Breaking: Prototype Testing Suspended after Airborne Accidents

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

Photo: Brian Cleary/bcpix.com

Following a series of incidents yesterday, including two airborne accidents involving Daytona Prototypes, IMSA and Continental Tire have jointly decided to ground all DP, P2 and PC machinery from taking part in today’s second and final day of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship pre-season testing at Daytona.

IMSA and Continental Tire are analyzing the situation and working toward a solution.

On-track testing will continue today for the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona cars, as well as the DeltaWing coupe, which runs on a different type of tire.

More to come…

24 Comments

  1. kmccornick

    November 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Well, thats a wise decision until they figure out what is going on.
    Maybe too early, but…………… I had hoped those sandbags would’ve kept the DPs on the ground.

    This makes my mind up about driving over from Orlando today to watch the test at least.

    • JIM

      November 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      breaking news NASCAR decides more weight in the P2 so the same tires can be used go DP Turtles

  2. Joe C

    November 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

    SO ESM has been running the LeMans aero/body work. Intersting so they really have had their work cut out for them. New track, new tire, and new aero/body work wow and cut a day short from testing I’m sure they will get up to speed before the 24.

  3. Marc

    November 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Grounding P2 when only DP crapmobiles were having issues. The sign of things to come. 2nd rate tires being forced on you doesn’t help either.

    • Bakkster

      November 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

      If it’s a tire issue, then P2s could be susceptible to the same failure. After the year we’ve had safety-wise, definitely better to be extra cautious until they can definitively say the P2s won’t suffer the same troubles.

  4. Jason

    November 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Grounding LMPC too? I had a feeling the P class would be shut down but LMPC I found to be surprising.

  5. Jason

    November 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

    IMSA and/or Conti better help pay the repairs bills for AEX and SoD.

  6. Ian

    November 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Looks like the P2’s are slower than I thought they would be. I wonder if it is the tires or the LeMans aero/body work

    • Bakkster

      November 20, 2013 at 10:24 am

      At Sebring they were saying the DPs were faster in the straight line, because the P2s were maxing out due to aero drag. The DPs have more drag, but also a lot more power now, so speculation was that they may need to add power to the P2s to match.

      • Jack

        November 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

        they put to much wieght on the p2 car, the morgan lmp2 that ran last year did 1 39.0, the cars were even enough, i dont think they even had to change them

        • Bakkster

          November 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

          It doesn’t sound like weight. They’re running about the same speed through the corners, but the DP has more drive off the corner and higher top speed.

          Top speed is strictly an HP vs drag result. One solution would be to keep the P2 ballast, and boost their HP. The other option is to drop the P2s to Le Mans aerokits everywhere (I don’t think ESM was running LM aero at Sebring) so they reach a higher top speed, and remove the ballast.

          Getting more front downforce on the DPs in a way that increases their drag so they top out at the same level is the final option, but I don’t think there’s any room to slow down DPs and keep the class gap they want.

  7. doodzed

    November 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Does anyone know if the DPs run tire pressure sensors?

    Reminds me of the late 90s where the cars would fly when their angle to the ground changed by a few degrees. Took a dozen years and they still haven’t fixed it completely.

    Sure seems like the decision to keep DPs is going to be expensive and possibly disastrous. Should have subsidized LMP2s.

    • Bakkster

      November 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

      DPs are allowed to run pressure sensors.

      • mack1956

        November 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

        alms had holes in installed in the top of the fenders to keep the cars from flying, the dp’s do not have that.

        • Bakkster

          November 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

          Precisely. I don’t think they have roof flaps like a stock car either, to relieve pressure once they go around. I think they probably need them.

        • JT

          November 20, 2013 at 12:29 pm

          Even before this incident, I wondered why the DP’s were not running the holes in the fenders. Seems an obvious safety measure.

          • Bakkster

            November 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm

            They have front cheese graters, but they don’t have any space for the inner facing holes like P1s will have next year since the wheel arches aren’t that much taller than the body. But as we saw the last few years at Le Mans, even with the wheel arch holes and a shark fin, cars can still get airborne.

  8. Mvez

    November 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

    They could ground DP’s all year and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. Meanwhile they are going to be turning away GTD cars all year because of limits on car counts.

    • Bakkster

      November 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

      If DPs are out for the season, that is far from a good thing. Best case, that’s half the top class gone. Then the question is if European teams and former DP runners want to race a P2 if it’s a class of 6-8 instead of one well into double digit field sizes. Add in the teams depending on the OEM support from GM and Ford that they won’t be getting with a P2, and it should quickly be apparent that grounding the DPs is not a shortcut to having 19 P2s on the grid instead.

      • mack1956

        November 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

        Sounds like they still have alot of work to do

  9. Mvez

    November 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Let’s face it, for now, the real “Top Class” in the new series is GT-LM. I don’t necessarily want DP’s to go away immediately (mostly because so many teams are recently invested in DP cars), I just think that with the merger, the need for a larger GT-D field is very apparent, and where the future is. I’d personally love to see them split to all separate races, one for GT-D and GT-LM, and then all prototypes (PC, P2, DP).

    TV coverage, as usual, will totally hose GT racing, which is what the majority of the fans come to see both in person, and on TV. What you are going to see is NASCAR style, bang-it-up DP racing screw up great GT racing with these larger fields.

    • 30MinMotor

      November 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      I think you are spot on with that. The ticket office at Laguna Seca at the last ALMS race told me that their gate sales were up an unprecidented 30%. When I talked to several fans they said a big part of the reason they thought there were so many more people at the race was because of the GT cars. Where else can you watch a Corvette or Viper duke it out with a Porche, BMW Z4 GTE or Ferrari 458? They could relate to them and were rooting for the brand they have in their garage. Don’t get me wrong, if it has wheels and and engine I like racing it and wathcing it race, but NASCAR’s brand of spec racing where its all about the driver and not so much about engineering inovation and the cars kinda kills it for me. NASCAR owns TUDOR. Alot of people are holding their breath. This could be either really good or really bad.

  10. mack1956

    November 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve lived in Sebring all my life, the P cars are what brings the crowds, they come from all over the world to see Sebring and thats a fact.

    • Mvez

      November 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      That was Sebring, and it included P1 cars. TOTALLY different. Tudor doesn’t have P1, and Grand-Am has always had pathetic fan attendance. Pathetic. The few that did show up, were there to see the GT’s, not the ugliest race cars on earth, DP’s. GT cars are what put seats in the stands. You don’t see fans walking around with t-shirts saying “ORECA P2 race cars rule!” No, they all have Jake, the corvette skull t-shirts.

      All you have to do is look across the pond at the huge car counts in the Blancpain Endurance Series and see where the majority of Gentleman drivers brings their checkbooks. GT3.

      Dodge(Viper) now has a customer GT3 car, and Callaway is approved for the new Corvette C7 GT3 build, which will no doubt be allowed in TUSC/World Challenge…Ford has a new Mustang in 2015, don’t be surprised to see them join the fun.

      DP’s have their place, where that is, IMO, is becoming the real question.

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