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. To keep costs down, all vehicles are powered by a 5.0-liter 420-horsepower V8 Nissan motor.
  • Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) – These are the cars that competed in the Lites 1 category. They use an Elan Motorsport Technologies DP02 chassis. This sports racer is powered by a 2.0-liter Mazda MZR engine. The Elan DP02 weighs 1,425-pounds with the driver.

    The season opened at the historic 12-Hours of Sebring. It was followed by Barber Motorsports Park, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Trois-Rivieres and concluded at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Man weekend. During a race weekend, drivers compete in two forty-five-minute races.

    Rounds seven and eight of the new IMSA Performance Challenge series were held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Drivers would battle in two forty-five minute contests around the 2-459–mile ten-turn road course.

  • The start of round eight for the 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge series. Leading the field of seventeen cars into corner one is the pole-sitter, Kenton Koch driving the P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3. Behind Koch, is the LMP3 point’s and second fastest qualifier, Colin Thompson in a Norma M30 prepared by the Kelly-Moss Road and Race. Behind Thompson is the quickest Mazda Prototype Challenge competitor, Kyle Masson.
    Although challenged by the LMP3 point’s leader, Colin Thompson, Kenton Koch set the pace at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The pressure was taken off Koch when Thompson had an accident in the second practice session. Driving the P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3, he started on the pole and led flag-to-flag in both races. Despite missing the opening round at Sebring, Koch closed the gaps to within eight-points of the leader, Thompson.
    The previous weekend at Watkins Glen International, Kris Wright driving the JDC Motorsports Elan DP02 scored his first series victory and also collected a third place finish. Wright would not experience the same success at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He started the weekend’s first race seventh in the Mazda Prototype Challenge category but an incident at the outset resulted in a tenth place finish. On Sunday, he achieved the same result.
    This weekend, the LMP3 Masters Championship category for drivers 45 years of age or older, was led by Naj Husain. Husain driving the Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 qualified fifth overall and won the Masters’ category in the weekend’s first event. On Sunday, he finished fifth overall and took another class victory. The two wins padded his lead in the Master’s championship chase.
    Round seven’s LMP3 podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. On the left is the runner-up and class point’s leader, Colin Thompson and to the right, is Naj Husain who finished third and won the Masters category. Between these two is the winner, Kenton Koch. This was Koch’s second victory of the season – he missed the first two races.
    Early in the weekend, Colin Thompson traded the fastest lap times with Kenton Koch. In the second practice session, Thompson crashed the Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 causing severe damage. The crew was forced to make an overnight parts run to Indianapolis. The Norma was repaired in time for the first race. Thompson scored a pair of runner-up finishes and maintained his lead in the championship.
    The weekend’s results were mixed for Canadian resident, Michael Chlumecky. In round seven, Chlumecky racing the Eurosport Racing Elan DP02 qualified fourth overall and second in the Mazda Prototype Challenge category. At the checkered flag, he was the runner-up and also captured the Masters’ class victory. The following day, Chlumecky did not fare as well. A late race spin dropped him to in seventh in class.
    John Bronson driving the No.34 Eurosport Racing prepared Elan DP02 started Saturday’s race sixth overall and third in the Mazda Prototype Challenge class. Bronson maintained his position to the conclusion of the contest. On Sunday, Bronson benefited from a late race spin by his teammate, Michael Chlumecky to secure the Masters’ class win.
    It was another dominant weekend for Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) point’s leader, Kyle Masson. Heading into the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Masson had won all but a single event – race five at Watkins Glen, he spun off course. Both days, Masson was the fastest qualifier, finished third overall and led the MPC category flag-to-flag. At the end of the weekend, his lead in the championship grew to sixty-two points.
    Joel Janco’s first race of the 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge season was the previous weekend at Watkins Glen where he collected tenth and eleventh place finishes in the Mazda Prototype Challenge category. On Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Janco, the driver of the JDC Motorsports Elan DP02 was ninth in class but the following day he grabbed the final spot on the class podium.
    Saturday’s Mazda Prototype Challenge class podium. In the center is Kyle Masson of Performance Tech Motorsports who took his sixth victory of the season. To Masson’s right is, Michael Chlumecky who finished in the runner-up position which matched his best result at Watkins Glen and Barber Motorsports Park. Completing the podium is Jon Brownson – Chlumecky’s teammate at Eurosport Racing.

    1LMP3Kenton KochLigier JS P329-
    2LMP3Colin ThompsonNorma M3029-
    3MPCKyle MassonElan DP0229-
    4MPCMichal ChlumeckyElan DP0229-
    5LMP3Naj HusainLigier JS P329-
    6MPCJon BrownsonElan DP0229-
    7MPCRobert MassonElan DP0229-
    8MPCStuart RettieElan DP0229-
    9MPCMichael WattElan DP0229-
    10LMP3Matthew DickenLigier JS P329-
    11MPCHoward JacobsElan DP0227-
    12MPCStephen DawesElan DP0222-
    13MPCGary GibsonElan DP0214-
    14MPCJoel JancoElan DP029-
    15MPCKris WrightElan DP021-
    16LMP3Paul FixAve-Riley AR21-
    17LMP3Juan "JC" PerezLigier JS P30-
    18MPCTazio OttisElan DP020-
    19LMP3Robby FoleyLigier JS P30Did Not Start

    1LMP3Kenton KochLigier JS P332-
    2LMP3Colin ThompsonNorma M3032-
    3MPCKyle MassonElan DP0232-
    4LMP3Naj HusainLigier JS P332-
    5MPCJon BrownsonElan DP0231-
    6MPCJoel JancoElan DP0231-
    7MPCGary GibsonElan DP0231-
    8MPCTazio OttisElan DP0231-
    9MPCRobert MassonElan DP0231-
    10LMP3Paul FixAve-Riley AR231-
    11LMP3Matthew DickenLigier JS P331-
    12MPCMichael WattElan DP0231-
    13MPCMichal ChlumeckyElan DP0229-
    14MPCHoward JacobsElan DP0229-
    15MPCStuart RettieElan DP0225-
    16MPCKris WrightElan DP020-
    17MPCStephen DawesElan DP020-
    18LMP3Juan "JC" PerezLigier JS P30Did Not Start

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