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Land Explains Daytona Refueling BoP Penalty

Legal modifications made to Land’s Audi R8 LMS fuel tank for faster fuel flow…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Montaplast by Land Motorsport has explained the method it utilized to have quicker refueling stops than expected by IMSA, which resulted in a mid-race Balance of Performance penalty in last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The German squad, which had nearly a two-lap lead in GT Daytona at the time, was hit with a five-minute stop-and-hold penalty for having a “consistent and beneficial” advantage in refueling during the race.

The penalty relegated the No. 29 Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Mies, Jeffrey Schmidt and Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde to an eventual seventh place finish in class.

In a statement issued by the team, it’s been revealed Land implemented “changes to the contents” inside the Audi’s fuel cell for increased fuel flow, on average between five to eight seconds per pit stop.

The area, according to the team, is not currently homologated or specifically regulated in the IMSA rulebook.

“These changes allowed the fuel to flow into the cell at a faster rate, shortening the time the team spent in pit lane during pit stops,” a team statement read.

The car and refueling rig both passed post-race technical inspection, which saw IMSA officials spend three hours “scrutinizing” the fueling equipment and fuel cell, which were deemed to be fully within the series’ regulations.

Per IMSA rules, the car was penalized because of “displaying a level of performance above… the expected result.”

However, the team has argued that an average refueling time was not communicated to them beforehand.

“IMSA has stated that moving forward, they will amend the rules to give teams a specific number that will be help define ‘the expected result’ for fueling times,” Land’s statement said.

The explanation comes in the wake of Audi Sport customer racing boss Chris Reinke suggesting the implementation of a minimum refueling time for all GTD competitors in the class.

Land’s in-race BoP penalty was the first of its kind in the modern era of IMSA competition.

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. Greeny

    February 6, 2018 at 3:50 am

    If no rules were broken no penalty should have been implemented. Ever since motor racing has been regulated governing bodies write the rules and constructors/teams try and find the best answers, that’s part of the draw to the sport. IMSA were wrong to hand a 5 min penalty in this instance.

    • Jim

      February 6, 2018 at 6:31 am


    • punisher

      February 6, 2018 at 7:57 am

      It was not cheating as they took advantage were they could.
      A book comes to mind…”the unfair advantage”

    • John Wellford

      February 6, 2018 at 10:25 am

      In retrospect this penalty was garbage.

      If this is BoP racing, then I pass.

  2. Jenner

    February 6, 2018 at 4:09 am

    Like I said, they did not break any written rules. Teams like Penske has been doing things like this for decades.

    From what I read from another source, what Land did within their fuel line and fuel cell is equivalent to a beer bong. The fuel flowed in with less eddys and turbulence within the line and cell. The fuel rig is legit and never tampered with.

    This is the kind of innovation that I want to see teams employ. Outsmarting other teams is the name of the game. This type of innovation is also what I want to see in my road car someday. A faster fuel flow will get me on the road faster. Over time, like a year, those precious seconds will add up to hours.

    Hey IMSA, How about letting teams in on some of your unwritten rules you’re enforcing? Seem like more than a few of them never heard of the 40 sec rule.

    I take it now that teams won’t be able to short fill their cars anymore to gain track position anymore. Also, what if a team is leading by say, hmmm, 40 secs, with two laps to go and he needs a splash and go to finish the race. Will he have to stop for 40 secs now for the splash of fuel?

    • Slicks in the wet

      February 6, 2018 at 4:39 am

      No you just slow down and let second place pass you.

      Then you drive into their door in the last turn.

      And win*. Just one of those racing deals.

      *does not apply if second place was a GM product

      • Trevor

        February 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm

        As someone who was pulling for WTR last year, I approve of this comment.

    • Mike S

      February 6, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Not going to see fuel in your road car one day. That’s innovation.

      • Jenner

        February 6, 2018 at 12:17 pm

        Then we’ll see teams trying to sneak in a secret chip somewhere the size on a gnat’s ass somewhere to get that extra milliamp down the straights.

        Should b some exciting racing in the future.

  3. thomas

    February 6, 2018 at 5:08 am

    I think the biggest problem with a minimum refuelling time is it takes out the short fill strategy play.

    • P1Groupe

      February 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

      In series such as Asian Le Mans Series, there are a set number of “minimal timed stops”, for the last event at Sepang it was 3. So if a team wanted to do a 4th short fill in the 4-hour race, they were free to do so as long as the 3 timed stops were done at the appropriate minimum time.

  4. Bjones

    February 6, 2018 at 5:54 am

    I agree, racing is innovation, IMSA (new owners) should have never pulled a stunt like that. Land did their homework and it paid off (?)If IMSA did not like it then outlaw it for future races but to penalize during the race is absurd, especially during the race and you have no rule violation, (still don’t) Sounds like a sandlot football game when I was kid, change the rules as we go.

    • Jim

      February 6, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Sports car racing, particularly IMSA shoots itself in the knee every time they get momentum….everytime.

    • Greg

      February 6, 2018 at 7:13 am

      The only question is when did they figure out the modification and when did they deploy the update? Most likely they changed out the void area in the foam under the fill plate or the vent mechanism. If they had this update in place but not deployed for the roar (the official test to determine these things) that can be construed as being deceptive to your actual pace imo, basically sandbagging your refill time to receive a more favorable refill restrictor. If that’s the case then the penalty was legit imo.

      • thomas

        February 6, 2018 at 9:50 am

        really good point

  5. Steve

    February 6, 2018 at 6:35 am

    No wonder teams leave IMSA to go to other series. Beware Magnus…they are at it again! Kudos to you Land. Best of luck at Sebring!

    • RobertB

      February 6, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Please list the teams that have left IMSA for other series.

      • Jack

        February 6, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        It would be easier to list the teams that have just left all together.

      • IMSA Exodus

        February 6, 2018 at 5:01 pm

        Just look at the PWC entry list.

      • Mike s

        February 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm

        Yeah I agree with the other’s comments. Some just left others left for PWC. Some smaller ones Black Swan Racing went PWC with Merc and now not even there. GMG left IMSA for the Audi onslaught initially in PWC they dabbled back in IMSA. Flying Lizard to name a mainstay left. There are others that left AJR, Stevenson who were also staples.

  6. juneracer

    February 6, 2018 at 7:45 am

    IMSA wants a consistent flow rate for each car as a percent of fuel capacity. as all capacities are different. so theoretically a 50% fill should be around 20 seconds for any GTD. so short filling is fine. if you can gain 5-8 seconds a fill that stock Audi cell isn’t very tidy.

  7. jason

    February 6, 2018 at 9:17 am

    The Land team is handling the whole situation well. They could have shouted, packed their bags, and go back to Europe. And there would have been some justification. Glad they are sticking around it seems. Look for them to be the favorites to win the 12 hours of Sebring. They will get extra attention now. This team already are the 2017 winners of the Nurburgring 24 (overall) and Petit Le Mans in GTD.

    • tracer

      February 6, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Agreed. Class acts throughout this entire fiasco… and consequently my new favorite GTD squad behind Turner.

  8. rulesonlyapplytosome

    February 6, 2018 at 11:04 am

    “Per IMSA rules, the car was penalized because of ‘displaying a level of performance above… the expected result.'”

    I guess that rule does not apply to the Caddies unless of course, IMSA expected them to sandbag during the Roar and qualifying then taking off during the race and all with a nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

  9. PL

    February 6, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Did you guys miss the part where they admitted to changing fuel cell parts out between roar and the race so it would flow faster? That’s cheating. Penalty deserved. Next

    • WesGTR

      February 6, 2018 at 11:51 am

      IMSA only homologates the fuel flow restrictor, which was found pre and post-race to haven’t been tampered, they were trying to find performance surrounding the homologated parts, like good race teams do. That’s not cheating, it’s innovating.

    • Alex

      February 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      That’s a stretch calling it cheating. Because there’s no actual rule against where your blocks are placed in the fuel cell. Plus why would they use their race setup at a test? What if the fuel cell at the Roar was out of IMSA usage spec and they had to change it? What if the fuel cell at the Roar had developed a leak? There’s too many variables to call it cheating. It’s not cheating, it’s pure brilliance that they figured this out.

      • PL

        February 7, 2018 at 9:25 pm

        The fact that they changed their fuel cell to flow faster than what it did when IMSA BoP’d them, means they cheated. They made the test irrelevant because they cheated the BoP. Doesn’t matter if IMSA checked all the parts and they were correct, the parts were incorrect for the desired effect because Land changed the control. It has nothing to do with where the blocks are in the car passing tech or not passing the, its the changing the tank part that makes it cheating. IMSA sets fuel flow restrictor size based on the test they do on the parts in the car, if you change those parts to gain an advantage, thats cheating.

        • PL

          February 7, 2018 at 9:30 pm

          Also, you use the race set up at Roar because you HAVE TO. Its required by IMSA to set BoP, otherwise shit like this happens…

          • Fonzarelli

            February 9, 2018 at 1:17 am

            So by this thought process. When you go to the roar, you leave with a set ride height, camber, toe, and damper package. I mean after all if those things are changed, or optimized from data collected at the test, then you’re just a down right cheater.
            I agree it was a no win for IMSA but I fear they choose on the knee jerk side of decision and missed the bigger fundamental thought process problems that they have backed themselves into. Would have been better to have every other time whining about being outsmarted/outworked by the land group than to have basically said you guys can’t win that way.
            To set mandatory or ‘expected’ pit stop lap times is just another ploy to eliminate uncontrolled variables(team or driver influences) from changing the series and manufacturers desired outcome for the race.

          • Harlan Fengler

            February 9, 2018 at 7:48 pm

            There is no prohibition on changing the set up after the Road. Those aren’t included in the BoP parameters.

            But if you manage to get away with using a dog set up at the Roar, then suddenly drop a full second on race weekend, plan on spending a while in the IMSA trailer explaining how you suddenly found that speed.

    • Greeny

      February 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      I love sportcars and I do understand the need for close racing as it keeps everyone interested but I like to read about manufacturers and teams trying different things to get to the front. Don’t over do the restrictions, F1 does this and numbers watching is dwindling.

  10. Pierre

    February 6, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I once got flunked in a class for being smarter than the professor too.

  11. Harlan Fengler

    February 6, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    And how do you think it would ha’ve gone over with the rest of the GTD field if Land won by multiple laps based on fueling times? They’d be screaming bloody murder.

    Truly a no-win situation for IMSA.

    • Jenner

      February 6, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      You do what great innovators like Jim Hall, Dan Gurney, and Carroll Shelby would have done. Think outside the box, use your brain, outsmart the competition with inventive solutions.

      Thanks IMSA for penalizing manufactures for being inventive. Maybe it’s time you guys throw out the “Rulebook” and just go SPEC RACING.

    • They’re Adults

      February 6, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      They would have sucked it up and done the same thing as Land for the next race. Teams admire innovation in competitors, as long as its legal. There’s a lot of mutual respect in the paddock

  12. Johnny

    February 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    This is a sample of beauracy exercising its right to be completely stupid,refueling times,get real,if the other teams arnt smart enough to figure this out,screw them,this is like giving everybody a trophy just for participation.

  13. Sportscarfan28

    February 6, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Greg said it best above. They show up to the roar with one configuration and go racing with another. Furthermore, they know fuel rate is a metric subject to BOP. They didn’t show their hand (a type of sandbagging) and got caught. How is this any different if they showed up ran 2 seconds off pace for the roar, got assigned a restrictor size and then magically walk away from everybody during the race. Then use the logic, ” we used the restrictor you gave us imsa..” Answer: no difference. I appreciate innovation, I really do. But many team members have publicly said on this very site that it’s a waste to make a car faster due to BOP. Same goes for fuel rate. Don’t innovate on a BOP parameter. It’s a waste.

    • jareth Belanger

      February 7, 2018 at 12:05 am

      because it’s not sand bagging, because they didn’t hold back the car as currently equipped.

      Also fuel rate is regulated by fuel rig restrictor, just like air flow and turbo pressure and weight.

      I guess changing the spring sets to better deal with added weight is a violation of BOP in your head

      I guess changing fuel spray to deal with air restrictors is a violation of BOP in your head

      I guess changing the wing angle to compensate for less HP is a BOP violation in your head.

      For FUCKS sakes, you people are acting like if a team is given the rulebook and draws in the lines they are in violation for overcoming the purposely given handicap imposed on them.

      • Sportscarfan28

        February 7, 2018 at 7:57 pm

        “because it’s not sand bagging, because they didn’t hold back the car as currently equipped.”

        No, they changed the freakin car! Might as well throw another motor in it while there at it!

        You can change wing angle, you can change springs. You can change fuel spray. You run outside of your tolerance band on performance, penalty. Welcome to the world of bop my friend. Land new what they were doing and got caught.

  14. peter p

    February 7, 2018 at 3:55 am

    fuel flow in refuling is a major BOP item as due to the nature of all the differnet cas and fueltnk shapes there will be differance refuling times if the all would us the sime size restictor
    so the organizer tests flow rates and than issues restrictors sizes(as tis is the only item they can modify from their side)for different type of cars to level the refueling time.
    if a team make changes to any componants on the car side to improve fuel flow rate the intendion os to get a advantage over a given refueling time for a given ammount of fuel.
    as this has a major influance in the overall performance of the race result (when you can gaine time “for free” during a refueling stop it has a dramatic influance on the race results and that is the reason a team woud to such thing “to gain a advantage”
    now as IMSA and othere race series organizers dont want to have a “shortest refueling competition” (and possible the race fans as well as they want to see a race on the track and not in the pits) I guess IMSA felt they had to act as the BOP for “same refueling time for all” has been altered since they have set it

    Now we can all argue if it has been done in a right way with the penalty

    In a category like GTD where the racing is so close on track and we all like to see this, a “impact” on a intended “same refuling time for all makes of cars” BOP, even when done without using any “non approved” parts has a massive impact on the results and is against the “refueling BOP” and that is why IMSA acted with the penalty

    just just my cents

    minimum pitstop time could be one way to avoid this but this also has some downsides as how to you do it if you dont come in for a “full” tank!

    you see all not so easy, that why the BOP for the “fill time of a given fuel quantity” is very important and should be the same for all competitors (unless you want to watch a fuel stop competition)

  15. Danny Pittman

    February 8, 2018 at 10:31 am

    A coworker was telling me about this. I said, “remember, it is NASCAR. Who went from second to first? I bet it was a Florida or Charlotte area based team.” We then checked the results, nailed it. NASCAR would not have given this penalty to Ganassi.

    • Little Brother

      February 8, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      You could not be more wrong. My brother heads up the BoP program, and he is a guy with the utmost integrity. He started by hanging around an Indy car team 25 years ago, and through hard work and dedication has reached the highest levels of the sport.

      I can tell you this is an entirely data-driven exercise. There are officials on the timing stand and a trailer full of engineers watching everything that comes off of those cars. No decision is made on a whim – there is data to support everything they do.

      The system isn’t perfect and all sorts of interests work all kinds of angles to gain an advantage. Keeping a level playing field is a tough and thankless job. If it’s done right, no one is really happy.

      I get that people won’t like every call. That’s the nature of officiating. But if you are going to accuse the officials of unscrupulous behavior you better be able to point to some pretty compelling facts. Otherwise you’re just some guy on the internet talking s**t.

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