Porsche Penske Motorsport managing director Jonathan Diuguid believes Balance of Performance is “less part of the conversation” in LMDh given the tightened technical regulations that have put all cars within a smaller operating window.
The new-for-2023 platform, which debuted in last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, saw cars from all four manufacturers at the same minimum weight, power output and energy usage for the opening race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
While the Acura ARX-06 posted the quickest laps and also had an apparent efficiency advantage over the competition, the fastest race lap times from the four manufacturers was separated by less than four-tenths of a second.
“Honestly, I think the LMDh and GTP formula does a pretty good job of making the box relatively small for people in general,” Diuguid told reporters during prior to the Rolex 24.
“I’ve seen some communications from other manufacturers about people worrying less and less about BoP. I think it’s truthful and genuine.
“The power is very similar, the weight is similar and the aerodynamic regulation box is quite tight.
“I think the communications from the teams has been quite genuine that BoP is less part of the conversation and we’re all looking forward towards racing.”
Diuguid said he expects the BoP tables to be different between the WeatherTech Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, even though both series have factored in the performance levels of the LMH platform.
IMSA technical director Matt Kurdock told Sportscar365 that it could make adjustments on a track-by-track basis, as was the case last year in DPi, with the WEC set to continue using a rolling race average.
“There’s been open communication between the two groups: IMSA, ACO/FIA. I think there is going to be a different schedule between the two,” Diuguid said. “It’s basically driven off the race calendar too.
“IMSA’s approach is going to be pretty consistent to what they’ve done in the past and the WEC approach is going to be slightly different because, at least on the onset, they’re going to have a little bit of a different challenge to balance [LMH] cars versus LMDh cars.”
The technical specifications of LMDh machinery is also set to vary slightly between the two series due to the difference in aerodynamic validation testing.
IMSA utilizes the WindShear wind tunnel in Concord, N.C. for all GTP class cars while Sauber’s wind tunnel in Switzerland is used for Hypercar class machinery in the world championship.
Diuguid confirmed the Porsche 963 has already completed its WEC wind tunnel session, with the car’s homologation having been submitted to the FIA and ACO for final approval.
It’s unclear if the Cadillac V-LMDh, the only other LMDh model that’s set to also compete in both championships in the launch year of the platform, has been homologated. by the WEC at this point.
“Those tunnels are slightly different but that’s the yardstick they’re using to measure everybody by,” Diuguid explained. “There will be some slight aerodynamic differences based on the wind tunnels.”
When asked on what’s precisely different, Diuguid said “closing panels and some other things” that could be identified by the naked eye.
“Right now they’re different, small bits and pieces,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s drastically different but there are some slight differences.”
Porsche will head into the 1000 Miles of Sebring WEC season opener not having tested in final WEC specification at the track, with the manufacturer participating in next week’s two-day IMSA-sanctioned test with its cars in WeatherTech Championship trim, per series’ regulations.
Diuguid explained that WEC’s regulations prohibit teams testing at Sebring prior to 14 days from the start of the event.