IMSA has reduced the LMP2 division schedule from ten-to-eight events for the 2019 season, eliminating Long Beach and Belle Isle.

The official release refers to it as an 'optimization' but comes after an expected decreased car count. Meanwhile, the DPi category retains the 10-race schedule announced in August. A series release claims the decision was made with the intent to "stimulate further interest" in the class.

"With the start of the season now 50 days away, it is important that we timely share these revisions so that our stakeholders can further evaluate, and plan based on the refined sporting strategy for the class," said IMSA President Scott Atherton.

"IMSA remains committed to offering an attractive LMP2 platform for Pro-Am competitors."

The LMP2 class will maintain its separate designation including class-specific number panels, with race procedures, driver regulations and drive-time requirements as outlined in the 2019 sporting regulations released last month. The class now will qualify at the same time as DPi cars at each event.

SportsCar365 reports that only PR1/Mathiasen and Performance Tech are expected to run the full-season. DragonSpeed is expected to enter two additional Oreca 07 Gibsons for the Rolex 24 at Daytona next month.

If there are fewer than three LMP2 entries, only the class-winning drivers and team at each race will be recognized in post-race podium ceremonies. IMSA will continue to award class points toward LMP2 driver and team championships for all class competitors.

The first official on-track activity for the 2019 WeatherTech Championship is the three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona test on Jan. 4-6, 2019.

Source: Autoweek

December 8, 2018