Peter Baron says IMSA’s newly announced LMP2 Bronze-rated driver mandate saw his proposed program “take a step backwards” although the Starworks Motorsport team owner still remains hopeful of putting an Oreca 07 Gibson on the grid for the 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The Florida-based team had been in the final stages of confirming a full-season LMP2 entry with Ryan Dalziel and an undisclosed Silver-rated driver prior to news that IMSA will require a Bronze-rated driver for each LMP2 car.
The change in the sporting regulations for 2020, which had been initially proposed by a current LMP2 entrant, directly led to DragonSpeed’s full-season commitment with Bronze-rated Henrik Hedman.
Speaking to Sportscar365, Baron said his prospective Silver driver “lost interest” following the development, resulting in the team looking to other options.
Baron, however, has remained optimistic of securing a LMP2 program in the new-look class, which will feature six points-paying rounds plus the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“We’re always working on programs,” he said. “You get programs that are 95 percent of the way in, and 20 percent in real life. We’re close to something in LMP2.
“If we were to do something, the only car that would make sense would be an Oreca.”
He said a final decision should come by Dec. 1.
The team, which most recently fielded an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in the GT Daytona class, has been a longtime prototype entrant, most recently with the Prototype Challenge ranks but with success in DP and the LMP2 ranks of the FIA World Endurance Championship prior to that.
Should a program materialize, Starworks would join PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, Performance Tech Motorsports and DragonSpeed with planned full-season entries, as well as partial-season efforts from Era Motorsport and Rick Ware Racing in the revitalized class for 2020.