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IMSA Outlines December Daytona Test Plan

IMSA has outlined the criteria for its December test at Daytona International Speedway, which will provide the first glimpse of new and upgraded machinery for the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

IMSA has outlined the criteria for its December test at Daytona International Speedway, which will provide the first glimpse of new and upgraded machinery for the 2018 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda series.

Cars from all three championships will be in action during the two-day test on Dec. 5-6, with the primary goal of collecting on-track data for Balance of Performance purposes, according to IMSA’s tech chief Geoffrey Carter.

“We’ve got a delineated test plan that the IMSA technical committee is finalizing for all the classes,” Carter told Sportscar365.

“This basis for the test across all platforms is to come and run a prescribed run plan from IMSA. Once that’s been achieved there will be an opportunity for them to do their own test plan. The primary responsibility is for them to come and give us the information we’re asking for.”

Carter, the Senior Director of Technical Regulations and Compliance, said all new and modified cars, plus at least one model from each GT Le Mans manufacturer, will be required to take part.

As a result, it will mark the public debuts of the Penske Team Acura ARX-05, the new Mazda Team Joest effort with its revised Mazda RT24-P, new Evos from LMP2 constructors Onroak Automotive, Dallara and Multimatic, plus the new BMW M8 GTE car. 

While GT Daytona cars are not eligible for the test, Carter said they will be inviting one car from each GT3 manufacturer that’s had Evo updates for 2018.

It’s understood the Porsche 911 GT3 R, Lexus RC F GT3 and Ferrari 488 GT3 have all taken advantage of the permitted one-time update, in addition to the BMW M6 GT3, which previously announced it would be rolling out with an Evo kit.

The Ferrari 488 GTE, meanwhile, is believed to be the only GTE-spec car to have received an update for next year.

“We’re requiring the Prototypes, a minimum of one example of each,” Carter said. “We have three GTD cars that have Evos that we want to run but those are brought in by required invitation and one of each of the GTLMs.

“We’ve told all the manufacturers that if they come to this test and we don’t achieve our goals, we’re going to re-prescribe the test plan at the Roar for anyone that doesn’t achieve our goals.”

Carter said data from upcoming wind tunnel and dyno tests at Windshear and NASCAR’s R&D facilities in North Carolina will help shape each manufacturer and constructor’s test plan.

“Coming up with restrictor sweeps, wing sweeps, downforce levels, those plans will be finalized after the [static] testing in mid-November,” he said.

A total of 11 engines, including the new Acura DPi, BMW and Aston Martin GTE powerplants, plus two revised GTD engines and a re-baseline of the spec LMP2 Gisbson unit, are all planned to be dyno tested between now and next month, Carter said.

The test will also provide the first on-track opportunity for IMSA’s new TCR class, along with the first high-banked oval experience for LMP3 cars in Prototype Challenge, which will have its opening round of the season during the Roar Before the 24 weekend in January.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Nick

    October 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Ugh, cannot wait for December now!!

    • Prototype 1

      October 30, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      I wish it was December already

  2. Pete

    October 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Dyno testing the new Aston GTE powerplant.

    Hmm. Formality, or does IMSA know something we don’t?

    • tracer

      October 31, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Very interesting indeed.

  3. Kyle

    October 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Which GTD manufacturers are introducing revised engines?

    • kevlow

      October 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Good eye, nice catch.
      Yes that would be interesting; either a GTE Aston or DPI Aston motor deal like Nissan.

      • kevlow

        October 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

        Sorry. That was meant as a reply to Pete.

        • Pete

          October 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

          Mr. Dagys actually answered the very question I posed here on Twitter. Apparently the FIA uses IMSA’s dyno results as the baseline of their own BoP, so it doesn’t necessarily mean anything for an Aston IMSA venture. Guess we’re back to wishing and hoping.

  4. jeff

    October 30, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    i’ll be there flagging !!!!!

    • Larry

      October 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Me too.

      Can’t wait.

  5. dave henrie

    October 30, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    The Honda DPI, with it’s bowtie front wing, seems to NOT be targeting Le Mans. Can’t see that added drag working on the Mulsanne. [basically you would turn an Oreca into a Riley}
    Will the banking at Daytona also prove to be a problem?

    • Larry

      October 31, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Gee, a DPi NOT targeting LeMans. Whoulda thunk it……………………

  6. Sol Shine

    October 31, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I often wonder why manufacturers even bother with this? The BOP thing is just an invitation for Nascar, er, Imsa, to play Pick A Winner! Lobby for BOP, grease palms, win races. Simple. Why bother spending 400 million or so developing a new car when the guy next door rolls out a 5 year or more old car and gets the kiss of BOP. Racing is starting to have no relevance, it certainly doesn’t contribute diddly to road car improvements, and that’s supposed to be why we even have racing.

    • Andy Flinn

      October 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Sol, the WEC LMP2 Oreca/Gibson is way better.

      No BoP there.

      Of course, no variety either.

  7. Passenger

    October 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

    There is a possible that can see the all new Corvette racing car which would shift to mid engine. Mid engine Corvette spied car has been caught. Racing version will come no long.

  8. Alexander Angeles

    November 2, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Will the test in December be open for spectators?

  9. Curtis

    November 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I propose naming the December tests the Sandbagging Before the 24.

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