Bentley appears poised to enter the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the new Daytona Prototype international (DPi) platform, with the British manufacturer reportedly set to begin engine testing next month.
Motorsport.com reports that a test with Bentley’s GT3-based twin-turbo V8 engine, mated to a Ginetta LMP3 chassis, is set to be run in February in Europe.
As Sportscar365 first revealed last year, Bentley has been evaluating a move to the WeatherTech Championship with a potential factory effort based around IMSA’s new Prototype formula, which will debut next year.
“It’s our philosophy at Bentley Motors to race where we can win overall,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Sportscar365 in an exclusive interview last May.
“The United States is our single biggest market, so I would really like to see our cars racing in the U.S., not only in Pirelli World Challenge but also in [IMSA].”
The latest reports indicates Bentley’s prototype test mule has been in the works since late last year.
It would need to align with one of the FIA, ACO and IMSA-approved LMP2 constructors, and produce bodywork for the car, as well as the engine.
No word has been given on whether the prospective project would debut next year, or potentially in 2018.
An IMSA manufacturers meeting, involving prospective OEMs, as well as the four constructors, was held Friday at Daytona International Speedway, site of this weekend’s Rolex 24.
While Bentley has yet to confirm a DPi program, such an effort would mark its first prototype involvement since winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 (pictured, above) with the Speed 8.