2017 IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
26 WINTER 2016/17
ast year’s GT Le Mans class season
began at Daytona with the closest finish
in class history and closed with a thriller
under a starry Georgia night.
An incomprehensibly small margin of
only 0.034sec separated the pair of factory
Corvette C7.Rs at the finish line after
24 hours of racing in the Floridian season-opener, and the drama only continued to
build after that. Corvette Racing’s
twin-hammer attack added another four
victories over the span of the 11-race
GTLM season But with Ford’s new GT taking
three wins, Porsche’s venerable, rear-engine 911 RSR toughing it out for two,
and the freshly turbocharged Ferrari 488
winning that thrilling Road Atlanta finale,
picking a favorite from the factory fleets
on a given weekend was often impossible.
A classic IMSA Weather Tech SportsCar
Championship GTLM class season by any
measure, surely 2016 is going to be one
very tough act to follow?
And then…Porsche only went and built
the first-ever mid-engine 911 RSR to kick
off its rebound tour for 2017.
And Corvette continued honing its
The 2016 GT Le Mans class season
was one for the ages, but all signs
point to 2017 pushing the bar even
higher as the factory fleets regroup,
reset and come out fighting.
championship-winning cars into the
sharpest blunt-force instruments possible.
And Ford, with its 24 Hours of
Le Mans-winning GTs – still sporting their
new-car smells – somehow unleashed
more speed to threaten its rivals.
And Ferrari’s 488, always a contender,
found even more poise while unlocking
Oh, And BMW’s M6, already on the
verge of sentient intelligence, was pushed
closer to electronic enlightenment in
pursuit of victory.
Better, faster, smarter, closer: GTLM and
its five factory programs should author its
second consecutive masterpiece.
(MAIN) With its rear-engine 911 RSR getting left
behind in the GTLM rush, Porsche went back to
the drawing board. The result is still an RSR,
but with a mid-engine layout. (ABOVE LEFT)
Ford heads into year two with a race-winning
debut season under its belt. (ABOVE RIGHT)
Corvette Racing is the reigning GTLM champ.