Image credit: IMSA
The chequered flag may have fallen on the Rolex 24 Hours on Sunday however, the action continued in Daytona on Tuesday as the FIA, Le Mans organisers Automobile Club de l’Ouest and US sanctioning body IMSA met with a working group meeting held with key manufacturers to discuss upcoming changes to regulations.
Central to the discussions, which are aimed for the 2017 season, were the rules defining common LMP2-style cars, allowing the same car to be run in theFIA World Endurance Championship, the European and Asian Le Mans Series’ as well as TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the USA.
One rather large obstacle still to overcome is that IMSA will require a degree of manufacturer backing as they do with the current Daytona Prototype class ,while the ACO appears keen for the P2 class to remain the domain of privateers rather than marque-backed entries.
“We are meeting with the FIA and ACO on Tuesday to see what parameters need to fit. Our customers are the manufacturers, so we believe in making what we do very relevant to them, so they can showcase their product.” Scott Raymond,Technical director at IMSA told IMSA Radio at the weekend. “We’re not going to F1-level technology; the prototype category that we’re working on is to create a closer relevance to what you see on the road.”
Some decisions have already been taken for the United SportsCar Championship, with GT3-spec cars being allowed into the current GTD class. Raymond said that the inclusion of GT3 machinery is a huge boost to the series’ least-powerful class, currently known as GTD.
“The GT3 going forwards is an opportunity for new cars to join,” he said. “Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes – there are lots of new potential manufacturers coming on board.”
IMSA is also understood to be evaluating the new LMP3 class to replace its now dated Prototype Challenge machinery.
“A number of different ideas have been explored for an ‘accessible prototype’,” he said. “It allows people to test the waters, and it’s cost effective. We need a place for that going forwards. I don’t know what that’ll look like. Once we get though this prototype planning, we’ll see a closer fit.”