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IMSA Parks Two GTD Cars on Sandbagging Allegations

IMSA parks No. 71 P1 Mercedes, No. 93 MSR Acura in night testing on sandbagging claims…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

IMSA threw down the hammer to two GT Daytona teams in Saturday evening’s test session at the Roar Before the 24, having parked entries from P1 Motorsports and Michael Shank Racing on allegations of sandbagging.

Both the No. 71 Mercedes, driven by Loris Spinelli at the time, and the Mario Farnbacher-driven No. 93 Michael Shank Racing Acura were shown to have exhibited “performance management” at times during the night-time running, according to an IMSA spokesperson.

The cars, along with its team managers and manufacturer representatives were called to IMSA’s impound lot and then not allowed to take any further part in the 90-minute session.

The pair of GTD entries completed five and nine laps, respectively, before their premature ends, having posted the 18th and 12th quickest times in class.

Sportscar365 understands that IMSA communicated at the drivers’ meeting that any car that was under the belief or found to have managed its performance in the test would be subject to a range of penalties.

IMSA has a range of data, including real-time telemetry, to monitor a car’s performance at all times during an official session, including at the Roar.

Multiple lines in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship sporting regulations, meanwhile, are related to its so-called ‘anti-sangbagging’ rule, which was first introduced in 2014.

Both the P1 and MSR entires have been allowed to take part in all of Sunday’s track activities, including the first-ever qualifying for garage and pit box locations this afternoon.

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 FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. el_gordo

    January 7, 2018 at 11:37 am

    why park them? let them know you know and just continue to gather data

  2. thomas

    January 7, 2018 at 11:39 am

    So, if they were bedding in components or the like they could be parked? It’s testing for goodness sake

    • Haskellb

      January 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      The Roar is used for BOP. It doesn’t carry the weight of the official test from a few weeks ago, but IMSA wants to see all the cars running together at full song. After what the Lamborghinis pulled a few years back, anyone caught sand bagging is going to get hammered.

      • Mike S

        January 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        Yeah Lambo has had a tough go in GTD since that incident.

      • mark

        January 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

        i am against sandbagging but you can’t expect everyone to go full throtle all the time during testing , testing is not racing

  3. Jerome Higgins

    January 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    All this BOP is bull**it,why not go back the way things were in the 80s and90s and just let them race,the slower teams just need to pick up the pace

    • TailsLeMans722

      January 7, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Because then costs will escalate as manufacturers spend millions on developing their cars, resulting in boring processions dominated by the one manufacturer that spent the most money. Do you think GTP, or a close variant, would still be around today if IMSA had used BOP to slow down the all-conquering Eagle Toyota GTPs in ’93?

      Without BOP, the Cadillac DPis would wipe the floor with the competition. You could argue they could still dominate this season even with BOP like they did last year, but BOP is meant to level the playing field between the various manufacturers with differing budgets and engine philosophies, discouraging overspending on development and thus, reducing costs. And whether you like it or not, its here to stay.

      • Matt

        January 7, 2018 at 12:51 pm

        Without BoP the Caddy’s would not wipe the floor clean. Without BoP, the cars with turbo engines would be leaving the Caddy’s way behind.

        • Andy Flinn

          January 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm

          Matt, without BoP DPi would be a WEC LMP2 style, spec-Gibson powered, Oreca-dominating borefest.

          • TF110

            January 7, 2018 at 4:46 pm

            Ok sure. Maybe, maybe not. The p2’s (besides Oreca) were allowed to make a one time upgrade to their car so they meet the Oreca in performance. They should do a fuel flow type system where the cars are equalized with how much fuel they can use.

      • Jessie

        January 7, 2018 at 1:17 pm

        Motor racing is suppose to be about the fastest car winning and show casing the manufacturers product What is the purpose of racing if I got the best car but is handicapped to let a slower car win . I have been following motor racing for more than 50 years and think racing has become a sport run by people who wants to make a circus of it with all its stupid rules and spoil it for the true enthusiast

        • Andy Flinn

          January 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

          Jessie, you are completely wrong.

          The purpose of racing is showcasing a manufacturer’s product? Really? What manufacturer so you work for?

          How long do you expect the other manufacturers to stick around and get pounded regularly by the dominant, “showcased” manufacturer?

          It didn’t work long in Can-Am (Porsche), GTP (Toyota), ALMS (Audi) or the WEC, and that mentality wouldn’t last long in this series.

          The key for series survival is SUSTAINABILITY.

          If you don’t like that your pet manufacturer is denied their “showcase” (how competitive is the racing in ANY series if one factory is dominating everyone else?), go watch some other series.

          • Jeff Wagner

            January 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm

            Andy Flinn is a staunch supporter of the former Grand-Am, and Daytona Prototypes. He is the only person that has EVER said a remotely negative comment about the late GREAT Can-Am, and Porsche’s involvement! It’s a series STILL loved 50+ years after. I guess a high wing Lola T163 just isn’t as beautiful looking as a Riley DP, or as exciting, ear drum shattering, ground pounding, and/or technologically advanced as those beloved Daytona Prototypes were.

          • mackenzie galajda

            January 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

            i agree that whats wrong with f1 these days is Ferrari and Mercedes will spend ridiculous money and its just follow the leader.

        • Mike S

          January 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm

          Again like others it’s budgets in the long term. Open it up and 3 cars would be in each field eventually because they have the deepest pockets to exploit every angle leaving little guys in back and and won’t run again leaving 3 cars in the field. Who wants no cars in a race. Again think Can Am. Awesome for about 7 years then gone forever. But who cares long term right, instant gratification rules our society.

        • Haskellb

          January 8, 2018 at 10:13 am

          If you want that, watch the WEC where they are renaming the series The Toyota Invitational.

    • Socialist

      January 7, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      BOP is necessary to fix the speed inequality between the teams. Remember, it is more important to create equal outcomes than to have equal rules with unequal outcomes.

      • Karl Marx

        January 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

        You are correct.

  4. Steven

    January 7, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Looking at qualifying…the sandbags were lifted from the Cadillac and Acura. Everyone else is chasing behind at least 1 sec/lap. Another Cadillac parade just like last year for the Rolex 24.

    • JEZ

      January 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      I would assume there will be some BoP against the Cadillacs.

      The IMSA Radio team “caught” the Fords sandbagging in the “qualifying” session. The 67 ran the fastest first sector, followed by the fastest second sector, was running .5 ahead of the fasted lap , and was called into the pits and didn’t finish the lap. I assume they aren’t the only manufacturer sandbagging, but will be interesting to see if anything happens knowing they probably have at least .5 seconds in them, and probably more.

      • DEJ

        January 8, 2018 at 10:03 am

        yep, IMSA can look one way and ignore others.Lets see what they ( IMSA ) does with the Caddy.Not much I expect .

      • JamieReid

        January 9, 2018 at 7:45 am

        Ford. Sandbagging? Mind Blown.

    • Andy Flinn

      January 7, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      Steven, is it still a “parade” if the other floats (LMP2s) don’t finish (2017 Rolex 24)?

      • Steven

        January 7, 2018 at 8:21 pm

        You do realize all the electrical and motor problems the LMP2’s had early on in 2017 have been resolved. Sadly, it looks like even Team Joest can’t figure out how to run the Mazda DPi for more than 5 laps before have mechanical or electrical issues.

      • DEJ

        January 8, 2018 at 10:09 am

        I don~t believe the BOP would be so questionable if IMSA would provide open reasons and the data to re enforce the limits that are put on a car or manufacture . All it is now is just words…. no data .

        • juneracer

          January 8, 2018 at 11:52 am

          the opposite. its all ‘data’ driven. but IMSA uses the ‘data’ from the cars on track as there is no other ‘data’. hence the issue with night practice for the two GTDs. IMSA has a tough job sifting through data and determining what is a real or non-real display and what is a BoP issue. someone always hates IMSA, thankless job…

          • DEJ

            January 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

            Yes but who sees this data. What I meant was make it available to all the scribes that cover the events.

  5. CoasterReal

    January 7, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    MSR is quite literally the last team thats going to engage in this behavior. If theyd have done it, theyd have done it LAST year when the program was new like Ford clearly did. Someone at IMSA needs to review their data a little better. Hire someone who knows how to validate their s**t.

    • juneracer

      January 8, 2018 at 11:53 am

      you clearly don’t understand here…

  6. Slicks in the wet

    January 8, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Old racing didnt need to be checked because shitty chassis design, shitty tires, shitty brakes and shitty engines all combined to limit speeds, reliability and capabilities down to where the best of the best were still worse than a fucking Toyota Corolla of today.

    BOP is needed because theyd be out in 1200hp 1000lbs death machines going 245mph in the tri-oval until a fancy tungsten rod broke and the car spun and flew over the stands.

    So you peg that shit back and attempt to make it interesting and keep performance envelopes close between cars. Youre already screwing it up in the first place so might as well keep it close on track.

    Why people cant see that modern racing cant be wideopen like 1915 is beyond me.

    Rules and BOP have been a thing for decades. They aren’t going away. So STFU about “boo hoo why are there restrictors and spec tires, it is so fake, waaaaa.”

    • truth

      January 8, 2018 at 8:11 am

      I am no boo hoo BOP crying person…. however, decades ago you had individuals in open cockpit wagons doing 100+mph, without a seatbelt, roll over bar in death traps.

      If youre racing you accept that the worst can happen at any time. IMO

    • NO BOP!

      January 8, 2018 at 8:46 am

      What is your favorite WNBA team?

  7. Blue Oval fan

    January 8, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I too am not a big fan of the BOP, but also realize it’s necessity in today’s motorsports. If you don’t like it, go watch F1, and we all know how exciting that is nowadays, (YAWN), it’s a simple lets hope the Mercedes break so someone else has a chance show. Sad, but it’s true. Mercedes is there own worst enemy in that championship, there only chance of losing is if they beat themselves, even the mighty Ferrari squad can’t beat them, on even terms.

    So you better learn to love the BOP, the manufacturers want it, and it’s here to stay.

  8. Jeff Wagner

    January 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    The problem is the difference between B.O.P. being used to level different types of cars running together in the same class and the line that no longer exists being crossed where a team gets B.O.P’d NOT because of an unfair equipment advantage but by having better drivers, crew performance, or the team building a far better car within the rules.

  9. Lord of the Rings

    January 10, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Until folks realize this is nothing but contrived competition to appease the France families buddies at GM

    Enjoy the fake racing

    Its why I just laugh at anybody that thinks this is real racing.

    Do they put heavy skates on a fast speed skater, shorter sticks for a winning hockey team, reset the score to a tie at the end of the third quarter in a football game?

    No you win on merit.

    In anything!!!

    • Andy Flinn

      January 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Oh, Lord!

      Tell me what IS real racing?

      (Dead series that folded almost 45 years ago – no matter how awesome they were – don’t count.)

      Jeff Wagner, even the staunchest Can-Am aficionados acknowledge that the Can-Am’s greatest asset – practically no rules – was also, in the end, it’s downfall.

    • Slicks in the wet

      January 11, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Well, I mean…the NHL gives participation points for losers in OT and or the super gimmicky shoot-out.

      Not to mention the salary cap that handicaps EVERY team and creates artificial parity.

      Sounds a lot like BOP to me….But, please, keep using hockey as the measure of freedom.

      Football? HA! How many times have refs controlled the game there? Not to mention the salary cap and general contract fishiness allowed.

      Speed skating? Yeah, International Olympic Committee is the EPITOME of fairness.

      Merit. Come on man. Everything is a scam for entertainment. Once you realize that, you will have more fun with this. Nothing in life is fair–it is why you and I waste our time on a stupid ass online posting rather than kicking back in our $12m mansion with indoor spa.

  10. Russell Carpenter

    January 15, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    All you socialists out there just don’t get it.

    Racing is about one team’s talents beating the other teams. It’s not about being equal. Equal is spec racing. Equal is all countries have the M1A1 Abrams tanks and F-22 Raptors, then going to war.

    Racing is about the unfair advantage. Racing is about burning the midnight oil to get an edge that no one else found. It’s not about putting together your absolute best set up, “testing”, then getting more restrictions because you actually did find more speed than the other guy.

    You socialists grew up when no one was a winner and everyone passed because they tried really hard. In the big world, our intrinsic drive is to go out and crush our competition, not cheer them on. Really. That’s how men got to be men. Yep – beat the other guy.

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