Renger van der Zande has suggested that IMSA will implement a track-specific form of Balance of Performance following what he feels has been a bit of a “mismatched” situation in some WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races this year.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver spoke on the BoP process following the latest change to the Cadillac DPi-V.R, which will head into this weekend’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic with 15 kg of additional weight.
It is the third weight change to the Cadillac in three races and the fourth consecutive in the DPi class when taking into account a weight adjustment for the Acura ARX-05.
“We, obviously, have a bit of a BoP hit with 15 kgs,” said van der Zande. “The car is really on edge with the weight, so that 15 kgs might not sound like too much, but it is that little extra that has killed us in the past.
“That was at tracks like Road America. I don’t know how it’s going to hit us in Detroit.
“It’s hard to say what the weight will do to our car on a street track, but the braking performance is less, the cornering speed is less, the tire degradation is more, so it’s not only pure lap time. It’s also the wear out of the whole car.”
The Dutchman is pushing for a “competitive” BoP with fellow DPi competitor Acura, after what he felt was a fairly balanced field last year, which saw minimal changes throughout the season.
“I don’t ask for a better BoP, but [Acura] should not get a better BoP than us. It should be equal, then everybody should not complain and be happy.
“IMSA had it right for quite a few races, especially last year. I felt that it was very even.
“I think this year they mismatched sometimes and it’s because they look at it from event to event and not track independent. That’s my personal feeling.
“I think it doesn’t make sense for me to go into detail of BoP because it’s such a sensitive topic, but at the end of the day I can’t really follow what IMSA’s doing.
“Because in Ohio we were not the fastest car and now we’re getting extra weight on the car. We’re getting hit by BoP.”
Van der Zande opened up the topic of IMSA establishing BoP tables specific to each track, or a cluster of tracks.
SRO Motorsports Group utilizes a similar system with four or sometimes five different BoP tables depending on the track characteristics.
Both IMSA and the ACO, meanwhile, have used a standalone BoP for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans, respectively, and thus have history with establishing a table for one event only.
“If this means that we’re going to get track-independent BoPs, that would be really good,” said van der Zande. “But that would be something they have not announced yet.
“If it goes into a track-independent BoP, then I’m super happy with it because that’s exactly what we need.
“I hope they really start looking at track to track. We race with the same cars for some many years with all the different tracks, so we know what we’re going to get. IMSA should be able to see that as well.
“At the end of the day, we want to have an equal BoP. If you look at Sebring, they looked quite equal. Daytona, they kind of popped up at the end of the race, but before that it looked very equal. Then you look at Long Beach and they were nowhere.
“We don’t like that either. If you see Long Beach that we were at and advantage and you look at Detroit and we might be at an advantage again, they might have made the right call. We’ll see.
“But if is wrong in Detroit, you can’t go to Watkins Glen and say well, it was wrong in Detroit so let’s change it for Watkins Glen to make it equal. It’s a different animal Watkins Glen and Detroit.
“It makes more sense to do it that way. Mosport is a road course and Sebring is a road course as well, but with the bumpiness I think the Cadillac is doing very well. But on a smooth track the Acura is doing better.
“Every track is a little different and I think they should be able to fine-tune it because we’re going there every year with the same car.”