Despite reports linking Bentley to a definitive DPi effort for 2017, the British manufacturer has reiterated that a decision has yet to be made on a possible factory Prototype involvement in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“That’s what we’ve said, it’s under evaluation,” Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush told Sportscar365. “We’ve always thought that it’s a good series. We like the series and are having a look at it but we haven’t made a decision.”
Gush, along with other Bentley representatives were in Daytona last weekend, for what Gush said was primarily for meetings with Bentley America and its new Pirelli World Challenge partner team, Absolute Racing.
IMSA and the ACO also held meetings with LMP2 constructors, in efforts to finalize both the DPi and global LMP2 regulations for next year, which Gush has also been keeping an eye on.
“The progress that’s been made has been in the regulations, everything’s becoming a bit clearer,” he said. “But there’s still lots going on.
“When you think there’s four [constructors] still designing their cars. They still haven’t been [finalized] yet. Regulations are still firming up. Quite a lot has been put out.
“Everyone’s looking at what’s out there at the moment. We’re looking at it and it’s interesting. But the company hasn’t made a decision yet.”
Gush confirmed reports that Bentley is conducting a feasibility study with its twin-turbo V8 engine, which is expected to be fitted into a Ginetta LMP3 car for on-track testing shortly.
However, he stressed it’s nothing out of the ordinary for any kind of program evaluation.
“That’s part of the regulations,” he said. “IMSA has said that they would favor GT3 engines. Obviously as engineers, that’s what we’d look at. We’re never stop thinking. We’re just looking at our options.”
While it’s understood Bentley has been in preliminary contact with multiple U.S.-based teams for the possible DPi program, Gush said those talks would be premature at this stage.
He said no timeline has been given on when a final decision would be made.