IMSA: A look at the Prototype Lites from Laguna and the future


MSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda

In 2017, the Mazda Prototype Lites presented by Cooper Tires will evolve and be rebranded as IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda. The sprint-race series will feature two, 45-minute races per event weekend with a two-class format including Le Mans Prototype 3 (LM P3) race cars in the “PC1” class, and cars that currently race in the Prototype Lites L1 class will comprise the “PC2” class. Existing Prototype Lites L2 class cars no longer will be eligible after the 2016 season is completed.

Any ACO-homologated LM P3 chassis built by six approved constructors will be eligible to compete in the PC1 class, and all PC1 cars will be powered by identical specification V8 engines. The PC2 class will feature Mazda-powered Élan DP02 chassis.  In both cases, no balance of performance (BoP) will be applied or administered to either class.

Beginning in 2017, IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda events will be streamed live on In addition, each event is expected to have tape-delayed television coverage on a cable network to be announced in the near future.

IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda is designed to be the final developmental rung on the ladder for drivers aspiring to compete in the WeatherTech Championship Prototype class and in other international prototype competition.

The race at Laguna Seca

Michael Whelden broke a 28-race win streak by JDC Motorsports dating back to August 2014. Austin Versteeg rebounded from a 13th-place Round 11 finish to claim his seventh win of the season. And Clark Toppe took the Lites 1 Championship points lead for the first time since being tied for first after Round 3 in early July.

Naj Husain earned his first win of the season in Lites 1 Masters in the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports machine.

Jon Brownson led the class before the pileup on the restart in Turn 11. Husain was the benefactor as he picked his way through the dust-up.

Chlumecky finished with his second podium finish of the weekend with a second-place finish in the No. 31 Eurosport Racing entry. Joel Janco extended his Lites 1 Championship points lead over Gerhard Watzinger with a third place class finish.


The Racerviews Info

By Jim Fonseca September 2016

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