Additional LMP2s Likely for 2018; Mixed Views on Class Direction

Photo: John Dagys

Additional LMP2 cars are likely to be on the grid of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, with multiple teams evaluating new and expanded programs, although expressing mixed views on the platform’s future direction.

Prototype Challenge squads BAR1 Motorsports and Performance Tech Motorsports could move up to the Prototype class, while JDC-Miller Motorsports, which made the jump from PC ranks this year, is targeting an expansion into a two-car LMP2 program.

Other teams, including Starworks Motorsport, are also working on potential efforts, which could lead to significant growth over the current three full-season Gibson-powered cars taking part this year.

The influx of prospective LMP2 entries has been largely driven by the demise of the spec prototype class at the end of the year, which has left teams such as Brian Alder’s BAR1 organization looking for a new place to race.

Alder said they’re currently evaluating options in both the Prototype and GT Daytona classes, although the team has already had discussions with two LMP2 constructors during the recent Watkins Glen event.

“We’re definitely looking at where we’re going to land next year,” Alder told Sportscar365.

“Obviously the Ligier and Oreca are very strong cars. Whichever way we go we’d be happy. We just have to see what the best deal is out there and what the makes the most sense for our program long-term.”

The longtime PC entrant is in favor of having a separate LMP2 class, which has been a hot topic in the paddock in recent weeks.

While IMSA President Scott Atherton has downplayed the prospects of split DPi and LMP2 classes in the short-term, Alder said it would go a long way in helping secure customers for 2018.

“Having a separate class would help us with the decision because we’d have a chance, rather than running around and fighting for fifth place, you could actually fight for [class] wins,” he said.

“I feel it’s a no-brainer and they should have immediately gone to that for next year. It’s a very logical next step.

“They have a home for the LMP3s right now and this gives [them] another Pro-Am category, which is always what IMSA has been about.

“To lose a Pro-Am class at the top level, I feel it would hurt the series.”

JDC-Miller team owner John Church, however, strongly disagrees, stressing that DPis and LMP2s should remain under a single class as is the case this season.

“We came here to race for the overall [win], we don’t want another PC class,” Church told Sportscar365. “We want to be recognized with the top class.

“I don’t know why anybody would want to split. Nobody liked the PC class anyway. Why would we go back to that? It seems pretty dumb.

“I think if those guys come into this class they’ll see it differently once they’re here. I think it’s perfect the way it is.”

The Minnesota-based team has been the top-performing LMP2 team this season, with its Oreca 07 Gibson having posted a pair of second place finishes after leading both at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

However, fellow LMP2 teams haven’t tasted as much success, with Visit Florida Racing’s third place result in the Rolex 24 at Daytona having been the only other podium finish for a global-spec prototype so far this year.

While having outlined ambitions of competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, and also looking to add a second Oreca LMP2 car to its lineup, JDC’s Church said he’s been pleased with the current situation in the top class.

“I think we’re getting closer [in the balance],” he said. “Honestly I give [IMSA] a lot of credit. I don’t have a lot of complaints with the BoP. I think they’re doing a good job.”

Visit Florida Racing team owner Troy Flis, however, doesn’t feel every LMP2 car has an equal shot of mixing it up for the overall win, with his Riley Mk. 30 Gibson having struggled to match the pace of the Oreca all season.

Per IMSA’s agreement with the ACO, LMP2 cars serve as the performance baseline in the class, with no Balance of Performance adjustments permitted to be made to the global-spec prototypes.

“It will be tough to race for an overall championship with a LMP2 car in my opinion,” Flis told Sportscar365.

“We saw that the first race of the season. We were hoping that maybe IMSA would be able to do some BoP and get that in control but it doesn’t look like it’s gotten there yet.

“With the rules, we can’t do much to our cars. It’s not like the DP where we can go back and work on it a little bit and change some things around. These cars you have to run to the rulebook.”

Flis, who is weighing his options for next year, including a move to a DPi car, said the future makeup of the category is in IMSA’s hands.

“I know there’s a lot of rumors going around the paddock about what they could do and what they should do,” he said. “They’re the sanctioning body and they’ve got to make the decision.”

95 Comments

  1. oops

    July 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Flis: “I bought the wrong car and it’s everyone else’s fault I’m slow.”

    Also, glad to see Starworks mentioned in this article. Can’t wait for next May when Peter Baron says he won’t be on the grid again. It’s a tradition at this point.

    • Pete

      July 12, 2017 at 8:41 am

      “It’s a tradition at this point.”

      You know, when you work with people that don’t follow sportscar racing, it’s difficult to explain why this made you laugh out loud at your computer.

      • rissas dad

        July 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

        i laughed out loud as well, good posts “oops” and “Pete”

        • Gaucherie

          July 12, 2017 at 11:16 am

          Totally agree. Sportscar life would be so much less funny without the likes of Peter Baron and Kevin Buckler around to bring the yakety-sax action.

    • Kyle

      July 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      But he’s 95% of the way there! Just needs the funding.

  2. Pierce

    July 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

    JDC and Rebellion have it right
    PR1 is working on a consistent lineup
    VFR just picked the wrong car

    I see nothing wrong with the LMP2s besides the Riley chassis.

    • slow

      July 12, 2017 at 9:24 am

      I got crucified on here/racer in December/January for saying that the under developed P3 car was a bad sign for the P2 car. Got told how little I knew about racing for thinking that Riley might not be developing the best P2. Guess I wasn’t wrong there.

    • Matt

      July 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      What I don’t understand is since the WEC spec P2’s are supposed to be competitive against each other and pretty much equal, why not just let Riley catch up? It’s not anyone else’s money going into updating the car except Riley so who the hell cares? And if they’re not going to let them catch up from an obvious performance deficient, they should let another manufacturer join.

      • Gturner38

        July 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        The WEC cars are not supposed to be spec or assumed to be equal. To let them catch up would mean running them outside the ACO homologation, which splits IMSA from the rest of the world in LMP2.

        • Matt

          July 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

          Right so it basically leaves the class at 3 cars which is really lame because nobody is going to buy a Riley that they can only update once every 4 years. They really shouldn’t have limited the # of manufacturers in the first place. I understand they want more manufacturers in P1-L but it’s not going to happen unless the class gets cost capped.

  3. jason

    July 12, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Love the quote from Mr. Church: “I don’t know why anybody would want to split. Nobody liked the PC class anyway. Why would we go back to that? It seems pretty dumb.

    Also I agree with the comment about Mr. Flis. He made the choice to buy a Riley, but lets say that its too bad they don’t have a similar return policy like retail stores do nowadays.

    • Matt

      July 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Flis should’ve bought a Caddy in the first place, or a Dallara. Idk how he thought it was smart using a constructor that hadn’t built a car in 15 years.

      • NaBUru38

        July 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

        The Prototype class has less than a dozen entries. Splitting it in two would be ridiculous.

  4. Bruce

    July 12, 2017 at 8:35 am

    A Pro-pro line up could most defiantly win the series in a spec P2 car. Flis unfortunatly made a crucial mistake in going down the Riley path, possibly made sense (to him) at the time with a potential private Mazda deal to be had. If his team were in Oreca equipment and able to have similar results that JDC has enjoyed he would be singing a different tune.

    • Bakkster

      July 12, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Heck, JDC would have won at Mosport by a solid margin if they hadn’t made the wrong tire choice during the final caution. Although Goikhberg is a ‘sneaky silver’ rather than a true amateur.

      • Andres

        July 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        Amateur team, amateur drivers, amateur car, how many times it has to be said, LMP2 is amateur, it cannot be in the top class if you have the likes of Cadillac or Nissan out there with pro line-ups, most of all, that mistake proves my point, and a DPI as it was with no restriction is way better than a spec LMP2 that runs detuned to not explode, and plus, that is the cause of so much BOP

        • Mookie

          July 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm

          What mistake? Tire gamble? Shit happens.

          The WTR Caddy cutting off and wrecking the way they did was far more amateur than anything JDC did all race.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Bruce, hindsight is always 20/20.

      It makes bloggers look like geniuses.

      However, NOBODY was talking about the Riley’s deficiencies after it finished in third place (behind the WTR and AXR Cadillacs and ahead of all the other prototypes) at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year.

      • lol

        July 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

        Yes they were. It was noticeably slower in a straight line than everyone else. LOL dude, try not to be so transparently obtuse all the time.

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm

          LOL: Transparency obtruse is one tactic Andy “Grand-Am” Flinn uses to Troll people(s).

          • Jeff Wagner

            July 12, 2017 at 9:12 pm

            I am sorry Andy, I retract this. I had not yet seen your reply to “The Zerex Special” comment I put up yesterday! I am sorry, Jeff

  5. Jj

    July 12, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I just skipped over the part about starworks, becaue we all know how that will play out

  6. Justin Porter

    July 12, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Road and Track actually had published an “hour by hour” article that followed exclusively the Ben Keating Riley at Le Mans and it made for an interesting read as the team apparently had recurring issues with the Gibson engine vibrating away its alternator belt.

    No, Troy Flis, the issue is not the BoP. The issue is that Riley produced a car that doesn’t have the speed to justify its fragility. I understand that you got left at the altar by Mazda, but let’s not pretend that’s IMSA’s fault.

    • someone

      July 12, 2017 at 9:27 am

      I mean is anyone surprised at the shortcomings of the Riley? They haven’t produced a carbon monoco type prototype since the early 2000’s. I feel awful for Multimatic since they had to partner up to even get a shot at a p2 contract.

      • Jeff Wagner

        July 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        You spoke the 100% truth very well. The proof is well laid out with facts to back it up. Multimatic made a top notch P2 Lola. It shows how far behind Riley fell building those tubed frame “Gems” for the “Other” series after their ALMS championship.

    • Andres

      July 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Is even IMSA fault to have united the DPI with LMP2, for all the reasons i said in a comment above, even with the Oreca 07 being a nice chassis and all, the problem here is the Gibson engine

      • Jeff Wagner

        July 12, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        Those years post merger were unfortunately necessary. They had to give teams time to prepare to buy new equipment. Remember the the buy out happened very quickly and right before the season! The thing that made it so unbearable was the obvious fact there was no way they were going to let their golden cars lose to P2 cars.

      • thomas

        July 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        What problems with the Gibson engine? Oh yeah there are none

  7. juneracer

    July 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

    there is a place for Am’s in P cars, its LMP3. for endurance its non-prototype GTD. i agree with some of the above comments that we need to ‘try’ and keep Dpi Pro. it pollutes the legitimacy of the top prototype class, and the series, to split it off to a Pro and Pro-Am format. you only do this is you’re looking to fill the field. it detracts from the overall ‘show’ (IMSAs purpose), it doesn’t add to it. it creates traffic the GTLMs have to suffer through…isn’t GTLM really the show anyway?

    • Bigbro

      July 12, 2017 at 9:38 am

      We are at the verge of getting a prototype series with 20
      or more cars and all pro drivers. We have been waiting for this
      since the Can-Am died. Do not split the prototype class.
      Just be patient and in 2019 this will be the best racing series
      in our lifetime.

      • Andres

        July 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Oh so you think seriously that JDC and PR1 are top tier teams with top tier drivers?? don’t make a joke of your comment, i have nothing against them, but they not deserve to be called pro teams and be in a pro class

    • Kurt

      July 12, 2017 at 9:44 am

      There’s a reason there’s no Pro/Am GTLM programs, I’m sorry to say but if you want to be competitive P class is no different. GTD is perfect for these guys, they are well sorted customer cars that all get BOP’d to eachother, with enforced pro/am lineup. Plus the racing is likely better for the Am’s and I imagine more fun!

      • Mike S.

        July 12, 2017 at 10:57 am

        Reason why GTLM isn’t growing and not the show it used to be. So the P2 team that wants to go to LeMans gets all pro lineup here in IMSA. What then just recruit the Am for the 24 hour race since it’s Pro/Am there? There isn’t all pro now in P class. Where are all these pros coming from anyway. From a tree somewhere. Just in a line ready to get gobbled up.

        • jason

          July 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

          GTLM is better with the 4 manufacturers we got PLUS Risi and Falken who are missed. It would help if Dodge Viper stuck around. Riley was doing much better with that than the current LMP2 model.

          IMSA does need to look at getting GTLM back to double digit grid numbers in 2018. Maybe they can throw a bone to Lexus or the Shank Acura guys to upgrade the GT3 cars.

        • Andres

          July 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm

          Is meant to be pro, look at AXR or WTR, all pro drivers, and now with the retirement of Ed Brown it all comes out, P class if for pro drivers, not amateurs

          • Mike S.

            July 13, 2017 at 2:47 am

            Eric Curran isn’t Pro btw. He is a great AM with great experience.

      • Travis McBee

        July 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        But hey, there is a Pro Am GTLM though; GTE AM.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 12, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Juneracer, GTLM is stagnant. I don’t see growth there. IMSA will do well to see Risi return to the fold. That’s about it.

      • Jeff Wagner

        July 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        Andy Flinn says: GTLM is stagnant. I know to you It isn’t as good as GTD and they aren’t all on Continental Tires so it doesn’t excite you very much, but Andy I see through the Trolling and I know you feel deep down GTLM is GREAT!

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 12, 2017 at 9:13 pm

          I am sorry Andy, I retract this. I had not yet seen your reply to “The Zerex Special” comment I put up yesterday! I am sorry, Jeff

      • Mike S.

        July 13, 2017 at 2:49 am

        Exactly. Nothing doing in GTLM. No gravity there.

  8. Marc

    July 12, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I recognize IMSA has the Truman award for best Am squad. But, why not expand upon that a little – maybe go as far as having a separate podium (like WEC has with LMP1-L) for pro-am lineups? If there are at least 4+ DPi or LMP2 cars on the grid with at least 1 Silver Or Bronze driver per car, give them some recognition after the race. No need for a separate class or to have DPi be all pro and LMP2 be all pro-am. This way a team can field an all pro LMP2 and compete for overall wins (i.e. Rebellion). But, smaller teams dependent upon Ams can still get recognized for their work (regardless of whether or not they use a DPi or LMP2).

    I look at the Bathurst 12 Hours as an example, where I believe the top 3 classes (A-Pro, A-Pro/Am & A-Am/Am; if I remember correctly) all run the same GT3 cars. I found it fascinating when the Ice Breaker Porsche in A-Pro/Am was competing for the overall win towards the end of the race. Granted Bathurst has separate classes, but in reality it’s just giving a nod to different driver lineups in the same class of cars.

    IMSA should just give a little more recognition to lineups running Pro-Am or Am-Am while keeping the DPi and LMP2 BOP’d together. Allow all cars to compete for overall wins but giving an increased nod to cars with less experienced drivers.

    • thomas

      July 12, 2017 at 10:49 am

      i’m happy for there to be 1 trophy for the best placed pro-am but leave it at that. don’t reward mediocrity otherwise you’ll end up with mountain bike podiums where they give 5th place a medal.

      • Marc

        July 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

        True. Though IMSA is already adding an additional podium and trophys/watches as incentives to get some European teams to come over for the 36 Hours of Florida. And these special awards are only for pro-am lineups in LMP2 cars.

    • Matt

      July 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Why do they need an extra podium? You’re telling me some rich accomplished guy racing a prototype is gonna cry because they didn’t have a seperate pro/am class for slow guys? I’d be embarrassed to be part of this pro/am crap personally. I’d rather put my head down and be constantly learning how to be as fast as the pro’s.

      • Tyler

        July 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        You need it for the same reason that so many other forms of sportscar racing has pro-am classes. Because it works in getting entrants. I’m glad we know how you’d feel if you were in these guys situation but the fact of the matter is that clearly your opinions don’t reflect on many of the Am guys joining these series because they keep doing so. And lets not act like being the best ameteur driver isn’t worthy of some recognition. I’m not sure people realize how much practice and preparation time goes in to being a professional driver because they act like these hard working businessmen can just work at it in the race weekend practice sessions and they’ll eventually be on the pace of the pros. The other thing you and other people can’t seem to fathom is that there can be different levels of recognition. Any competitive person can recieve a best Am trophy and still have the drive for overall wins and podiums. It doesn’t make them complacent or feel like they’re the best, it just rewards their significant, if lesser, effort.

  9. Brent

    July 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I’ll be the first to admit I was completely wrong about DPi. I thought it was going to be a joke and LMP2 would suffer. I’m so happy to admit I was wrong. I lost faith in IMSA with the buyout and I’m so happy with where the series has come to. Keep DPi & LMP2 in one class, just have a podium for the top Pro/Am car if needed. But JDC is proving the formula is working.

    Flis just can’t get over the fact the DP’s are gone and he bought the wrong car. If the Riley was a rocket he would be singing a different tune.

    Great articles John, thank you for all your awesome reporting !

    • Mike S.

      July 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Yeah JDC and a slight glimpse of PR1 when they had manufacturer support at Glen. The Riley is garbage and ESM loses a turbo/engine almost every race it seems. It needs to get better but it might take another off-season to sort out. I do buy the spec ACO thing. Can’t do anything to the P2s over there. So how do you fit that with Dpi? Just cross fingers on BoP which for as much love/hate we all have for it is working for now.

      • Andy Flinn

        July 12, 2017 at 5:20 pm

        Mike S., the difference with PR1 at The Glen wasn’t just manufacturer support. It was using a PRO driver. They put Pla in the Ligier LMP2 and the car was IMMEDIATELY competitive with the DPis and other LMP2s.

        You say you buy the spec ACO thing in LMP2 in Europe but it has led to complete domination of WEC LMP2 by Oreca. Dallara and Riley aren’t even represented in the WEC.

        • Andy Flinn doesn't actually watch racing

          July 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

          That was the manufacturer support, Pla is their development driver and was paid by the factory for the car.

          • Andy Flinn

            July 12, 2017 at 10:27 pm

            Actually, I WATCHED Pla put the #52 Ligier on the front row in qualifying (ahead of all the Cadillac DPis) at Watkins Glen. Then I watched an Am driver qualify it around tenth on the prototype grid at Mosport.

            What were YOU watching?

            Twist my response any way you wish. Like I said, the difference is a PRO driver (Pla) in the car.

        • Mike S.

          July 13, 2017 at 3:16 am

          I know Pla factor at Glen as the manufacturer default for that chasis in development but I would say the manufacturere was the better support than Pla who spun twice and cost them a podium. Put Pla and regular TKS in there and you have something. Oh but wait P2 is Pro/Am can’t do that outside of IMSA. I know Pla is good and developed that car but there were engineers there from Ligier that probably helped more than Pla. Riley hasn’t done their homework and should go away in shame that is why no one wants them. Well in number if there are 11 entries in LMP2 at Spa and 8 of them are Orecas yeah good chance Oreca is going to win. The other 2 were Alpine’s and a Ligier. If no one else is there they don’t belong or aren’t bringing a good package. Actually at Le Mans Ligier and Alpine had top 5s and top 10s. There were only a handful of Dallaras and Riley’s. One was in the hands of great drivers of Bleekie and Taylor with Keating as the AM. Now if there was an even number of cars and one dominated then I would say you are correct. But no one or very few are racing the Dallara and Riley’s in the world outside of DPi so there is a small sample. I think at this point the Riley is done outside of Mazda.

          • Andy Flinn

            July 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm

            Mike S., the Alpine/Nissan is just a rebranded Oreca/Gibson. There’s no chassis or engine diversity there.

            Whether Dallara and Riley are represented (or not represented which is currently the case) in WEC LM2, the class is dominated by Oreca.

            Perhaps the Dallara would be as competitive in WEC LMP2. Perhaps it would be as uncompetitive as the Riley.

  10. Doogle -14

    July 12, 2017 at 9:35 am

    If there was a split into two prototype categories; one Pro and one Pro/Am, do you now open yourself up to the sneaky silver debate? I understand the longevity of the class depends on AMs if factories pull the plug, but if you are a talented AM, I would think you would be able to maintain until the Pro gets in. Otherwise aren’t you just in the way?

  11. Jake

    July 12, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Church thinks “they’re (IMSA) getting closer” with balancing DPi vs Spec P2’s? What the hell kind of starement is that? The oreca gibson is at least as fast as the nissan dpi, and easily over a second/lap faster than Cadillac at the glen an ctmp. Doe they honestly think DPis need further slowing down?

    • Hmm

      July 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      The Oreca was about half a second faster than the Cadillac, and 0.079 secs faster than the ESM Nissan at Mosport.

    • Spencer Maclean

      July 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Did you not read what he said about the Bop? He said that IMSA has done a great job…

    • Andy Flinn

      July 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Jake, yes, like any team, JDC Miller will tell you the BoP is correct when they are winning.

      • lol

        July 12, 2017 at 6:57 pm

        Or the fact that ESM was less than a tenth off their best time.

  12. RayCerX

    July 12, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Part of the Flis decision was made due to the fact that Visit Florida wanted to race at Le Mans this year and could not do so with a DPi. The P2 Engine rules do not provide flexibility with regard to engines and engine modifications. The Riley is down on torque. It also is locked into an aero package that IMSA will not let them fix. At Daytona, they got on the podium due to the fact that they had too much downforce/drag. When the rain came, they found themselves the best in the field. When it dried, the Cadillac’s ran them down.

    Flis’ frustration with the rules is justified and made even more so by the fact that his is the only Riley in existance. The support from the Riley shop is lacking and the car isn’t really being improved.

    In my opinion, they can’t get away from that car fast enough!

    X

    • welp

      July 12, 2017 at 9:55 am

      There is nothing Riley can do about that car without spending their only update token for the 4 years the class homologation exists. They’ve shot themselves in the foot massively by getting the car wrong. By Fia/ACO rules they’re only allowed the one update, which I’m sure they’re going to have to spend a year earlier then everyone else.

    • Gturner38

      July 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      The Riley has the same engine as the Oreca that has been on the podium the last two races. The engine has nothing to do with their problems

    • Camyron

      July 13, 2017 at 4:16 am

      “It also is locked into an aero package that IMSA will not let them fix.” Except this is not a IMSA rule, this is a ACO rule that IMSA HAD to agree with in order to allow P2 cars to race in their series and maintain the Le Mans Link.

  13. Mike W

    July 12, 2017 at 9:48 am

    IMO the more cars the better the racing will be.

  14. David T.

    July 12, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I agree with most everyone else’s stance; do not separate the class. While it’s disappointing that there’s not more parity amongst the different chassis, we are still in the early stages of LMP2/DPi experiment. With time (and attrition), things will sort themselves.

    I too was quite skeptical about the DPi concept but it’s looking better each day. Just need more competition up front!

  15. daedalus

    July 12, 2017 at 10:18 am

    putting the P cars into two classes would be a big mistake. The past two races would have been boring if the classes had been split and there was a non race between JDC-Miller Motorsports and the caddys. There is not the numbers to justify splitting the classes and it’s more exciting and unpredictable given that the non caddy DPIs have reliablity/pace issues.

    Just have a pro-am championship and podium for cars with am drivers but allow them to race for overall wins and championship as well. The alternative is to mandate pro-am lineups across all DPI/LMP2 cars like ELMS, not sure the factory teams would like it however.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 12, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      Daedalus, no, they probably wouldn’t like it any better than being forced to race a spec engine and mandated bodywork.

      However, pro/am driver lineups did work for some manufacturers in The Grand-Am.

  16. Luna

    July 12, 2017 at 10:38 am

    DPi is a great and growing class, where the manufacturers want to go. If people have bought an Lmp2 that is their choice. They are the usual professional complainers. Said that the BoP of IMSA is not bad at all. Problems is that many of the Lmp2 teams are not as good as a WTR. IMSA must balance cars not the quality of teams and drivers

    • Mike S.

      July 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      WTR has bigger resources. AXR Caddy’s weren’t up to par to WTR first half of season. Well maybe at Daytona but let’s not say anything about that. It isn’t the drivers AXR drivers are just as good as Taylor’s, sometimes better. So it’s resources. That’s fine how racing is. But again P2 internationally is spec and these teams want to go to LeMans is why they got P2s and are Pro/Am. I guess just let market figure itself out and maybe spec P2 teams will leave for ELMS if the goal is to get to Le Mans. And if you think WTR has resources wait until Roger gets here and blows all teams out.

  17. Juninho

    July 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    LMPC 2017 > LMP2 2018

  18. Pete

    July 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    CTMP and particularly WGI showed that a good portion of the P class has caught the Caddys on pace. The Nissans were very quick, and PR1 showed the standard Ligier can run with the big boys when you put someone the caliber of Pla behind the wheel. I’ve even noticed Mazda getting a bit closer on pace recently, so obviously they’re figuring things out with the outgunned Riley chassis.

    Remember, these cars are mostly infants in terms of development (other than maybe Caddy who had half a year of on track testing coming into this season) so everyone is going to continue to get quicker. Throw in the possibility of spec-LMP2 cars getting their updates, and you never know what we could see down the road.

    I think so far the series has done a very good job of keeping the cars balanced and the racing interesting. The longer teams get to develop cars, the more time IMSA has to perfect the BoP, the better/faster racing us fans get to see. Sit back and enjoy the show, boys.

    • tracer

      July 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Well said, Pete.

  19. GridS2Plaza

    July 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Troy Flis does seem to be acting like a whiner. No one made him choose the Riley when most would have thought the Oreca and Ligiers were probably better choices based on their experience in P2.

    Kind of reminds me when the DP teams were bellyaching at the beginning of the merger with ALMS. Ironically Mike Shank was one of the biggest and I give him great credit for being the first to admit the future was with P2 technology and dumped the DP.

    I’m still a fan of the idea to let spec P2 cars run open tire choices to see if that makes any difference. How difficult would that be.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      Grid, the future of prototypes?

      What I find ironic is that MSR is racing GTD Acuras – not LMP2s – this year and it was Whelen/AXR, who stuck with the Corvette DP and won the IMSA prototype championship last year.

      WTR, AXR/Mustang and AXR/Whelen are still the winning teams this year with the same manufactuter (Dallara) who built she WTR Corvette DP chassis.

      In 2013, the DP teams were “whining” because IMSA required them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to speed up their cars (WTR, AXR, VFR and CGR) or forgo the merged series (Team Sahlens, Starworks, 8 Star, etc.).

      Now the expectations are reversed!

      Instead of requiring the LMP2s to be sped up to match the DPis (because the LMP2s are the baseline and not to be touched), the AXR and WTR cars must be SLOWED DOWN now, instead.

      That’s a complete philosophy 180.

      • Steven

        July 12, 2017 at 6:50 pm

        Because in 2013 they had to be sped up as the GTLM was at the same pace as the DP’s.

        A simple solution is letting LMP2’s have the Dunlop tires which is a good 1-3 second faster lap times compared to the Continentals and that keeps them still ACO eligible. But LMP2 is cost-capped (getting tired of having to say that), tweaking these cars will make them ineligible and lose their auto-invite status.

        Giving LMP2 their proper tires and that will open up the DPi’s. and you know 2018 is game on as Penske is gonna make everyone have to step up as he doesn’t play around. Expect nothing less but platinum rated drivers and nothing but the best engineers and pitcrew.

        • Mike S.

          July 12, 2017 at 7:45 pm

          Good idea but Continental would have something to say about that I am sure since there is a contract. When is that up? Yes, me too. Trying to fit international specs of P2 (round hole) into Dpi formula (square peg). Been getting a lot better but yeah you speed up P2’s with boost or engine performance then falls out of international specs or pushes them to limit of capabilities. Slow DPi’s and its viewed as punishment. I think it has been getting a lot better and pretty good for what it is. You can’t make PR1 get all pros. You can’t make Visit Florida pick the what is now the wrong rig. That will all play out in time for those 2 teams.

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 12, 2017 at 8:31 pm

          Don’t say anything about the tires, it upsets Andy. In Grand-Am they were told one tire was the best and everybody did as told. And he will prove to you there is no tire that out performs Continental.

          • Jeff Wagner

            July 12, 2017 at 9:18 pm

            I am sorry Andy, I retract this. I had not yet seen your reply to “The Zerex Special” comment I put up yesterday! I am sorry, Jeff

      • GridS2Plaza

        July 12, 2017 at 6:53 pm

        DPis are based on P2 platform with different engines, bodywork & other minor changes. The only DPi to date that has had to be slowed down is the Caddy.

        Not quite the same as DP and P2 cars at the time of the merger.That was about like trying to merge Trans AM cars with GT3 cars into one class.

        Last year was a lost year anyway for prototypes in IMSA. A championship as satisfying as Muscle Milk running around at the end of ALMS winning unopposed in P1. Total low water mark since the early 90’s

        As far as Shank running the Acura. Who can blame any team for taking a factory program.

        It’s amazing that not a complete year is in the books and already the “us” vs “them” divisions have begun all over again.

        From my vantage IMSA’s prototype series is looking a whole lot brighter even with the bickering about DPi/P2.

        • Andy Flinn

          July 12, 2017 at 11:58 pm

          Grid, those current divisions resurfaced after the first race at Daytona this year when the Euro-spec LMP2 cars preferred by some failed to win and were soundly beaten by the Cadillac DPis.

          Maybe we could minimize those divisions and move forward unified if some people weren’t still talking about “bellyaching DP teams” from more than three years ago.

          Grand-Am successfully merged tube frames and GT3s for several years. How do you think tube frame racers like Stevenson and Turner and GT3 cars like the Ferrari, Audi and Aston cane to race in the same current class and series? It wasn’t by accident or incompetence. That’s why it’s called “GT Daytona.”

          I disagree with you on the low water mark for sports car racing. Instead, think spec racing, factory pullouts and shrinking grids.

          However, I will agree with you that we are much better off as a merged series today.

          • thomas

            July 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm

            If you think that the tube frame GTD racers were anything like TransAm cars I’ve got the Empire STate Building for sale.

      • lol

        July 12, 2017 at 6:58 pm

        Of course, the DPs could have stayed at their same speed and been in between the LMPCs and the GTE cars. That would have been fine too.

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

          Remember the last year of the split they had a doubleheader at COTA? They compared Qualifying times of the ALMS P1 and G/A P1. ALMS “P” was something like 9 SECONDS FASTER! BAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

          • Steven

            July 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm

            There was also the same time IMSA/WEC was held the same weekend at CotA and even though the P/DP’s had more power in IMSA and no one actually watching for track limitations. The WEC P2 teams were still some 3 seconds/lap faster.

          • Jeff Wagner

            July 12, 2017 at 9:04 pm

            Steven, I don’t doubt it! They should be faster! it is the: WORLD Endurance Championship!

      • Jeff Wagner

        July 12, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        “Grand-Am Andy Flinn” pumps his chest…”I lost the war, but I feel some small pointless battle was won during it”!

        • Jeff Wagner

          July 12, 2017 at 9:16 pm

          I am sorry Andy, I retract this. I had not yet seen your reply to “The Zerex Special” comment I put up yesterday! I am sorry, Jeff

    • Jeff Wagner

      July 12, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      GridS2Plaza: WEll said!!! Shank was getting a jump on “P” set ups and got his drivers in a car made with the most modern materials and safest “P” a year earlier too! I will ALWAYS as a fan have so much respect for that! Troy Flis had that choice too, and didn’t. Some people Forget Wayne Taylor’s extensive “P” experience, Troy Flis has only G/A! OPEN TIRE CHOICE will happen, it’s only a matter of time. The bar will be raised even higher next year and they will become more obvious as an issue. I predict 2019.

      • thomas

        July 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        open tire competition won’t happen because there’s way too much sponsorship money available

  20. Steven

    July 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Troy Flis. That’s what you get for picking a garbage chassis that the ACO should have never selected in the first place to be one of the 4 in LMP2.

    Oh, and Andres. Since the other article was too far down the list. Here are the Le Mans laps times for comparison since you constantly say how the Gibson engine and Oreca chassis is garbage.

    2008 Porsche RS Spyder…3:32.301
    2009 Porsche RS Sypder…3:37.720
    2010 HPD ARX-01C…3:33.079
    2016 Oreca 05 – Nissan…3:36.605
    2017 Oreca 07 – Gibson…3:25.352

    A full 10 seconds faster than the old Nissan V8 that was the preferred engine of choice in 2016 and also the Honda power plant that will be used for the Acura DPi. and a full 7 seconds faster than the Porsche LMP2 engine back in 2008. Don’t you just hate it when facts are really presented instead of stupid gibberish.

    The big question mark will be CotA times for the comparison. The WEC is there in the coming months and the Cadillacs were not too BoP’ed for that event. Lets see how fast those LMP2’s truly are with their Dunlop tires and platinum rated drivers.

  21. Matt

    July 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    To my knowledge dpi is gt3 engines in prototype chassis, if so why doesn’t the caddy’s have the 3.6L V6 instead of the 6.2L?

    • WP

      July 12, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      GT3 engines are allowed, but so are others. There are some displacement and cylinder count restrictions, though. Chevy/Cadddy pretty much put the old DP engine in the back of the Dallara Chassis. Mazda took the old AER race engine and put it in the Riley Chassis. Only Nissan & Acura have run/will be running gt3 engines.

      • Travis McBee

        July 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm

        Acura will be running the P engine from last year.

    • thomas

      July 13, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Didn’t the CTS-V GT3 have a 6.2L V8?

      • Jumping Beans

        July 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm

        Is there an actual GT3 spec for the Cadillac? I thought PWC just let them do whatever…

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