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The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship kicks off Jan. 29-30 at Daytona Int'l Speedway. (Jason Reasin photo)

IMSA NOTES: Television Package & More

BRASELTON, Ga. — NBC Sports will present more than 80 hours of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship coverage across NBC, USA Network and Peacock next season, including comprehensive coverage of the 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30.

NBC Sports’ 2022 IMSA schedule is highlighted by 12 hours of NBC network coverage – the most since NBC Sports acquired the rights in 2018 – as well as nearly 45 hours of coverage on USA Network, which begins its first season as the cable home of IMSA.

Peacock will serve as the streaming home of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with live, flag-to-flag coverage of all races airing on NBC and USA Network, as well as exclusive streaming coverage for portions of a variety of endurance races, including the Rolex 24, Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

Including coverage of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge series, NBC Sports will present more than 100 hours of IMSA coverage.

“IMSA continues to gather momentum, with new race cars and expanded manufacturer participation coming into the series over the next couple of years,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “NBC Sports’ coverage of IMSA has contributed substantially to our success over the last three seasons with record viewership, and we expect our partnership will include further growth next year and well into the future.”

• The path for Bronze-rated drivers to earn an invitation to the 24 Hours of Le Mans became clearer with IMSA’s introduction of the Trueman Bronze Cup for Le Mans Prototype 2 and Akin Bronze Cup for GT Daytona starting next season.

The Bronze Cup honor in each class continues the legacy of the Jim Trueman and Bob Akin awards that have been presented annually to IMSA drivers for more than a decade.

Starting next year, full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship drivers rated Bronze on the FIA Driver Categorization list may compete for the awards. The Trueman Bronze Cup and Akin Bronze Cup winners at the end of the season will each receive an invitation to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans the following year.

“Jim Trueman and Bob Akin were legends of sports car racing and it’s important that IMSA keeps honoring their memories with these awards,” said IMSA President John Doonan. “We are adjusting the name of the awards to include ‘Bronze,’ which highlights the significance for Bronze-rated drivers to vie for an automatic entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race where most drivers dream of competing.”

Bronze-rated drivers will benefit in their pursuit of the Trueman and Akin Bronze Cups from IMSA’s decision to add a cumulative 60 minutes to the weekend practice schedules at selected WeatherTech Championship events.

• IMSA and Motul jointly announced an extension of the partnership through 2026.

“This is our fifth year involved in IMSA,” said Nolan Browning, marketing manager for Motul. “Coming to the states, I joked for a while that a lot of people thought we made track banners because of how prevalent our Motul signage is at race tracks. You go to Le Mans and the track is covered in Motul signs because the brand awareness is so strong. I always say all those eyeballs seeing our track signage is great, but we also need to explain what our brand does.”

Among other initiatives, Motul sponsors the Motul Pole Award and the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

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