2014 DP Technical Regulations Taking Shape

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

With the final GRAND-AM season already in the books and the American Le Mans Series finale at Petit Le Mans just around the corner, the sports car racing world continues to await the final technical regulations for next year’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

Arguably the biggest unknown is the the much-talked about performance balancing for Daytona Prototypes, ACO-spec LMP2 cars and the DeltaWing, which will comprise of the Prototype category.

According to IMSA’s Vice President of competition and technical regulations, Scot Elkins, who spoke with Sportscar365 last weekend at Lime Rock Park, the process is moving along, with series-sanctioned on-track testing set to begin this month for revised DP cars.

“We’re fairly on target of where we’re at now,” Elkins said in an exclusive interview. “We’ve started making some parts and getting some things going. I spent [last weekend] talking to the [DP] team principals and having some discussions with those guys and giving them an update as to where we are. We’re in a pretty good place right now.”

Spirit of Daytona Racing made the headlines last month after testing new self-built aero updates on its Marsh Racing-bound Corvette DP. Team owner Troy Flis invited both Elkins and IMSA chairman Jim France to the test, with the series’ tech chief able to take away some lessons learned, particularly with the use of underbody tunnels.

A variant of those tunnels will now be used in conjunction with a spec diffuser and dual element rear wing on the aero side. Mechanically, the DPs will likely receive roughly a 30-50 hp increase in power, while also adding traction control. Elkins said those are the only new developments currently planned, but all are subject to testing.

“We’ve defined this past week how the diffuser will work,” Elkins said. “We’ve got the constructors involved as well. It’s critical for us because it’s a spec part, the same part is going to be on every car. So we’ve had to go through that input of how it would work on a Coyote, Dallara and Riley.

“We’ve sat down and have had meetings with all of those guys and phone calls and conversations. Any slight changes would be because of attachment and not because of the structure of the piece. So the downforce levels will be the same.”

Elkins still remains confident of matching their targets, both from a time and financial standpoint. While not confirming the projected costs for the DP’s transformation, Elkins is mindful that it’s important to not rush the entire process.

“Everybody and their brother thinks we should have been done seven months ago,” he said. “That’s OK, I get that. But as we’ve stated before, we’ve got an opportunity to do this and the last thing we want to do is rush it.

“It’s going to be hard enough, even once we get to the point. Anybody that expects us to get this perfect the first time is an incorrect expectation. But still, doing the due diligence and doing the process the way we’ve done it has been the right way to do it.”

Proposed DP upgrades for 2014:

*Diffuser with underbody tunnels
*Dual element rear wing
*Increase in horsepower (appx. 30-50 hp)
*Traction Control
*6-speed gearboxes (previously announced)
*Paddle shift systems for all cars (previously announced)

10 Comments

  1. Ben W.

    October 1, 2013 at 9:17 am

    seems legit. curious if the teams will be allowed to run a larger front splitter though. Adding the dual element rear wing is a lot more downforce. DP’s would look kick ass with huge dive planes and a massive front splitter.

    - In Elkins We Trust -

    • Bakkster

      October 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Last I heard, the tunnels ended up moving the floor’s aero center forward enough they didn’t need to change the splitter. The wing is going to be primarily for adjusting the balance, most modern race cars make most of their downforce under the car with a wing just for shifting it forward and back.

  2. Marc

    October 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I just hope the changes are minor in cost to the teams and makes it easier to phase these things out.

  3. Doug

    October 1, 2013 at 10:19 am

    One thing that will be FACINATING to watch is interviews with current DP drivers about how different the new car is to drive. One driver had said in comparing the Corvette DP vs the Corvett C6R was that you could really throw the DP around corners while the C6R required much more precision and if you tried to throw around the C6R the back end would come out FAR easier.

    One wonders if the new Corvette DP will be more like GTLM in regards to the handling.

    • Anthony Thomas

      October 2, 2013 at 2:38 am

      If SFD can afford to build a few parts themselves its hardly expensive. The biggest b*tching happened over the proposal to run carbon brakes which is supported by 8Star and Starworks but likely poo-poo by those on “real” budgets.

  4. NaBUru38

    October 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I don’t like pro class cars to have traction control. The feet should control the car, not the computers. (It’s ok in LMPC and GTD)

    • Anthony Thomas

      October 2, 2013 at 2:41 am

      Luddite

      It makes no difference but making the rear tires last longer and that makes the racing better, than watching somebody’s tires go off and him cycle backwards because of it.

      All it would mean is an earlier pit stop and hardly any impact.

      Just like complaining about juicing in baseball, you still have to hit the ball and great hitters are only connecting a bit over 30% of the time, not good.

      TC has little to no impact while not having it wouldn’t matter than much either.

      Are you also one of those people that says aero (wings and stuff) has ruined racing because of the air flow created off these parts (dirty air) doesn’t allow to a car to run nose to tail?

  5. JVanStone

    October 1, 2013 at 11:42 am

    That all sounds great, but I sure hope the manufacturers are all in enough to spend the $$ to make the upgrades properly. Otherwise sine the cars are much more aero dependent now, we could see a much bigger gap from the big team to the small ones. I love this series and I hope this all goes well.

    • Anthony Thomas

      October 2, 2013 at 2:46 am

      These lower budget teams will suffer anyway because they can’t afford fast drivers either. It has little to do with new parts being installed.

      Also not having money to dial the car in on a 7 post (which some teams have to rent out) will impact them as well.

      I keep saying, without any hard caps like in stick and ball sports, you really can’t limit the amount of money spent by teams.

      Smaller teams will be behind for more reasons than the car being expensive to upgrade…

  6. TS

    October 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    NaBUru38 – PC doesn’t have traction control, or ABS.

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