Visit Florida Racing has narrowed down its 2017 Prototype decision between two manufacturers and a potential third constructor, with GM now back in the mix alongside continued discussions with Mazda, according to team owner Troy Flis.
While having been in talks with Mazda for several months, Flis revealed that remaining with GM, which is poised to launch a Cadillac DPi program next year, would make the most sense for his team, which has long-standing ties to the Detroit manufacturer.
“We’ve had great experience with the GM group,” Flis told Sportscar365. “I believe they’re very excited to keep us and we’d be very excited to stay.
“GM is probably our best plan to walk into… but Mazda is a great opportunity for us too.
“Mazda’s had some meetings [last] weekend and they’ll be able to tell us a little more as well as me going to Le Mans.”
Flis said there’s still a third option on the table with Onroak Automotive with its Gibson-engined Ligier JS P217, a potential partnership that he will explore in his trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this month.
Visit Florida Racing has laid out preliminary plans to contest next year’s French endurance classic but with details still to be finalized.
“If we did a generic car it would give us the flexibility to run a couple races like Spa and anywhere else, we could do it,” Flis said.
“We’ll go to Le Mans and have some more meetings there and we’ll definitely have a plan in place after that.
“It’s going to be interesting. Looking at the future and who will develop the cars the quickest, I think is going to be big.”
Both GM and Mazda have yet to officially announce DPi efforts, although work is well underway in both camps ahead of the platform’s debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
It’s understood Mazda has joined forces with LMP2 constructor Riley-Multimatic and will have a two-car SpeedSource-run effort, with both Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing finalizing orders for Dallara chassis for the planned Cadillac effort.
Flis, meanwhile, said there’s also been interest from other manufacturers that could put together a program in time for next year.
“There are still manufacturers out there poking around that I didn’t think could even have programs,” he said. “With the GT3 motors, they’d have the motor and would just need the body.
“I wish there would be more manufacturers wanting to a part of this and get involved in it. I think the more manufacturers we get in DPi, the better off all of us will be in.”