Toyota Racing Development President and general manager David Wilson is hopeful of changes to the GTD Pro technical and sporting regulations that would bring it further in line with the GTD class.
Announced last month, the new-for-2021 GT3-based category would feature same-specification Michelin Pilot Sport S9M tires and a number of other elements carried over from GTD.
However, IMSA confirmed at that time it would utilize a separate Balance of Performance between the two classes, as well as carrying over the different refueling restrictor size from the soon-to-be-defunct GT Le Mans class.
These differences have led to some teams, including Lexus customer Vasser Sullivan, which was hoping to run a car each in GTD Pro and GTD, to re-evaluate its options.
“The GTD class is the healthiest class in this garage week in, week out,” Wilson told Sportscar365. “The car count is unmatched and usually sums all of the other categories combined.
“What we think is most important is that whatever direction IMSA takes this GT consolidation that we don’t compromise that and still have a healthy GT category.
“We’re still churning it. Jeff [Bal, Lexus motorsports manager] and I spent an hour with [IMSA President] John Doonan [Saturday morning] talking about it.”
Wilson said it was his understanding the replacement of GTLM with GTD Pro was an effort to simplify the class structure, with the only difference to GTD being the mandatory use of a Bronze or Silver-rated driver in each lineup and GTD Pro having no restrictions.
“We’re fans of trying to keep this as simple as possible,” he said. “We try to look at this from a fan’s perspective.
“Over the years as an industry, we talk about how the garage can be a little bit complicated to the casual fan.
“My understanding is that one of the rationales is to address that point.
“This is where we have to step carefully. I think IMSA is still not completely sorted on that end.
“What we’re advocating for is simplicity.
“If I’m a fan in the grandstands and I see two Lexus, two Porsches or three Lamborghinis, whether it’s GTD Pro or GTD, it’s the same FIA GT3 homologation, that it’s the same BoP and the same fuel flow rate and tire and you put it in the hands of our drivers and let them be the show.
“We’re looking at it from the lens of the fan and simplicity.
“We had some productive conversation. I think the next few weeks will be telling to see directionally where things go and we’ll have a better indiction.”