IMSA attracting growing interest from prospective new entrants

A walk through the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring paddock revealed a number of remarkable sights during IMSA’s biggest weekend of the year.

The change in the event’s format, which no longer includes the FIA World Endurance Championship, has opened up a vast amount of space to host all levels of IMSA’s training categories and its premier class which headlines the event.

Among the record 245 transporters that fill the long run from Turn 16 to Turn 17 for teams and key support partners, and the 190 cars that comprise the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by Michelin, Porsche Carrera Cup North America, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series, Michelin Pilot Challenge and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, an interesting array of team owners — those who are not currently involved with IMSA — from the NTT IndyCar Series, Indy NXT, NASCAR Cup Series, FIA WEC, and SRO Americas could all be spotted.


Representatives from the Roush Fenway Keselowski Cup team were among those seen or spoken to in the paddock across Wednesday and Thursday, and although he wouldn’t be drawn on the list of visitors, IMSA President John Doonan did confirm the series’ executive leadership has been busy meeting with those who’ve come to Sebring to explore joining IMSA in 2025.

“Since arriving back in Sebring after being at HSR’s season-opening event last weekend, my leadership colleagues and I have been in constant meetings with teams,” Doonan told RACER.

“It’s current teams looking to expand into different classes, potential new teams interested in joining the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and joining the Michelin Pilot Challenge series. The paddock here is almost as full as we can make it, but we welcome anyone who wants to be a part of IMSA’s unprecedented growth.”

IMSA President John Doonan likes what he’s seeing. Michael Levitt/Motorsport Images

Doonan is feeling bullish about the state of motor racing as a whole. With 18 manufacturers investing in IMSA and competing with their various machines across its categories, and a packed schedule of events at Sebring being witnessed by tens of thousands of fans, the series finds itself in a place filled with positives and strength.

“Motorsports is at a very special moment,” he said. “With what appears to be an incredible growth mode, both from a fan attendance standpoint, from a participation standpoint by teams and drivers, and certainly from an auto manufacturer and partnership standpoint. Obviously, I’m a bit biased, but all of this is no more evident than it is here.

“We’re proud and so excited to have the grid sizes, the fan reaction we’re experiencing right now, the partners using IMSA to tell their story and promote their brands. and we’re going to do everything that we can to take really good care of this moment, and help it grow for years and years to come. And we’re super proud of the interests that we’re seeing with teams from here in North America as well as from around the world who have come to Sebring to sit down with us.”

Story originally appeared on Racer