January 31, 2023

More Equals Less In Upcoming GTP Championship Season

Fruits of developments between Porsche and Penske Motorsports were shown at AutoMobility LA 2022 (LA Auto Show Press Day). This will be the fourth manufacturer to join in the IMSA Series LMDh Class for 2023. This union is the second introduction by Penske Motorsport to the highest level of prototype competition, the first being the championship winning Acura – ARX–05.  Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2022)

 

More Equals Less In Upcoming GTP Championship Season

Last year, NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Will Power showed the world how a less equals more strategy can deliver a season series  championship win (his career second). The WeatherTech GTP Class championship, however, has settled on a more equals less strategy to deliver a hybrid technology answer (more) to the reduction of carbon emissions (less) in a major professional motorsports competition series championship.

In a first of the new year ZOOM Call put on by IMSA, with the participants from teams representing the four major automotive  manufacturers who will be competing in the 2023 GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series – Cadillac,  Acura, BMW, and Porsche – most all of the technical team leaders expressed a few common themes.

WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP class ZOOM Call participants – Left To Right In ZOOM Call Images:

Gary Nelson, Cadillac Action Express Racing
Travis Hogue, Acura Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport
Jonathan Diuguid, Porsche Penske Motorsport
Mike O’Gara, Cadillac Racing (CGR)
Justin Harnisfager, Acura Meyer Shank Racing

Brandon Fry, BMW M Team RLL

 

WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP Class Teams ZOOM Call Part 1

 

IMSA 101 – DPi cars are being replaced by LMDh cars for 2023 >>> an LMDh (Le Mans Daytona h) is a type of sports prototype race
car that will compete alongside Le Mans Hypercar entries in the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class of the IMSA SportsCar  Championship from 2023 – it also competes in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The LMDh ruleset was created jointly by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). The cars will serve as the successor to the Daytona Prototype International class, utilizing regulations that were planned to become  the next-generation Daytona Prototype International ruleset, converged with the Le Mans Hypercar ruleset, showing off the latest technology in mating traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) with electrification (Hybrid Technology) – tap for more.
[ht: WIKI/IMSA]

In addition to having to integrate hybrid electric power units to the ICE power units (internal combustion engine) one has to consider what additional impacts will this have on a team as it prepares at the team shop environment, travel, and set-up at a track for testing and competition.

 

Action Express Racing’s Whelen Engineering sponsored GTP Cadillac. Image Credit: Mike Levitt (2022)

 

Gary Nelson, Cadillac Action Express Racing, was keen to point out that in previous DPi rules configuration, the team could just load up the car, parts, toolboxes and other support gear in one transporter. Here in the LMDh rules configuration, this will require two full transporters and a trailing 5th wheel trailer.

In another revealing “more” to achieve “less” observation, teams discovered an increased need to have staff, tools, and toolboxes be more clearly identified along the lines of power unit and process. For example, one team implemented having the toolboxes, as well as the tools color coded as to function between EV Hybrid and ICE applications.

 

We’re on the threshold of a thrilling new era in endurance sports car racing and Cadillac is all in! Cadillac Racing will contest the top category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with its V-LMDh prototype race cars as the only U.S.-based manufacturer. The 2023 sports car racing season gets underway with the Daytona Roar (January 20-22, 2023) and Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 28-29, 2023). The first event on the WEC calendar is the 1,000 miles of Sebring, on March 17th. I encourage anyone inclined to enjoy any of the 2023 IMSA or WEC races in person to buy your tickets and make your travel arrangements now! #BeIconic @cadillac @CadillacRacing #IMSA @imsa_racing #ctmp @fiawec_official #fiawec @fiawec #richardprincephotography @richardprincephoto

 

Jonathan Diuguid (pronounced Do-gid), Porsche Penske Motorsport ended Part 1 with the one element to this racing equation that, in the beginning of any season is on the more side, tire compound choices that will deliver the fastest times with longer runs – less pit stops with less time involved with the completion of each lap.

Motorsports Journal/EVHNews was able to ask questions from Brandon Fry of RLL about how the new RLL HQ helps the BMW GTP  Class effort & Jonathan Diuguid about working with a manufacturer to introduce a racing effort to this level of championship racing series – first Acura, and now Porsche – these questions begin this next Part 2 video.

 

WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP Class Teams ZOOM Call Part 2
<<< Again – Left To Right In ZOOM Call Images >>>
Gary Nelson, Cadillac Action Express Racing
Travis Hogue, Acura Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport
Jonathan Diuguid, Porsche Penske Motorsport
Mike O’Gara, Cadillac Racing (CGR)
Justin Harnisfager, Acura Meyer Shank Racing
Brandon Fry, BMW M Team RLL

 

Major concerns that are common with all teams and manufacturers as it relates to the level of confidence in the unknowns. Unknowns all track back to reliability during race day activities. As always, when something is new, one has no real idea if all of the bits, pieces, and tasked function parts will hold up to endurance race stresses and conditions. This is why we all push the limits of technology and application, this is why we race … isn’t it?

… notes from The EDJE

 

 

 

TAGS: WeatherTech, SportCar, IMSA, GTP, LMDh, BMW, Porsche, Acura, Cadillac, ICE. Hybrid EV, Le Mans, Daytona, 2023, The EDJE