BAR1 Motorsports looks set to return to IMSA competition, with the Brian Alder-led team targeting a multi-car program in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.
The Ohio-based operation, which was absent from the majority of the 2018 season after a single-race outing with a Riley Mk. 30 Gibson LMP2 car, is in the planning stages of a full-time comeback.
Speaking to Sportscar365, Alder said the team’s initial focus would likely be in Super Trofeo, with discussions ongoing for entries in the single-make series, which runs on WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekends.
Alder was on-site at last weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and said he had positive talks with prospective customers.
“It’s a great series and great car, especially with us being a driver-funded team,” he told Sportscar365. “We need to come out and be competitive.
“What we were doing last year wasn’t going to work.
“Lamborghini has done a good job making the cars at a very low price for the teams. Hopefully we’ll be able to put something and get back out there.”
While having been one of the stalwarts in the North American prototype ranks with past entries in IMSA Prototype Challenge series and the now-defunct Prototype Challenge class, Alder feels the time is right to make the shift to GT racing.
It comes amid an uncertain future for LMP2, which currently sees only two full-season entries.
“Our goal is to come out and be a competitive team in Super Trofeo and hopefully that will lead into a GTD program,” Alder said.
“The idea is to take the same ladder system we’ve been doing with prototypes and just switch it over to GTs.”
BAR1 Not Ruling Out LMP2 Return
Alder hasn’t completely ruled out a return to LMP2, although indicated it has to be the right opportunity.
He said the Riley chassis, which features full Multimatic updates to 2018 joker-spec, is still in the team’s shop, despite currently being for sale by car owner Mark Kvamme.
“Had there been a LMP2 class in 2018, we’d still be running that car,” Alder said.
“To be honest, we didn’t give that car a real shot. I feel it’s still a really good car to have. Daytona was its worst track [for it] so unfortunately we couldn’t get it to [be competitive there].
“But LMP2 cars are just getting so fast and it’s very difficult to take someone who’s not doing that full-time, as a gentleman driver, and throw him into that.
“The amount of customers out there in GTD is huge compared to prototypes.”