IMSA Shows Again It Is Home to Great Manufacturer Competition

Global manufacturers are once again finding IMSA the place to be to display their technology on the racetrack. For the second straight year, 18 OEMs – original equipment manufacturers – are set to compete across the six series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opens its 2022 season with its biggest and longest race, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which runs for the 60th time starting Saturday. Eleven OEMs are involved. A day earlier, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge kicks off its season at Daytona International Speedway with the four-hour BMW M Endurance Challenge featuring a dozen manufacturers.
IMSA also sanctions three single-make series and the IMSA Prototype Challenge. It all provides manufacturers, teams and drivers plenty of opportunity to shine. The list of participating manufacturers and programs for 2022, in alphabetical order, is as follows:
Acura – Fields two ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) cars in the WeatherTech Championship, one each for Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian and Wayne Taylor Racing. WTR’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura is the defending Rolex 24 winner. The brand is also represented by Gradient Racing’s Acura NSX GT3 in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
Alfa Romeo – Continues in the Michelin Pilot Challenge Touring Car (TCR) class with one Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR entered by KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering at Daytona. The manufacturer picked up its first victories in TCR last season, winning at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Aston Martin – Has doubled its presence to four cars in the WeatherTech Championship and four in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. The Heart of Racing Team has one car in each of the WeatherTech Championship’s GTD PRO and GTD classes, with Magnus Racing and Northwest AMR each fielding a GTD entry as well. There are four Vantage GT4s entered in the Grand Sport (GS) class for the Michelin Pilot Challenge race, two for Automatic Racing and one each for NTE Sport and Volt Racing.
Audi – Competing with three cars in the TCR class of the Michelin Pilot Challenge at Daytona. Road Shagger Racing and Unitronic JDC-Miller MotorSports each field an Audi RS3 LMS SEQ, while NGP Motorsports has an Audi RS3 LMS DSG.
BMW – A longtime IMSA competitor with entries in the WeatherTech Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge that’s sporting the new BMW M4 GT3 in 2022, a year in which the manufacturer is celebrating 50 years of its M performance brand. The WeatherTech Championship program finds three M4 GT3s in action, two out of the BMW M Team RLL stable in GTD PRO and the third for Turner Motorsport in GTD. Turner also operates two BMW M4 GT4s in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, with Random Vandals Racing entering a third GT4 at Daytona.
Cadillac – The premium brand from General Motors has the most entries of any WeatherTech Championship DPi manufacturer, with five Cadillac DPi-V.R machines set to compete in the Rolex 24 – two each from Action Express Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing and one from JDC-Miller MotorSports. The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac from Action Express won the 2021 DPi championship.
Chevrolet – Races two of its most popular makes, one in the WeatherTech Championship and one in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. The Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD is part of the new GTD PRO class in the WeatherTech Championship after winning the GT Le Mans title the past two seasons. One Corvette will race for the entire season, with a second entered in the Rolex 24. Meanwhile in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, Rebel Rock Racing runs a Camaro GT4.R.
Ferrari – A staple of sports car racing for decades, the Italian brand is represented in the WeatherTech Championship at the Rolex 24 by the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE in GTD PRO and by AF Corse and Cetilar Racing in GTD. IMSA also sanctions the single-make Ferrari Challenge North America series that uses Ferrari Challenge 488 EVO machines.
Ford – The “blue oval” has four Ford Mustang GT4s entered for the Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class opener, three from PF Racing and the fourth by Kohr Motorsports.
Honda – Returns to Michelin Pilot Challenge in 2022 with three Honda Civic FK7 TCR entries, the No. 73 from LA Honda World Racing, the No. 89 HART (Honda of America Race Team) Civic and the No. 99 operated by the Victor Gonzalez Racing Team.
Hyundai – Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian has captured the last three TCR championships in the Michelin Pilot Challenge and will seek a four-peat with an expected six-car armada of Hyundai Elantra N TCR entries. Van der Steur Racing is also back with a single Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
Lamborghini – The Italian manufacturer won the GTD PRO class in Sunday’s Rolex 24 qualifying race and will start on the pole for the 24-hour extravaganza with the TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3. There are also four Huracán GT3s entered in the GTD class, one each for CarBahn with Peregrine Racing, NTE Sport, T3 Racing and TR3 Racing. IMSA also sanctions the single-make Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series, with all entrants running the new Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2 spec in 2022.
Lexus – Vasser Sullivan is fielding a pair of Lexus RC F GT3s in the WeatherTech Championship – one each in the GTD PRO and GTD classes this year.
Mazda – For the second year, IMSA is sanctioning the Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich Tires, the exciting entry-level series that saw more than half its 14 races last year decided by less than 0.6 seconds.
McLaren – The British marque has two entries in the WeatherTech Championship GTD class, one each for Crucial Motorsports and inception racing.
Mercedes-AMG – There are six Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars competing in the WeatherTech Championship, two in GTD PRO (both for the WeatherTech Racing/Proton USA team) and four in GTD (one each for Alegra Motorsports, Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports, Sun Energy 1 and Winward Racing). Winward is the defending GTD champion at the Rolex 24. There are also four Mercedes-AMG GT4 entries for Daytona in the Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class; three from Murillo Racing and the fourth for Capstone Motorsports.
Porsche – The winningest manufacturer in IMSA will be well represented again in 2022. The WeatherTech Championship will see seven Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in action at the Rolex 24 – three in the GTD PRO class (one each for KCMG, Pfaff Motorsports and WeatherTech Racing) and four in GTD (one each for GMG Racing, Hardpoint, Team TGM and Wright Motorsports). Porsche’s Michelin Pilot Challenge presence has grown substantially, with seven cars set for the GS class in Daytona – all racing the Porsche 718 GT4 RS Clubsport. Participating teams are Team TGM with two cars and BG Motorsports, Black Swan Racing, CarBahn with Peregrine Racing, GMG Racing and McCann Racing. On top of that, the Porsche Carrera Cup North America series returns under IMSA sanction after a successful 2021 debut for the single-make support series using Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
Toyota – After joining the Michelin Pilot Challenge ranks in 2021, the manufacturer has upped its game significantly, growing from a single Daytona entry to five this year. Riley Motorsports, which launched the program a season ago, is back with two Toyota Supra GT4s in ’22. Joining them on the BMW M Endurance Challenge grid will be single entries from Forbush Performance, JG Wentworth by Infinity Autosport and Smooge Racing.
During the 2021 season, 10 of the 13 manufacturers competing in the WeatherTech Championship won at least one race. In the Michelin Pilot Challenge, 10 of 12 manufacturers won races during the year. It showed yet again that there’s no place better for an auto manufacturer to compete with the best than IMSA.