IMSA GTP is back

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jan 29, 2022 | IMSA GTP


Three letters that defined a golden age of motorsports: sleek, fast cars backed by many of the world’s top brands. From 1981 through 1993, GTP served as the top rung in American endurance racing.

Well, the name is coming back.

For 2023, the forthcoming Le Mans Daytona h prototypes will carry the GTP name in IMSA competition.


Full release:


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A new era will dawn at the 2023 Rolex 24 At Daytona, when new Le Mans Daytona h (LMDh) prototypes will make their worldwide competition debut.

Through a historic convergence with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) announced last summer, Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) prototypes from mainstream automotive manufacturers also will be eligible to compete head-to-head with LMDh cars for overall victories in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. And with that new machinery comes a new name for the top class:  Grand Touring Prototype (GTP).

The GTP name hearkens back to a previous “Golden Era” of IMSA prototype competition. From 1981 to 1993, IMSA GTP featured innovative prototypes from a variety of manufacturers. The original GTP era helped to develop what then were emerging technologies such as antilock braking (ABS) and traction control among others, while also placing an emphasis on limiting fuel consumption.

The new GTP class will place a renewed emphasis on fuel economy, sustainability and green initiatives, such as the single-specification hybrid powertrain system to be used by all LMDh cars along with other technologies relevant to participating manufacturers. The GTP moniker also is appropriate given that each car will carry significant design cues and styling to closely align with each manufacturer’s road-going products.

If you were a race fan in the 1980s and early ‘90s as I was, you probably have fond memories of those epic IMSA GTP race cars, drivers and teams,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “We are on the precipice of an amazing new era of GTP competition, with a real opportunity to eclipse the previous success of GTP. There is so much for IMSA fans – and really endurance sports car racing fans around the world – to look forward to in the coming years, led by the introduction of the new GTP class here at Daytona in 2023.”

In addition to unveiling the new name, IMSA also unveiled a new GTP logo as part of a news conference this evening at Daytona International Speedway. The logo – which will be displayed on all GTP cars beginning next season – is a modernized take on the previous generation IMSA GTP logo.

Several manufacturers already have confirmed participation in the GTP class beginning next season with new LMDh prototypes. Additional manufacturers with LMDh and LMH race cars are believed to be in the pipeline as well.

Porsche recently became the first LMDh manufacturer to publicly unveil its new GTP race car, with others slated to roll out throughout the year.

The 2022 WeatherTech Championship gets under way this weekend with the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona. Live NBC network television coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, Jan. 29.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/27/22 8:29 p.m.

Next, bring back GTO and GTU. 


jh36 GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/27/22 8:44 p.m.

That's cool. It's great to see those letters again. I like "hearing" John D "speak". It's great to have him directly in the IMSA mix now. Positive. Very cool. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/27/22 8:47 p.m.

Yup, it's very cool seeing those letters together again. Amazing how something seemingly so simple can conjure up such emotions.

For those who didn't click the link to read the entire piece, here's our recent interview with John. (And looks like we might have to do a follow-up already.)


dannyp84 Reader
1/27/22 10:03 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Next, bring back GTO and GTU. 


And bring back a rotary car to dominate those classes again ..

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/27/22 10:16 p.m.

In reply to dannyp84 :

I'll relay that message. :)

WoodyatTR GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/28/22 9:21 a.m.

Yes! Bring back the rotaries!Mid-Ohio circa 199

MotorsportsGordon Dork
1/28/22 11:39 a.m.

Good to see it back the name makes perfect sense plus I'm glad to see the name of races out of the prototype name as I was never the biggest fan of that. I reminds me of something Sean heckman mentioned on one of the blunder races which he felt a problem with SportsCar racing was the lack of consistency in class names compared to other racing. We had gtp the wsc,sr,Srp,lmp,dp,dpi

thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/28/22 4:40 p.m.
WoodyatTR said:

Yes! Bring back the rotaries!Mid-Ohio circa 199

Top tier racing needs more angry bees!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/28/22 8:19 p.m.

And some related pics from Daytona today. 

jb229 New Reader
1/29/22 7:35 p.m.

In reply to WoodyatTR :

Sadly, Mazda left at the end of '21 and probably won't be coming back any time soon.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/31/22 10:44 a.m.

And those who joined us on our Midnight Tour got to hear about GTP from IMSA President John Doonan. 

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