DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Indicative of the emergence of important details regarding the inaugural United SportsCar Racing season in 2014, International Motor Sports Ass’n (IMSA) officials today announced a driver rating system, as well as pit and paddock regulations and various procedures to be implemented.
All drivers participating in the 2014 series resulting from the merger between the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will receive a driver rating from IMSA, with four driver classifications: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Teams competing in the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes will not be restricted in terms of driver rating. In the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, one Gold or Platinum driver for every race may pilot each car. However, in 24-hour events, a combination of two Gold or Platinum drivers may drive.
Every car must have a minimum of two and a maximum of three drivers – regardless of class – for every event, with the exception of 12-hour events – which will allow for a maximum of four drivers; 24-hour events will allow a maximum of five. Minimum and maximum drive times will be established per driver rating and event, with minimum drive times to be approximately 30 percent of the total event time.
IMSA’s driver rating system is based on guidelines established by the Fédération Internationale de l”Automobile (FIA) for international competition. The standard minimum age for drivers is 18. However, IMSA may allow younger drivers with significant driving experience to compete in United SportsCar Racing events.
Platinum drivers are defined as professionals under the age of 55 with experience and success at the highest levels of motorsport. Platinum drivers may have held FIA Super Licenses to race in Formula 1, are past overall winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, factory drivers or drivers who have finished inside the top five in internationally recognized championships such as the Grand-Am Rolex Series DP class, the ALMS P1 or GT class, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 and GTE Pro classes, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), IndyCar and CART/Champ Car among others.