BMW Ends Daytona Prototype Support

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

With Chip Ganassi Racing making the switch to Ford power for 2014, BMW has withdrawn its engine support in the Daytona Prototype class.

The Bavarian manufacturer had enjoyed a significant and successful presence in the top class of the Rolex Sports Car Series since 2009, which included two DP engine manufacturer championships and a pair of Rolex 24 wins, achieved by CGR.

“It certainly wasn’t a bidding war or anything between us and Ford,” BMW North America Motorsport Manager Gordon McDonnell told Sportscar365. “Ford was ready to make a larger commitment to the Ganassi organization and I don’t think BMW at this time was ready to make such a commitment going forward.

“With that, BMW has decided that it makes sense for us to sit out of Daytona Prototype and see how the series develops and see how the Balance of Performance and things develop, and decide if it’s something we want to participate in the future.

“We’ll focus on our BMW Team RLL program in GTLM and we’ll also be focusing on the many privateers we have in the Continental [Tire SportsCar Challenge] and GT Daytona with Turner Motorsport.”

While BMW has dropped its support of the DP class, teams will still be able to continue to run the 5.0-liter or 4.5-liter BMW-based powerplants through engine builder Dinan Engineering. The engines are expected to be badged as Dinans.

However, with Team Sahlen’s pulling the plug on its planned two-car Riley-BMW effort and Starworks Motorsport unlikely to field DPs, it currently leaves no full-season entrants with Dinan power.

“We’ve told Steve [Dinan] that he can continue his customer program on his own,” McDonnell said. “That’s fine by us and we fully support him doing that. We would just have to keep an eye to see what he’s doing and how that develops, and if it really makes sense in our future to participate in a prototype class.”

10 Comments

  1. Kevin

    November 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Does this mean we have a confirmed GTD program for BMW with Turner? 2 cars?

    • jack

      November 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      its not confirmed but it is expected

  2. Pat

    November 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    BMW didn’t really support the engine anyway. Dinan had to make an engine for Ganassi because they Lexus engine they made wasn’t legal anymore. So they picked a BMW block and made an engine. BMW just slapped their name on the windscreen banner.

    • Mike

      November 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      Dinan was already racing BMW engines when Lexus pulled out of Grand Am. Ganassi picked Dinan’s engines and BMW then decided to sponsor Ganassi and pay for Dinan’s engine program. Ask Steve himself.

      Ganassi was a factory sponsored team and now that they and Sahlen’s have left, BMW doesn’t have any great options. It makes sense…why race against Ford and Chevy anyway?

  3. A Nanny Mouse

    November 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    The BMW engines are already appearing as “Dinan” engines in the entry lists.

  4. JT

    November 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I think BMW leads the league in jumping in and out of series worldwide at the drop of a hat.

  5. wallslammer

    November 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    That really sucks team sahlen dropping out not good for the series based on how DP gets the short end of the stick. I mean 4 P2 15 DP and the DP gets the extra cost it seems easer to slow down 4 cars in instead of 15 cars extra cost seems pretty unfair to this avid sportscar fan of 35 years.

    • JT

      November 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Well, the DP cars couldn’t outrun GTLM in the 2013 configuration, so then what? Slow down GTLM? Then they are running with GTD. Do we then slow them down also. Soon we’d be going backward…

  6. 30MinuteMotor

    November 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

    We have all heard the race on Sunday sell on Monday adage. Last time I checked, BMW was’nt selling DP cars in its showroom. I don’t think they sell F1 cars either. With all of the rules changes going on stateside relative to whats going on in FIA GT1 and GT3, BMW probably wants to make sure they aren’t going to get “homeerd” by Ford and Chevy in TUSC in the US. From a business standpoint it makes perfect sence. Now lets go race something close to what we can buy and put on the street.

  7. Raphael

    November 29, 2013 at 1:41 am

    guys, we still have Honda, Mazda, and Nissan in the P2 class running with Chevy & Ford in the DP class. maybe the Lotus P2 could come over here if they wanted to.

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