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TR3 Parks Ferrari Over BoP Dispute; Reconsiders PWC Future

Daniel Mancinelli-driven Ferrari 488 GT3 withdrawn from weekend over BoP dispute…

Photo: Brian Cleary/

TR3 Racing will not take part in this weekend’s pair of Pirelli World Challenge season-opening GT races due to a Balance of Performance dispute, with the Florida-based team contemplating its future in the Sprint series.

The Daniel Mancinelli-driven Ferrari 488 GT3, which did not qualify on Saturday morning, has been parked for the remainder of the event according to team owner Gregory Romanelli, who cites the 2018-spec car’s alleged performance disadvantage to the non-Evo form.

SRO has given the Ferrari Evo a 20-kg minimum weight increase over the 2017-spec model, which scored pole in the hands of Toni Vilander on Saturday morning.

TR3’s entry was the only Ferrari running the 2018 updates this weekend in St. Pete.

“From an non-Evo to an Evo, 20 kgs is two-tenths and a D-type circuit like this, those 20 kgs is massive and the aero change of what this kit does has no use here,” Romanelli told Sportscar365.

“Right off the bat, we were going to be uncompetitive; that’s not what we come here to do.

“We’re a privateer team; we came out here last year just to get our feet wet and we ended up doing the full season.

“We know what we’re capable of doing but we’re not going to come here to play games; we’re not going to come here and settle for second, third, fourth or fifth. We won’t race if we don’t have a chance to win.

“The car is spot-on and Daniel has trained hard during the off-season.

“But if the series and SRO is not going to allow us to win because they want to penalize us with 20 kg more, and remove those two-tenths, which in this series means a lot…

“Compared to our lap time yesterday, two-tenths would have put us seventh and that’s what not what we came here to do.”

TR3’s withdrawal leaves only an 11-car GT/GTA grid for this weekend’s pair of 50-minute Sprint races.

While having previously confirmed a full-season program with the No. 31 Ferrari, Romanelli said their plans are now likely to change.

He claims the SRO does not yet have sufficient data from the Evo kit, largely due to the recent snow-impacted BoP test at Paul Ricard last month.

“I’m not here to be a guinea pig to see how the BoP change, whether the kit is better or not, especially at a circuit like this, where aerodynamics don’t count,” Romanelli said. “It’s the driver and weight of the car.

“It’s very unfortunate and very upsetting from Pirelli World Challenge seeing how many cars they have this year.

“Unfortunately, we’ll most likely not be back for all the GT Sprint races.

“Our championship is already done by us missing this qualifying and not being able to start out where we are.”

Ratel Defends BoP Measures

SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel has defended his group’s BoP process, which is to keep all cars, new, old and with updates, on an equal playing field.

“You can’t force all the teams to run the new evolutions,” Ratel told Sportscar365.

“It’s what we said with the very concept of BoP. Why do you want to buy another, I don’t know, $50,000-100,000 kit, because you know you’re going to get weight. So just don’t spend the money; that’s the whole concept of BoP.

“On some cars, the teams don’t seem to be keen on getting the kit. You can’t just tell them, ‘Oh you bought a very nice car two years ago. You are now going to be three-tenths of a second behind because you didn’t buy the new kit.’

“This is not GT3 racing.”

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 Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Charles J

    March 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I think Ratel has got to big for his boots. I see more teams leaving before the end of the year. I read elsewhere the number of entries in Blancpain sprint is down as well at this stage.

    • Binky

      March 10, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      On the contrary, I’m impressed he’s willing to essentially stand up to the manufacturers trying to squeeze more money out of their customers with these Evo kits. As he said, everyone knew going in that this is how GT3 is ‘supposed’ to work, without it, the likes of Aston Martin would have been extinct in the class years ago.

      But it’s also been traditionally understood that big manufacturers held sway over organizers and officials, which is why some teams opted for Evo kits, assuming it would guarantee them a competitive advantage over those who didn’t. Ironically, SRO has traditionally been one of the biggest suck-ups around. To see them now actively discouraging teams from spending more than necessary is great, even if it may be too little too late for GT3.

  2. Matt

    March 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    I agree with what Ratel says, but it’s completely irrelevant to this incident. 20kg for slight aero changes is insane.

    • Matt

      March 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      To TR3: please come to IMSA!

  3. Wow

    March 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    PWC sure is off to a great start – and not a single race lap has been turned.

  4. Almzkif

    March 10, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    How to ruin a series in a span of one weekend.
    25-30 cars just one year ago and now you are so desperate you are trying the combine classes.
    Sad but typical of the boom and bust of this series the past 10 years

  5. jason

    March 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I stand with Stefan Ratel! In SRO we trust. Look at his history. Whenever SRO based racing takes a dip in numbers. Stefan reinvents himself and comes back to make GT racing great again.

  6. jason

    March 10, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    May I suggest to TR3 Racing to consider entering this Ferrari in the all GT IMSA races at Lime Rock and VIR at the very least.

  7. Dummy

    March 10, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Cooper MacNeil is that you?

  8. Bruceman

    March 10, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    I’m sure other drivers are relieved that Mancinneli is not on the track!!

  9. Beaker

    March 10, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I’m taking my race car and going home.

  10. stephen mccolgan

    March 10, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Very unfair for TR3 RACING!
    Daniel Mancinneli is a great driver and the fans will miss Him and TR3 RACING!
    TR3 RACING is a very proficient team!

  11. juneracer

    March 11, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    as i understand it the penalty was assessed on Thursday at St. Pete!! obviously R3 had the old aero as they had a car last year. you can’t go to a race and then the sanction body says ‘oh by the way you need to add 20Kg’. that’s crazy!!

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