As the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season kicks off, Sportscar365 caught up with senior series manager Geoff Carter to get the low-down on the new Balance of Performance process and some changes that have been made for the coming season.
Will the new in-session scrutineering checks be utilized all season?
“At any point we’ll do that but we have to respect the fact that teams have run plans and have limited track time.
“We understand that this is a necessary component of us making sure we understand the configurations of the car but also not compromising their run time or test plans. We want to be as minimally invasive as possible. We need the information so there’s a balance there.
“We can do things like bringing in a car on a red flag, if we know it’s going to be a few minutes. We’ve got the checks down to 3 or 4 minutes, which isn’t bad. And we’re able to get the information we need in that amount of time.”
How have you been working with the FIA and ACO through the GTLM BoP process?
“We are in a position where we are sharing information with them. They were at our wind tunnel testing at Windshear in December. We put all of the cars through; the Ferrari went through on the first week of January.
“There were representatives from the FIA and ACO at that test. We ran their Le Mans body kits in that testing. We’ll be sharing data with them following the Rolex 24.
What’s different with the Windshear wind tunnel tests from the FIA BoP testing done at Ladoux last September?
“The Ladoux testing requires some post-acquisition analysis in that they have to do some math. It doesn’t give you the complete, thorough information Windshear does, just because it’s an older system.
“So [the FIA and ACO] were able to leave Windshear with complete wind tunnel information.”
Could we expect to see a global-spec BoP for GTE/GTLM?
“In a perfect world that would be good for both of us. But I think the applications might be slightly different. We’ll see what they come up with. They’ll have our information.
“We’re in a unique position here where in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship we run GT Le Mans and GT Daytona together.
“When they’re separate, you can almost have any BoP because you don’t have to worry about that inter-class stratification, which we do. We’re very conscious of that.
“Even to go one step further — here at Daytona — the class separation when you throw in the four classes, is different than what you’d see at Sebring or Laguna Seca.
“We have one extra element that the ACO and FIA doesn’t.”
What was the reason behind the performance changes to the PC class for this weekend?
“Since Daytona last year, we made a slight engine modification. We increased the horsepower by 12-15 horsepower. So the car they brought back this year is a little different than the one they had last year.
“What we found at the November test is that they were on the rev limiter for a pretty long time. So we made the top gear a little bit longer to protect the rev limiter and made a couple small modifications in the engine.
“We ported the heads and changed the damper size on the front of the engine to reduce some ringing in the engine on gearshifts because we were having some dog ring issues on shifting.
“As the car is a little bit different, we decided had some room to give them a couple of mph, so we’ve reduced the minimum wing angle slightly.
“That will give them the ability to have less interaction with the GT cars on the high-speed portion and not have to make an aggressive move under braking in the infield. That was the idea behind that.”