Balance of Performance adjustments could be possible for next weekend’s Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, amid the recent phase-out of the “probationary period” for several new or updated GT3 cars.
The 2019-spec Porsche 911 GT3 R, as well as Evos from Audi, Lamborghini and Acura, will be subject to its first round of possible adjustments under IMSA’s new BoP procedure that was introduced at the start of the season.
Per IMSA rules, new cars or Evos are given a three-to-six race grace period where larger scale BoP adjustments could be made outside of the sanctioning new-for-2019 two-race rolling average that limits adjustments up to 20 kg and 3 percent of power.
According to IMSA tech chief Geoff Carter, the rolling average for the Porsche, Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and Acura NSX GT3 Evo began in Detroit and continues this weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, prior to any potential changes made for CTMP next weekend.
“We will [make changes] if we need to,” Carter told Sportscar365. “The protocol says that. It’s easier this year because it’s not automatic but [it’s more data-based].”
Carter explained that it’s IMSA’s discretion on when it places the new or Evo-spec machinery into it’s newly structured BoP system, but will typically happen once its technical committee gathers a “reasonable degree” of information on the car’s performance.
“We felt it was time to get them into the program after three races because we didn’t want to get six races in and not be able to adjust something,” he said.
“You could do whatever you want for six races, but once you take them off, you’ve got to wait two more and you’re eight races in. We wanted to get them off as much as possible.”
The McLaren 720S GT3, which is set for its third WeatherTech Championship race next weekend at CTMP, meanwhile, has been given a 25 kg weight break, 10.7 kW increase in power and 3-liter increase in fuel capacity for the Canadian round.
The weight and power adjustments are outside of IMSA’s BoP change parameters but possible due to the car still being in the probationary period.
“What happens now that our BoP process is so delineated, with being in the box and out of the box, if we’ve missed the starting BoP, we want the opportunity to fix it so that we don’t have a car off [in the back] languishing or up front unfairly,” Carter explained.
“It takes it out of the protocol and gives us the ability to fix it.”
Carter: Manufacturers Have Embraced New BoP System
While there has been some confusion in the paddock over IMSA’s new BoP process, Carter believes that the system has been widely accepted on the manufacturer level, with the goal of now educating teams with the nuances of the process.
“At the manufacturer level, they’ve helped develop it so they’ve embraced it very well,” Carter said.
“Getting that same correlation to the customers isn’t exactly the same. But everybody now has seen the regulation and we think they [now] understand it.
“I think it’s given more transparency to the process. Now that we’ve given the combination to the safe, people understand what’s ahead for them.”
Carter said he expects the same probationary period to be in place for new GT Le Mans cars that will debut in the WeatherTech Championship next year.
Both Porsche and Corvette are expected to roll out with all-new cars, alongside the returning BMW M8 GTE.
“We’re taking good notes and have a lot of positive feedback from the manufacturers about some possible revisions [for 2020] and we’ll see how that works out. But so far, we’re sticking to it,” Carter said.