Following months of anticipation, IMSA late last week released a draft version of the Prototype class technical regulations for next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Two sets of documents have been circulated to Daytona Prototype and P2 teams, a competition memo outlining the proposed changes as well as a draft set of the DP rulebook for 2014.
As expected, DPs are set to adopt a new diffuser/tunnel and a dual element rear wing, both of which will combine to deliver increased downforce. The widely reported 50-hp increase was also confirmed.
However, a number of other changes were also listed, including an open choice for brakes, clutch, suspension bearings and differentials. Additionally, traction control will be permitted, along with single piece forged wheels and lithium-ion batteries.
With DP teams set to be allowed to use more expensive components, such as carbon brakes, ceramic bearings and carbon clutches, the projected costs involved to upgrade an existing car to a competitive level could nearly triple.
What was estimated to be around a $200,000 upgrade for the aero modifications and increased engine lease costs has skyrocketed to a projected $600,000 per car, according to one team owner.
A brand-new race-ready ACO-spec P2 car, on the other hand, costs roughly $570,000 plus spares.
Initial regulations were also confirmed for P2 cars, which will see the use of the Le Mans aero kit for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and races at Indianapolis and Road America, while also increasing the car’s minimum weight from 900 to 960 kg for all races.
Additionally, Continental will provide two different types of tires for 2014, a “Black” specification modeled after its I-spec tire from this year and a new “Gold” road course specification tire, which has been tested on Prototype Challenge cars in the ALMS this year.
Data loggers will also be mandatory for all DP and P2s.
According to Scot Elkins, IMSA’s VP of competition and technical regulations, who spoke with Sportscar365 last week, there could be further changes to the regulations after they receive feedback from teams and constructors.
“The way we’ve always done the rulebook process in the ALMS and the way I think we need to carry it forward is that we’ll issue a draft set of the regulations,” Elkins said. “The draft will give an opportunity for everybody to review it and go trough it, ask questions, get feedback, make clarifications and do things like that. Then we’ll have a final version of that at a later time after we get that feedback.”
Some DP teams, though, are expected to be in this configuration for next month’s Balance of Performance tests at Sebring and Daytona.