With Chip Ganassi Racing making the switch to Ford power for 2014, BMW has withdrawn its engine support in the Daytona Prototype class.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