In 2006, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) unveiled the Lites class for single-seat prototype race cars. This series ran as a support event to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). It served as a training ground for drivers and teams that wanted to move up to the ALMS.

There were three categories (L1, L2 and L3) in the first season. The weight of these sports racers and engine type and displacement determined their classification.

The series underwent changes in 2017 and was renamed IMSA Prototype Challenge, Presented by Mazda. IMSA officials also introduced a new category. The championship had two classes:

  • Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) These cars were new for 2017. There are a number of race car manufacturers producing chassis' for this category: Ligier, Ave-Riley and Norma. All vehicles are powered by a 5.0-liter 420-horsepower V8 Nissan motor to keep costs down.
  • Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) These cars competed in the Lites 1 category. They use an Elan Motorsport Technologies DP-02 chassis. This sports racer is powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda MZR engine mounted to a six-speed sequential transmission. The Elan DP02 weighs 1,425-pounds with the driver.

The 2018 season featured seven race weekends, each contest one-hour, forty-five minutes in length. The year's final race at Sebring International Raceway is a non-championship event.

  • January 6 Daytona International Speedway
  • March 16 Sebring International Raceway
  • April 22 Barber Motorsports Park
  • July 8 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
  • August 18 Virginia International Raceway
  • October 12 Road Atlanta
  • November 9 - Sebring International Raceway

Round four of the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge, Presented by Mazda, was held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Drivers would compete in a one-hour, forty-five-minute contest around the ten turn 2.459-mile road course.

The IMSA Prototype Challenge series used a split start, with the faster LMP3 cars receiving the green flag first. Leading the field of twenty-four competitors into Canadian Tire Motosport Park's first corner is the pole-sitter, Leo Lamelas, in the No. 7 Charles Wicht Racing Ligier JS P3. On the inside of Lamelas is the third-place starter and current points leader, Kris Wright, driving the No. 30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier.
LMP3 drivers Austin McCusker and TJ Fischer won the event for Forty 7 Motorsports. Fischer qualified the No. 47 Norma M30 in the fourth spot. During his stint, he moved into second place. The team's pit stop occurred under a full course yellow, allowing McCusker to move into the top spot. He maintained a conservative pace for the remainder of the contest and the pair was rewarded with the victory.
Qualifying third fastest for round four of the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge was the No. 30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 driven by the LMP3 points leader Kris Wright and Yann Clairay. Wright moved the car into second place on the opening lap, only to lose the position during pit stops. Clairay chased the winners for the final twenty-four-laps but fell short by 19.237-seconds.
James French and Howard Jacobs weren't the first MPC team to cross the finish line, but they inherited the win when their teammates were penalized. The No. 77 Performance Tech Motorsports Elan DP-02, shared by French and Jacobs, qualified twenty-third overall and seventh in class. However, that seemed of little consequence as they eventually moved into second place, which would secure the victory.
The LMP3 podium for round four of the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the center are the winners from Forty 7 Motorsports, Austin McCusker and TJ Fischer. Standing on the left side of the rostrum are the runner-ups, Kris Wright and Yann Clairay. The result allowed Wright to maintain his points lead. Completing the podium are Max Hanratty and the local racer Garett Grist.
The second wave of Mazda Prototype Challenge drivers enters the first turn at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the top sport is the No. 31 Eurosport Racing Elan DP-02 of Michael Chlumecky, who qualified on the pole by a margin of 1.189-seconds. Behind Chlumecky is the third-place starter, Bart Wolf, driving the No. 28 Wolf Motorsports Elan DP-02. On the outside of Chlumecky is the other front-row qualifier, Dr. Robert Masson.
The No. 34 Eurosport Racing Elan DP-02 was piloted by Jon Brownson. Brownson did not qualify and started the race twenty-fourth overall. He was one of the No. 11 Masson Spine Institute Elan DP-02 penalty beneficiaries. They received the penalty when it was determined that Kyle Masson did not record the minimum forty minutes of drive time. Brownson would finish second and lead the class standings.
Finishing third overall and in the LMP3 category was the No. 3 Extreme Speed Sports Ligier JS P3. Sharing the car were Max Hanratty and the local driver, Garett Grist. The pair qualified on the outside of the front row, but a poor start saw them lose a position on lap-1. As teams cycled through their pit stops, they moved up and down the race order. However, the pair was in third place for much of the contest.
Paul LaHaye, the driver of the No. 36 ONE Motorsports, prepared Elan DP-02, had his best result of the season when he finished in the runner-up spot at Sebring International Raceway. He was the twentieth fastest and fifth in the MPC category in the qualifying session at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. LaHaye received the checkered flag fourth in class, but the Masson penalty gave him the final spot on the podium.
The MPC podium for round four of the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Standing in the center are Kyle and Dr. Robert Masson, who crossed the finish line first in class but were later penalized. On the left side of the rostrum are the winners from Performance Tech Motorsports James French and Howard Jacobs. Finishing second and not on the podium was Jon Brownson.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARLAPSRETIREMENTS
1LMP3A. McCusker / T. FischerNorma M3071-
2LMP3K. Wright / Y. ClairayLigier JS P371-
3LMP3M. Hanratty / G. GristLigier JS P371-
4LMP3D. Baker / Z. RobichonLigier JS P371-
5LMP3R. Hodes / S. RayhallLigier JS P371-
6LMP3M. Dicken / C. LewisLigier JS P371-
7LMP3C. Cassels / T. HindmanLigier JS P370-
8LMP3J. Garrett / R. FoleyLigier JS P370-
9LMP3H. Zellers / J. HowardNorma M3070-
10LMP3K. Grant / D. GrantLigier JS P370-
11LMP3B. Baker / J. HeylenLigier JS P370-
12MPCH. Jacobs / J. FrenchElan DP-0270-
13MPCJ. BrownsonElan DP-0269-
14LMP3C. Chi / M. GidleyNorma M3069-
15MPCP. LaHayeElan DP-0268-
16MPCS. DawesElan DP-0268-
17LMP3K. Koch / J. JancoLigier JS P367-
18MPCM. ChlumeckyElan DP-0264-
19LMP3L. WillseyLigier JS P334Did Not Finish
20MPCD. HouseElan DP-0216Did Not Finish
21MPCB. Wolf / T. OttisElan DP-0269Penalty
22MPCR. Masson / K. MassonElan DP-0270Penalty
23LMP3R. Pflucker / A. SimoneNorma M306Did Not Finish
24LMP3R. De Angelis / L. LamelasLigier JS P370Penalty


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