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RSR Racing Evaluating FIA WEC LMP2 Program for 2015

Paul Gentilozzi-led squad evaluating switch to WEC LMP2 program in 2015…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

One of North America’s most successful racing operations could be making a switch to the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015.

Sportscar365 has learned that RSR Racing is evaluating a LMP2 program in the globe-trotting championship, which would see the Paul Gentilozzi-led organization campaign a new-generation closed-top prototype.

“I went over and made a visit to a WEC race to get a feel for it,” Gentilozzi told Sportscar365. “I’ve wanted to get a feel for what it was like. I’ve talked to teams and I’m going to go over for one more [this year].

“If you’re going to spend $10 and it’s not going to be an important place to race, and you can spend $12 and it’s important, then you dig in and spend the extra $2.”

The East Lansing, Mich.-based squad currently fields two Prototype Challenge entries in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship but is among the teams concerned about the category’s future in the wake of changes made to the schedule late last year.

“This year we made a business decision and then we were told our schedule was not as we expected,” Gentilozzi said. “It was too late to back up.

“We want this to work and make sense. We don’t want decisions to be made in a vacuum where the investors don’t get to speak their mind. That’s happened to us a little bit. We got shuffled off to Kansas and were supposed to be in Detroit and Mosport.

“We made the most sacrifices as a class than anybody [in the series]. If that continues, gosh, shame on me for doing it [again]. The definition of a dumbass is doing the same thing twice and thinking it will be different.”

Gentilozzi said he’s been in discussions with several LMP2 manufacturers, including ORECA, which the family-run team already has a relationship with through its current PC program with Oreca FLM09 cars.

Other possibilities include Onroak Automotive, which debuted its new Ligier JS P2 at Le Mans, as well as the new-for-2015 HPD ARX-04b.

If RSR’s FIA WEC program gets the green light, Gentilozzi said they would establish a satellite shop in Europe, which would serve as their base for the opening rounds of the championship in the build-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Gentilozzi said all four of his current full-season drivers: Bruno Junqueira, Alex Tagliani plus Silver-rated pilots Duncan Ende and Chris Cumming, could be part of the effort, although only a single-car entry would be expected.

“My drivers like real racing,” Gentilozzi said. “Bruno’s run all of those tracks, Alex wants to run all those tracks. I think we’re developing a great dynamic of people. Chris and Duncan have really stepped up their driving ability.

“After 45 years of professional racing, wouldn’t that be a dream deal? To be able to travel the world and enjoy it.”

Gentilozzi said a decision on his team’s 2015 plans should be made by September.

It’s understood at least two other current TUDOR Championship teams are also evaluating programs in the FIA WEC for next year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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