Penske v Joest v Cadillac v Nissan v Gibson: Epic IMSA era here?

The 2018 IMSA Weathertech Championship

During the IMSA GTP era, car manufacturers competed with large budgets, over-the-top horsepower and all of the technology available. The 2018 IMSA Weathertech Championship will have even better factory participation, less horsepower, more aero and a better return on investment for all.

I am one of so many that thought the worst when IMSA was sold to NASCAR.

Roadracers don’t think very highly of roadracing NASCAR (see Grand Am). The ALMS, sanctioned by IMSA, and both owned by Don Panoz, was as close to LeMans here in America as it could get. Some seasons, the ALMS was far better than anything the FIA and LeMans could muster.

The last time we had Joest and Penske competing in America, they were using Audi and Porsche weapons (left, with a Patron Acura lurking behind them). Along with the Acura onslaught of the same period, with help from Mazda with a one-car effort, you have the major players in the coming era. Mix in the fact the Patron has an even deeper commitment than that era, when they merely sponsored one of the Acuras. Now, they own a team running semi-factory Nissans. They won races in 2018.

Even Dallara is involved again. Dallara had a large hand in the design and build of a whole slew of those dominant Audis. This is not particularly well known among fans. They now build the Cadillac DPi cars, the champions this year with Wayne Taylor’s factory-supported team.

The mix is there. My chance this year to witness this golden era of US endurance racing will come at Watkins Glen. It’s a beautiful, fast track, with lots of endurance race history. Amongst other racing history.

This will be good. Of that I’m absolutely sure.

The Daytona 24 hour race is but a little over one month away. Several LMP2 cars will be coming from Europe. BMW will have their new M8 GTLM car, and the rest of the GTLM teams have strengthened their efforts. GTD will be as good, or better, than it has been, with the elimination of the pure factory teams.

The 2017 IMSA race at Watkins Glen was pretty darned good. Read more about it.
UPDATE: So was the 2018 race, here