IMSA Prototype Lites – the development series for ALMS – has made a change to the Lites 2 category with the goal of widening the spectrum of competition and creating more opportunity throughout the 14-race schedule.
While the Lites 1 class will remain unchanged, the Lites 2 class will make a switch from the previous formula, which featured the West Race Cars chassis with Kawasaki power. The 2013 Lites 2 package will adopt the current Lites 1 Élan DP02 chassis, fitted with a production-based Mazda 2.3-liter engine. The Mazda package will produce in excess of 200hp and speeds similar to the previous formula at approximately 160mph. As with all Mazda-powered competition vehicles, the power will be durable and affordable for Lites 2 competitors with a full-season between rebuilds readily achievable.
This new alternative aligns with the goals of the IMSA Development Series by offering affordability with close competition, as well as ensuring that the competition is truly "Powered by Mazda."
"The addition of cost-effective 2.3-liter Élan DP02 cars to our established Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda grid is a perfect complement to the existing Élan DP02 L1 category," said series director Steven Sewell. "The balance of performance between the two classes makes for an ideal evolution through the junior prototype ranks while the commonality of manufacturers in series partners Élan and Mazda makes for even greater economies for all competitors. For the fans, the cars will obviously appear similar, but the engine notes will be entirely different and class colors will be evident as they are throughout the IMSA and ALMS series."
The 2013 season will also see further recognition of the full Masters Class podiums at every event. Alongside returning 2012 Masters Champions Jon Brownson (Eurosport Racing) and Alan Wilzig (Wilzig Racing/Performance Tech), qualifying drivers can expect to receive full Masters honors in each class at every race in terms of a full podium ceremony, and honors at the Championship Celebration at the end of the season.