In 2006, the 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. It is now called the IMSA Prototype Challenge.
Initially, there were three categories (Lites 1, Lites 2 and Lites 3). The weight of these sports racers and engine type and displacement determined their classification.
However, the series has evolved over time and underwent changes in 2019. The Mazda Prototype Challenge category, which has been part of the series since 2006, was dropped. Cars competing in this class are manufactured to Le Mans Prototype 3 specifications.
The Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) category was introduced in 2017. There are a number of race car manufacturers producing chassis' for this category: Ligier, Duqueine, Ginetta and Adess. They are equipped with Michelin tires and powered by a 5.6-liter naturally aspirated Nismo V8 motor, which produces over 400-horsepower. All vehicles must weigh no less than 950-kg.
The 2022 IMSA Prototype Challenge driver champion will earn a $100,000 IMSA credit applicable toward entry fees for any 2023 WeatherTech Championship event. If there are co-champions, the $100,000 award will be divided equally among them.
The 2022 season features five race weekends, each contest one-hour, forty-five minutes in length. The exception is Daytona, which is three hours.
Round three of the 2022 IMSA Prototype Challenge was held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Drivers compete in a one-hour, forty-five-minute contest around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|The start of round three of the 2022 IMSA Prototype Challenge at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Leading the field of ten competitors into corner one is the pole-sitter, Tonis Kasemets, driving the No. 40 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320. On the outside of Kasemets is the other front-row qualifier, Memo Gidley driving the No. 23 JDC Motorsports Duqueine D08. Behind leaders is the No. 44 Ligier S P320 of Tony Ave.|
|Tonis Kasemets has a string of championships; his first was the 2000 SCCA Formula Continental National title. Kasemets results in round three suggest that he may be on his way to another crown. He won the season's opening round at Daytona and did the same at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Kasemets started from the pole and as a result of his victory, he now leads the standings by 120-points.|
|Finishing in the runner-up position was the No. 14 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 shared by Lance Willsey and Canadian Parker Thompson. Willsey qualified the car eighth fastest and started the race. Unfortunately, they were given a stop-and-go penalty for leaving the pits too soon after the driver change. Thompson stormed through the field and finished 0.512-seconds behind Tonis Kasemets.|
|Antony Mantella was one of three competitors driving the one-hour, forty-five-minute contest solo. The other two were Tonis Kasemets and Tony Ave. During the qualifying session, Mantella recorded the sixth-fastest time in the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08. He moved up the race order and crossed the finish line in fourth. However, the US RaceTronics entry was penalized and Mantella inherited the final spot on the podium.|
|Patrick Kujala and his teammate Brian Thienes' title aspirations took a big hit in round three at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The pair, who co-drove the No. 77 US RaceTronis Ligier JS P320, were gridded seventh for the start of the race and received the checkered flag in third place. Regrettably, during the post-race inspection, the plank on the bottom of the car exceeded the wear limit and they were moved to last place.|
|How the 2022 IMSA Prototype Challenge podium for round three at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park looked before the post-race inspection. In the center is the race winner and championship leader, Tonis Kasemets. On the left side of the rostrum are the runner-ups, Lance Willsey and Parker Thompson. The final position on the podium is occupied by Brian Thienes and Patrick Kujala, who were later moved to last.|
|1||1||Tonis Kasemets||Ligier JS P320||67||-|
|2||8||Thompson / Willsey||Ligier JS P320||67||-|
|3||6||Anthony Mantella||Duqueine D08||67||-|
|4||4||Grant / Dickerson||Duqueine D08||66||-|
|5||2||Gidley / Koreiba||Duqueine D08||66||-|
|6||5||Crone / Rabe||Ligier JS P320||66||-|
|7||9||Staikos / Zellers||Ligier JS P320||64||-|
|8||10||Scullen / Formal||Duqueine D08||44||Did Not Finish|
|9||3||Tony Ave||Ligier JS P320||24||Did Not Finish|
|10||7||Thienes / Kujala||Ligier JS P320||67||-|
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