbers for the Pro-level GT3 category.
To start, Corvette Racing’s pair of GTLM C8.Rs will carry over to GTD Pro with IMSA-specific detuning measures design to align with GT3 machinery. BMW’s new M8 GT3 model is expected to be represented with two cars, and Porsche’s venerable 911 GT3 R is said to have at least two models headed to GTD Pro, if not three.
After those six to seven entries, there’s a mounting belief that Lexus, which has two of its RC F GT3s in GTD, could join GTD Pro with one car, and then there’s Lamborghini, which has earmarked at least one Huracan GT3 for the class, and a second is a possibility as well. A safe car count estimate would be in the range of eight, with a chance of 10 if every GTD Pro plan is successful leading into 2022.
Considering where GTLM’s number sits for this weekend’s Road America race – at three – there’s cause to have optimism for IMSA’s full embrace of GT3 regulations in the WeatherTech Championship.
“It is our intention to be on the grid with at least one car for next year,” said Chris Ward, Lamborghini’s senior motorsport manager. “We are not fully there on who, where, and all that, but I suspect we’re maybe a month away from having all of that solidified. There were meetings that took place in Spa, there’s meetings taking place here this weekend at Road America.”
Like Ward’s comments on Lamborghini’s need to find partners teams for its upcoming LMDh program, the same need exists before the brand will confirm its presence in GTD Pro.
“It’s got to be with a customer that’s serious about it and help foot the bill to be in GTD Pro, and we’re not alone in that,” he said. “I know several other manufacturers that are in a similar boat with some of their existing customer programs that are looking to step to GTD Pro. I’m super-excited about the category.
“The blue sky dream would be two cars in GTD Pro and two cars in GTD. And I would be doing cartwheels through the paddock if we can pull that off. That’s what I’m pushing to make happen. This is quite a lot to try and get done between now and the end of October, beginning of November, to make all that come together before we go to Daytona, but that’s the goal.”