Connect with us

IWSC

Teams Pushing for Separate DPi, LMP2 Classes

IMSA team principals pushing for separate DPi, LMP2 classes amid continued disparity…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

Team principals are pushing for the separation of DPi and LMP2 into standalone classes, amid the growing disparity between the two platforms and a desire among some manufacturers to restore DPi performance levels to its initially established window.

It comes following a mixed first half of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, which saw DPis dominate the opening five rounds, although JDC-Miller Motorsports break through for victory last weekend at Watkins Glen, in only the second overall win for a LMP2 car in the DPi/LMP2 era.

IMSA has maintained the ACO-spec LMP2 cars as the class baseline, which according to Wayne Taylor, has caused concern among DPi manufacturers.

Since its introduction last year, the Cadillac DPi-V.R’s power output has been reduced by nearly 100 horsepower, in an attempt to bring DPis in line with LMP2s, which have remained unchanged per IMSA’s agreement with the ACO.

“It’s not a happy place anymore,” Taylor told Sportscar365. “How do you BoP a DPi, which has got the best teams with best drivers against a P2 car, which has one pro and one amateur? How do you do that?

“I respect all of those guys in P2. I respect the Am drivers for being in the series. But quite honestly, I think they would enjoy [it more] if they could win their class.”

Taylor said there’s “no question” IMSA needs to separate the platforms.

“DPi must go back to what the rules were when it first started,” he said.  “My view is that unless they do that, they may have a problem.

“I can’t see how to motivate a sponsor to come. We qualified 8th [at Watkins Glen]. How does that look to your sponsor when you’ve built the best car, the best drivers and you get it all taken away.”

AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team co-principal Bobby Oergel says he sees “no sustainability” in the current Prototype model for privateers, which could ultimately drive teams like his out of the series.

“It’s very clear that the P2 world doesn’t bring commercial viability to the category right now,” Oergel told Sportscar365. “I don’t think it’s fair to the manufacturers, more than it’s unfair to us as well.”

The former Prototype Challenge entrant says a Pro-Am enforced LMP2 class would be the only way forward.

“It needs to be cut-and-paste of what PC used to be,” he said. “In all fairness, that worked amazingly [well]. They had to keep upping our lease on life in that thing because it was successful.”

Despite claiming victory with its Oreca 07 Gibson at Watkins Glen, JDC-Miller team principal John Church, who had been one of the adversaries for a LMP2 class spinoff, appears to have backed down on his desire to maintain the current class structure.

It comes amid the team’s ambitions of switching to DPi machinery next year.

“We absolutely want to be in a class where we can fight for overall wins,” Church told Sportscar365. “It’s just a matter of putting those pieces together to be in whatever class that is.”

IMSA President Scott Atherton, meanwhile, has stated that options are being discussed on the future class format, although admitted there would be “far reaching” ramifications should the two platforms be separated.

Should a decision be made, it would likely be announced next month at Road America during IMSA’s annual ‘State of the Series’ address.

“There’s no choice,” Oergel said. “On my end of the fence, I need [confirmation on the class separation] to be reality by August. Because if it’s not [a] reality by August, I’ve got to look at possibly ELMS programs. That’s where [the LMP2 model] works.”

Cindric: Caliber of Teams a Factor in LMP2 Disparity

Team Penske President Tim Cindric says that the current caliber of teams with LMP2 machinery has played a factor in the disparity seen this year, with an all-pro driver lineup likely being a routine contender for wins.

Penske fielded an Oreca 07 Gibson in last year’s Motul Petit Le Mans, which saw Helio Castroneves grab pole and finish third overall alongside Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud.

“The idea I thought was that with a P2 car, with a proper driver lineup, a proper team and proper execution should have a shot of winning races,” Cindric told Sportscar365.

“I felt like we took that approach and tested that theory [at Petit Le Mans last year].

“I left there thinking it’s right. I felt like if we would have executed and not had made certain mistakes throughout that race… I think we could have had a chance for the win.

“I think the series needs to continue to be one that rewards execution and the best team and drivers should win.”

LMP2s in ‘David vs. Goliath’ Battle

CORE autosport team owner Jon Bennett, meanwhile, has likened LMP2 vs. DPi to a ‘David and Goliath’ battle, in that teams like his are rewarded in the occasions they beat the manufacturer-backed squads.

The former PC championship-winning squad claimed pole and finished second on Sunday.

“It’s super fun to pretend you’re fighting the Goliath-type battle against some of the best in the business,” Bennett told Sportscar365.

“On the other hand, it’s a bit of a steep task for everyone to stay motivated.”

JDC-Miller’s Church, meanwhile, hopes his team’s recent victory will help entice others to join in with LMP2 cars.

“I think everybody would like to see the class grow,” he said. “Our guys have been working really hard and we’ve been pushing hard here in the last couple of years.

“It shows that with hard work you can get to that top step. Certainly you’ve got to have a few things go your way but you have to put yourself in that position. I think that’s what we did on Sunday.”

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

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 FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

87 Comments

87 Comments

  1. Jack

    July 5, 2018 at 9:32 am

    If they separate the class, I would like to then see manufacturers be told that they have to make DP’i’s available to customers.

    • Marc

      July 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Yes. That would definitely need to happen. If JDC, Core or anyone else wants a DPi they should be able to get one.

    • Andy

      July 5, 2018 at 10:09 am

      But doesn’t at least Caddy already do that? I mean im sure AX, WTR, and Visit florida whatever they’re called now get some GM support, I don’t believe they’re fully supported like Acura, Nissan, Mazda etc. I could be wrong though

      • Steven

        July 5, 2018 at 4:46 pm

        Cadillac does it but Acura, Nissan, and Mazda are exclusive contracts to one team only.

      • Kingsnake

        July 5, 2018 at 7:14 pm

        Florida #90 does not get enough GM support to do a full season. That’s why they will not be at Toronto. Thus proving Taylor’s contention that “dumbing down” it makes it hard for Dpi teams to attract sponsorship.

        • Max

          July 6, 2018 at 1:43 am

          They also lost their primary sponsor, wrecked two tubs in two years, and switched chassis thrice. Getting more GM support means they’re not really a privateer. With two pricy seasons like that, you really can’t pin it on GM support to fix things.

  2. Change it up

    July 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Just think how this will affect european LMP2 teams coming to race the enduro races. Less appealing for sure if they cant compete overall. The ACO needs to just let IMSA spec all LMP2 machinery around the world to allow DPi integration. Why would IMSA’s dealings with BoPing LMP2 machinery in the WEC, ELMS, and Asian le mans series make thinks worse for everyone else? Is it because of P1?

    • jack

      July 5, 2018 at 9:59 am

      it might be more appealing at the same time tho, because they dont have to race against the dpi’s anymore.

    • Pay Driver

      July 5, 2018 at 10:00 am

      No one internationally is going to spend to one-off in PC redux. No one.

      • Matt

        July 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        It’s not a PC redux. It’d be more aligned to going back to a P1 and P2 class structure. The limited engines and chassis in P2 is the ACO’s fault, not IMSA. The old P2 spec was an amazing platform for a top class, but it made too much sense and threatened P1.

        • Sorc

          July 5, 2018 at 2:19 pm

          P2 was never made to be a top class, that’s why it’s called P2. It got too expensive.

          • Matt

            July 6, 2018 at 1:04 am

            It wasn’t too expensive. There were tons of different teams running a variety of cars.

    • Mark - Toronto

      July 5, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Yes, that’s part of the fallout challenge. IMSA wanted to attract P2 teams from other series to the NAEC, and Daytona specifically. But I don’t know if that itself is a desire worth fighting for. Firstly, how successful has this been? (I’m not sure, because I don’t know what the expectations were to measure it to.). Would an ELMS/WEC P2 team now decide NOT to come to Daytona/Sebring if it were not for an overall win? Sure. But is there a chance to appease them by making a P2 class win at Daytona an automatic invite to Le Mans for example? (Depends on the ACO I suppose.)

      As for the NAEC, that never seemed to really take off anyway. With only 4 rounds, it was pretty obvious after Sebring if you were in it or not. Therefore participation in all 4 events was never guaranteed. I just don’t see the good of a combined class necessarily outweighing the bad. But it would be interesting to know what other implications of splitting the two we’re missing.

      • Mark - Toronto

        July 5, 2018 at 11:50 am

        Actually – to critique my own post, I suppose an automatic invite to Le Mans for a Daytona P2 win is pointless if you already have an invite by virtue of previous results/participation elsewhere.

  3. Pay Driver

    July 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Screw this shit. Same thing that happened in LMP1. Manufacturers spent out the ass, ridiculous tech, privateers were forced to obscurity. Now Cadillac initially brings in a freaking 6.2L V8 and wonders why they’ve had HP taken away. It was going to be a BoP class from the beginning, morons. That and your trick suspensions from all the OEMs and they wonder why they’re being pegged back…

    Once IMSA are back down to 2 OEMs in DPi hopefully they can remember screwing over the likes of Shank (customer sales should’ve been mandated), Bennett, Brown, Oergel, etc. when considering the next set of prototype regulations. WEC just freaking realized this this past year.

    • el_gordo

      July 5, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Cadillac DPi uses the 5.5L V8, can’t believe there is so much butt hurt over competing against an old pushrod motor in a top class

      • Rob

        July 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

        It’s not a pushrod engine

      • Rob

        July 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

        It’s not a pushrod engine

        • Bill

          July 5, 2018 at 11:32 am

          Yes it is…

      • fourloko

        July 5, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        pretty sure they still use the 7.0 L block like the C7R does (i’ve seen the c7r one in person)

        • Jason L

          July 5, 2018 at 2:22 pm

          The c7.r is also a 5.5L engine. They havent used a 7.0L since c5.r. the caddy is now a 5.5L. Last year was a 6.2L

          • fourloko

            July 5, 2018 at 3:13 pm

            yeah i’m aware it’s a 5.5, but it is a 7.0 block that has a smaller bore and likely a crankshaft with shorter stroke as well. 7.0 is cast into the block and is very visible.

          • greg

            July 5, 2018 at 3:40 pm

            its based off the 7.0 block as stated, bigger bore (104.8mm) shorter stroke vs what you’d get in the production engine (96-103.25mm bore depending on the application) of similar displacements, also comes with billet main caps and designed to be a stressed member of the chassis (damn gt1 machines were cool) vs the production blocks…

      • Pay Driver

        July 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm

        Only after IMSA “encouraged” them to make a 5.5L. It was 6.2 last year.

  4. jason

    July 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

    If this rumored class separation occurs, then I think this could open the door for non hybrid LMP1’s to be invited in since DPI won’t be chain-balled anymore. Just a speculation on my part.

    Also does IMSA want anymore of a speed separation between prototype and GT cars? Its getting quite big now. And not because the GT cars are slower. They have been getting faster over the years but not at the rate that we saw with the old LMP2 and Daytona Prototype vs the current Gibson powered and DPI cars.

    I think DPI cars without the BoP restrictions could go sub 1 min 30 at Watkins Glen.

    • GM Guy

      July 5, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Let’s send out an unrestricted DPi to the Nurburgring. I bet the Caddy gets close to the 919.

      • Sorc

        July 5, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Lmao

      • Mike C.

        July 5, 2018 at 1:25 pm

        Hahahahahah – I doubt they could get close to 6:11 much less 5:19 ,…. good luck with that,…… there is no comparison in corner exit acceleration between any non-hybrid car and what is happening with the 919 Tribute.

      • Andy

        July 5, 2018 at 2:03 pm

        A DPi Caddy is about as close to the 919 around the ring as you are to being Senna…

    • jon

      July 5, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I don’t think the spread is as big an issue as some tend to make. Sure the P times are faster than the DP/LMP2 speeds from the intial merge but those speeds were even off from where they had been initially.

      Mid Ohio 2008
      Overall Pole: de Ferran/Pgaenaud Acura – 1:07.969. The Dyson RS Spyder in 10th overall was at 1:10.029.
      GT1: O’Connell/Magnussen Corvette at 1:17.900
      GT2: Melo/Salo Ferrari 1:20.025. Last GT2 was the Viper CC at 1:24.957.

      Mid Ohio 2018
      Overall Pole: Castroneves/Taylor Acura at 1:11.837. The last prototype (CORE) was at 1:14.351.
      GTLM: Edwards/Krohn BMW at 1:17.853
      GTD: Hawksworth/Heinemeier Hansson Lexus at 1:19.317. Last GTD was the SunEnergy Mercedes at 1:21.733.

      Everybody is getting faster but the overall spread isn’t as big as it had been. Also, the GTD cars this year were all qualified by the Am’s except the Lexus cars. If the DPi’s were turned loose we could get down to those 2007-2008 times and the spread would still have some room to increase.

      • Dave D

        July 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm

        Taylor “I can’t see how to motivate a sponsor to come. We qualified 8th [at Watkins Glen]. How does that look to your sponsor when you’ve built the best car, the best drivers and you get it all taken away.”
        Welcome to BOP, this is what happens when applied in all forms of motorsport. Manufacturers spend millions to build the best car just to be put on equal footing by BOP

        • Matr

          July 5, 2018 at 1:30 pm

          Honestly, that statement was idiotic of Taylor. The whole point of BoP is so that the teams and sponsors don’t have to spend exuberant amounts of money. Manufacturers and privateer teams wouldn’t show up if spending the most money automatically = winning. I can’t believe his whining over the Caddy’s having one bad race. They’ll be back in the hunt at Mosport.

        • WTR can suck an egg

          July 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm

          It’s almost as completely moronic as his claim of

          “DPi must go back to what the rules were when it first started,” he said. “My view is that unless they do that, they may have a problem.”

          They ARE running the rules as they have been dumbas, or do you not know your own rules? The rules stated the LMP2 cars would be the base and your car, ESPECIALLY your car, would be slowed to meet the P2 capabilities. Now the fact you tested and tested and tested to show Continental (Hoosier) what was needed in the tire and used that time to test your car as well doesn’t mean the rules changed cause you’re slower. You and all the Caddies are slower because you can’t run at Watkins Glen as well as the P2s can, And they can’t run at the point and shoot tracks like you can. It’s called racing but I guess you don’t want racing, you want winning. Sorry but Penske showed what a P2 with real drivers and a REAL team can do and almost won Petit with a car they literally picked up that month.

        • kv

          July 5, 2018 at 1:50 pm

          Wayne Taylor has just hit the nail on the head, BoP is a sponsor killer !IT IS THE CART / IRL HEAD ACHE ALL OVER AGAIN !

          • Matt

            July 6, 2018 at 1:07 am

            BoP is not a sponsor killer😂 whining pointlessly after having one bad race and making the series and team look bad is a sponsor killer.

          • Rus'L

            July 6, 2018 at 3:01 pm

            The manufacturers WANT BoP. Why can’t people ever get that through their heads?

            What they don’t want is BoP against spec non-manufacturer cars. They only want BoP within the manufacturers.

  5. Joel

    July 5, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Separation of the classes might bring more manufacturers to the DPi party? if they have fewer outright competitors, and less chance for privateers claiming outright victories (which manufacturers detest!) then they are more likely to commit resources to factory efforts?

    • Steven

      July 5, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      There are zero other manufacturers interested in DPi. These 4 were the only manufacturers that were in limbo after 2016 and IMSA made the class specifically for them to keep them racing.

      • Matt

        July 6, 2018 at 11:21 pm

        That’s not true in the slightest

  6. Helmut

    July 5, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Can anyone tell me how many spectators were at the Glen? From photos I have seen and the online footage it did not look very big

    • Dan

      July 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      This was my 4th time going to the 6 hrs, camping was filled more than ever before. Not many people ventured into the stands though because it was so hot, you just got fried sitting on the aluminum grandstands.

      • Paul

        July 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

        I can vouch for that. Infield and boot area was packed. Grandstands were just a place to get fried in the sun.

        • Rus'L

          July 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm

          Even then, there were more people in the stands than I expected.

          Attendance at The Glen has gone up each year lately bit by bit. Sure, it’s nowhere near the amount it was during the heyday of the IMSA GTP era. But ever since the merger, it has grown.

    • Matt

      July 5, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      Dan is correct. I was there as well and there were the same amount, if not more people than last year. Most people were hiding out under the few trees that allow a view of the track. It would’ve been a death wish to sit on the grandstands this year. If the track would actually plant some trees on the hills by the toe and heel of the boot, it’d be much more comfortable for the fans. Currently, it’s hard to find some shade where you can watch the race.

    • Tom Sawyer

      July 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      It’s been growing every year, seems like there are more people going now then in the Gran-Am years, and the weekend had definitely become way more fan based. But like he said, it was too hot to do anything during the race this year.

  7. daedalus

    July 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    I can understand why the factory teams want to split the classes as they are spending lots of money on development and being pegged back but that was the whole point of BOP to dissuade spending wars.

    Given that the manufactures pay the big fees IMSA will end up giving in to their demands but it will not be good for fans of sportscar racing to go from 16 cars fighting for overall win to just 9 or 10 with a separate 4 car LMP2 class. The last race at the glen was exciting because of the mix of cars fighting for the win, if you took the LMP2 out of the equation it would have been boring by comparison with the retirements of the mazdas and nissans and the acuras out in front on their own.

    In the end the series will reap what it sows.

    • jason

      July 5, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Perhaps one good thing about creating an LMP2 class is that you could get better chance at a 3rd all GT only race somewhere. This way you can have an all prototype race with 2 classes still running for race wins.

    • Matt

      July 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      You’re exactly right. The Mazda program will continue to be a joke until they get rid of the current AER engine, and the Nissans are always a hit or miss. Unleashing the DPi’s will mean that the Acura’s win most races, and all the team owners will be whining again, as usual.

      • Andy

        July 5, 2018 at 1:55 pm

        Most definitely, if everyone on another site wants to claim the DPis are faster because of the constant improvement of suspension and other bits, what’s going to happen when Penske gets Acura/HPD to shell out the cash to buy his parts and his dampers? Sorry but WTR will have an entirely different problem on their hands and being beaten out the back door by a PROFESSIONAL team will make his little toy look like just that a TOY. Rarely does Penske, or Cindric, make a false step and they know how to develop engines and cars, no one else in the IMSA field is even close. Maybe Joest with a good baseline and a fat checkbook but they are limited with the Mazda program (AER engine and a turd of a chassis) so I doubt we’ll get to see them shine any time soon. Cadillac may build a beast of an engine but Oreca has THE LMP2 chassis and Acura has the program to dominate with open development. And I am NOT a fan of Penske winning, yes purely out of not wanting to see the same guys win again and again, but as a race team and the way to run a team? One of the best ever in everything he has touched.

        • Rus'L

          July 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm

          They will still BoP within the DPi class, just like they do with GTLM and GTD.

  8. Matt

    July 5, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    IMSA really needs to implement an SRO-style BoP where the cars have predetermined BoP parameters determined by track type, rather than BoP’ing in reaction after each race. That’s the only way P2’s and DPi’s will be able to fairly race going forward. Either way, the whining from Wayne Taylor was embarrassing this weekend, and it shouldn’t be taken seriously. The Caddy’s had a one bad weekend where the BoP was off after completely dominating for the past year. As a fan sitting trackside, the rest of the BoP was pretty much spot on. The Nissans blew up because of the heat and the Mazda’s were slow as usual, but that’s racing.

  9. speedy

    July 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Then why have a DPI class at all? Just have LMP2 WEC style class, with privateer teams on both sides, and leave at that. PWC flat-out said they didn’t wanted any manufacture, at all just privateer’s.

    • N8

      July 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      …and IMSA is the opposite. The whole thing is OEM-backed from DPi down to GT3 Cup and they aren’t really that concerned about the interest of privateers.

      Glad I’m not the one having to make this decision.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 6, 2018 at 12:55 am

      Speedy, because WEC LMP2 sucks. It’s dominated by Oreca.

      Since mandating a spec engine and limiting the class to just four chassis, Oreca has won EVERY WEC LMP2 race.

      No other chassis even comes close.

      Is that what you REALLY want?

  10. Kurt

    July 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Pr1 wants lmpc and yet they say they’ll go to Elms. Pr1 is an amateur team competing at a pro level. I never understand this, the amateur low budget teams should compete in a pro am class, not go to pro classes then whine because they can’t win. I mean seriously, look at that team compared to the United pro am effort that shows up for a few races a year. The Watkins glen race was absurdly good, and races like that will bring fans to the sport and retain existing fans. A split where there’s a handful of cars in each class? What happens when patron leaves for 2019, and Acura goes away in 2020? Don’t ruin a good thing because Taylor hired 2 drivers that can’t setup a car, and pr1 doesn’t have anywhere near the budget for a prototype class.

  11. speedy

    July 5, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    LTA TT 4.2-liter DOHC V8 engine (Cadillac). Audi= ALMS. RP=LMP2 in ALMS.

    • kv

      July 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Cadillac cant hide from the competion,with a pushrod engine anymore !

  12. LagunaSnaka

    July 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Watkins Glen was a fantastic race! Is there really a problem here? As a long-time fan, it didn’t seem like it. I believe the WTR Caddy was in contention at the end but decided not to take tires and fell back in the final laps. Correct?

  13. Mike S.

    July 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    This isn’t good. No matter the decision car counts will go down. Damned if you do damned if you don’t. IMSA in a pickle here from success of DPi and a world regulated class in P2. I guess separate classes but more DPis aren’t out there outside North America. I wonder how this would of looked if DPi wasn’t implemented and P2 was it in top class?? Who knows and that is Monday morning quarterbacking at this point.

  14. Doogle

    July 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Hey on the bright side, if they split up into two classes won’t they still have the bickering of BOP in DPi and the added bonus of “who’s an AM” in P2. If they don’t make it Pro-Am then you’ll have people complaining that it should be pro-am. It’s appears to be a no-win situation.

  15. Fernando

    July 5, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Forget about the ACO rules, help the P2 get to a level where they can compete with the DPI’s. That’s how you will grow the championship. And get rid of Scott Atherton. He’s too aligned with the ACO and has already killed ALMS with his “vision”.

    • Jack

      July 5, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Atherton is the real issue here. Get someone who is smart in there.

      How about the ACO ups LMP 2 to Dpii levels? Problem solved.

    • Mike S.

      July 6, 2018 at 12:20 am

      Atherton went his own path away from ACO and ditched their rules….. It is called DPi. If he was aligned with ACO he would of never implemented DPi and stuck to an exact badged and spec’ed out P2 engine with the 3 chasis like the ACO. Makes no sense.

    • Matt

      July 6, 2018 at 1:14 am

      As Mike also said, Atherton isn’t problem. He has been vocal against the ACO when they screwed over DPi teams and didn’t allow them to run their specific engines at Le Mans. Atherton has also stated that he doesn’t see IMSA adopting the new P1 regs in their current form. He’s done the best job he can given what he has to work with.

  16. Steven

    July 5, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Give LMP2’s their correct tires and you can speed up DPi’s then.

  17. John

    July 5, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    No easy answers, but I’m on the side of customer DPis instead of a split field.

    The teams that want to resurrect a lower PC-like class may derive some satisfaction for winning in their own class, but few others will care.

    The regular IMSA privateers may not match up as well to the factory-backed DPi efforts, but the well-run international P2 teams, and their drivers, have not been shy about the disparity in the cars.

    IMSA’s failing attempt at integrating international-spec cars into its series has few benefits and isn’t doing its own teams any favors.

    If there’s one good thing to be taken away from Grand-Am, it’s that that at least had a much more level playing field, that was able to include an OEM element for all, even if the machinery itself wasn’t attractive, and the audience was small.

    DPis are a sane compromise between cost and technology. But IMSA’s pursuit of the OEMs has resulted in the same results as any other series where factories have a lot of control — a disparate field of haves and have nots.

    It might be difficult to say, and hear, but moving back toward GA’s model, at least on the car market level, might be the best solution, because it was successful, at least in that one respect.

    There’s nothing particularly specialized or advanced about DPis that would prevent it. It wouldn’t be asking a small privateer to know how to run a highly-specialized P1-H, or for an OEM to reveal state secrets by letting the cars into others’ hands. The construct of factory, or work-based teams is an artificial construct in this context.

    This story consists mainly of perspectives from the teams and their principals. It would be a mistake to think they also speak for the fans, or their interests.

  18. Chase

    July 5, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    The performance levels should stay where they are and just be separate classes with a caveat If you wanna run all Pro lineup P2 car like Rebellion or United then your car should fit in the DPi category. If you have a P2 and pro am lineup then be in a separate class. If either class win overall then great. You have a P2 podium and a DPi podium.

    Kind of like 2007-2008 when the Audis were getting beat by the porsches/acuras but it was good racing. Audi had their championship won but still wanted to win their races outright

    • Andy Flinn

      July 6, 2018 at 1:13 am

      Uh, Chase, no.

      If you’re an LMP2 team and you want a separate class where you can fight for eleventh (behind the DPis) because you can’t hang with DPis, fine. I can support that.

      However, if you’re an LMP2 team and still want to race DPis for overall victories, your ass belongs in the same class with the DPis.

      LMP2 teams cannot have it both ways. A separate LMP2 class and championship should not be created as a consolation prize for LMP2 teams that still want to – but can’t – beat the DPi teams for overall wins.

      Either the LMP2 teams can or you they cannot compete with the DPi teams for overall wins.

      LMP2 teams would need to decide what is true.

      • Ray William Johnson

        July 6, 2018 at 3:32 am

        Read what Chase said, he stated if you’re a P2 team with an all pro lineup like Rebellion, they can race with the DPi. “LMP2s cannot compete with DPi for overall wins” you might wanna re watch Watkins Glen Andy. And yeah, Oreca P2s finished 1-2 at the Glen last weekend. Not sure if you knew that.

        • Andy Flinn

          July 6, 2018 at 10:17 am

          Ray, read MY post again. Then maybe you won’t quote only HALF of what I actually said.

          Yes, I did see two LMPs finish 1-2 at The Glen.

          But I’m not sure how that is relevant considering that the #54 Core Autosport LMP2 that finished second overall does NOT have an “all pro lineup.”

          • Ray William Johnson

            July 6, 2018 at 10:29 am

            Nah, you just REPEAT what the other person says or misinterpret it all the time. Dumbass lol

  19. Larry

    July 5, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Instead of separating P2 and DPi, do it by driver lineup.

    Pro and Am, like GTE in WEC.

    A P2 car with a top flight driver lineup can run with the best of them. As Cindric mentioned, they did it an Oreca P2 car at Petit.

    As for the comments about Spirit of Daytona, Flis wasted a lot of money jumping cars (first saying he wanted a Riley do he could go Mazda later) and he played Onroak for suckers saying he wanted to go to LeMans just to get a car when all along he wanted to go back to GM.

    I have no sympathy for him. Besides GM, he also gets money from Jim France who is part owner of IMSA/NASCAR as well as being a major stakeholder in AXS and SOD.

    His situation is of his own making.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 6, 2018 at 1:25 am

      Larry, did SOD “play Onroak for suckers” when they won the IMSA prototype race at Laguna Seca with Onroak’s Ligier LMP2?

      SOD to Le Mans?

      Did Onroak/Ligier win LMP2 at Le Mans this year, Larry? How about last year?

      How many Onroak/Ligier wins for ANY team in WEC LMP2 competition?

      That’s right. Zero!

      • Larry

        July 7, 2018 at 11:33 pm

        Geez, you go off about something that has nothing to do with what I said.

        You do that a lot to everyone.

        Yes, they played Onroak. Because they happened to win a race with it doesn’t mean they didn’t play them. The supposedly were trying it out and it worked well enough for them to win a race but they still had to have a Caddy and they knew that’s what they wanted no matter how well they did with the Ligier.

        So yeah, the played them.

        I guess you never read Flis saying he wanted to go to LeMans.

        Here’s one instance:

        “IMSA’s second entry selection has yet to be announced but has been declared by the ACO as a LMP2 entry in the 2017 Sporting Regulations, which was released last week.

        Visit Florida Racing team principal Troy Flis told Sportscar365 that he submitted an entry request via IMSA for the race but has yet to receive confirmation, with speculation that Flis could combine with Ben Keating for a joint effort with Keating’s Riley MK. 30 Gibson.”

        https://sportscar365.com/lemans/lemans24/scuderia-corsa-secures-second-24h-le-mans-auto-invite/

        And no Ligier wins in WEC, like just about everything you say, is not germaine to Flis playing Onroak.

        As to that particular issue, Mr Flis said this:

        “We have seen what the Ligier JS P217 is capable of, not only here in IMSA, but also in Europe as well, so we are eager to get to the track and learn about the JS P217 at Road America,” Flis said.

        So I guess you know more than he does.

        Good grief man, you should try reality.

  20. Larry

    July 5, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Also, a lot of people seem to forget that the idea all along was that the P2 cars would be the benchmark for performance levels. That was seemingly forgotten but I give IMSA credit for trying to live up to that promise.

    • Andy Flinn

      July 6, 2018 at 1:36 am

      Larry, you also conveniently forget that when the ALMS and Grand-Am merged, IMSA SPED UP, at significant expense, the DPs to match the performance levels of the LMP2s.

      It was the ONLY fair way people said.

      Now, IMSA is SLOWING (dumbing?) DOWN DPis to match the performance levels of the LMP2s.

      It’s the ONLY fair way people now say.

      • OscarUniform16

        July 6, 2018 at 8:45 am

        DPi was ALWAYS going to be slowed down to match LMP2 performance levels. That was made clear before Cadillac, Mazda, ESM/Nissan, or Acura ever began modifying their chosen LMP2s. Explain how that is now unfair.

        • Andy Flinn

          July 6, 2018 at 10:30 am

          Oscar, first we’re speeding up. Now we’re slowing down.

          The same people are attempting to rationalize both.

          I fully understand that the LMP2 is the IMSA prototype class benchmark. However, I don’t think the fact that the ACO and FIA have effectively tied IMSA’s hands is necessarily fair to the IMSA DPis or LMP2s, especially considering how the ACO and FIA banned DPis.

          Maybe some of the problems wouldn’t exist if the ACO and FIA were more cooperative with IMSA and the rules not so rigid.

          • OscarUniform16

            July 6, 2018 at 4:13 pm

            I would say the ACO and FIA should be a little vindicated considering the difficulties IMSA has had with DPi/P2. The continual BOP controversies in the GTE classes at Le Mans are bad enough; screwing with LMP2 could be ruinous. As for speeding up and slowing down, that’s exactly how a benchmark is supposed to work. LMP2 has been constant since the beginning. What difference does it make how fast the DPis are, as long as the racing is competitive? The rules of the game haven’t changed since the beginning, so the complaining from the DPi teams and manufacturers is useless noise at best. It would be like the New England Patriots complaining that the NFL’s salary cap is unfair to them.

      • Larry

        July 7, 2018 at 11:15 pm

        You can go on with you aimless rantings, and you do that a lot, but the FACT remains that a commitment was made to use the P2s for the benchmark.

        What part of that escapes you?

        This has nothing to do with the BS surrounding the DPs, this was about a promise made before the first car was bought. It’s not about being “fair”, it’s living up to your word.

        I guess that’s too hard for you to figure out.

        • Larry

          July 7, 2018 at 11:35 pm

          Oscar, the “aimless rantings” was directed at Andy, not you.

  21. Tim

    July 5, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    I have been going to the Glen since 84. Never missed a sportscar race. I thought it was a great race. And if This win is the only blemish on a DPi clean sweep, dont change a thing. I am put off by Wayne’s whining. If anything he should be influencing GM to make more Cadillacs available for purchase.
    Wasn’t it mentioned SOD sold their Riley? Does that mean another team coming in?

    • Tim

      July 5, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Also What happened to D3 racing?

  22. Dave

    July 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

    IMSA should focus on what the fans are seeking. While at the autograph session the lines at Penske, Ford and Corvette were 10x longer than any other. There was literally no one in line to get a signature from Vanthoor or Dumas – two guys who had some pretty substantial recent accomplishments. Castroneves is a fun guy to chat with, but I am floored by the disparity here. What that tells me is that the majority of race fans want to see either American cars or drivers who are famous from other American series – namely IndyCar. A Ford or FCA DPi and add an Aston GTLM squad will bring renewed/additional excitement to the paddock. While I’d like to see more European based GT and P2 teams competing fans seem to be looking for what they know.

  23. Fernando

    July 6, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    The fans want to see large grids, diversity, and competition. I don’t see how two classes will grow the championship. I agree that the DPI’s need to be pegged back a bit, and the ACO rules that stop changes to the P2 abandoned. The P2 should be allowed to make changes that Make them competitive with the DPI’s. Let’s not forget that there DPI teams on the fence financially. It’s by no means certain that we will have 10 DPI’s doing a full season next year. So we face having 5, 7 DPI’s doing the full championship. By the same token, how many P2 teams will commit to the series if there are only 3 to 4 cars on a separate class? Unity is the way forward. That way we may have grids of more than 10 prototypes and some European teams might commit to a full series. Let not forget the golden days of IMSA. It can be recreated.

  24. Daniel Tripp

    July 6, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Count me in for the separate P2 class. Make it a Pro-Am class like WEC and don’t look back.

    If a team wants to enter a P2 car with all Pros, they can Duke it out against the DPi’s.

    For that matter, GTD should have sub-classes for Pro and Pro-Am as well.

  25. Daren

    July 11, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    I’m against it but it could be done. Run the DPI and p2s on separate weekends. Add LMP3 to the main race and schedule additional weekends to Sonoma, Portland, Utah, and Austin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in IWSC