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Q&A
   

 

Q&As

Lets get some questions up here and maybe answered:

A new Question: make that questions - arising from quotes in Racer.com article - (required reading for anyone with interest in DPi)

Q - Why must DPis at LM24 be referred to as "Dallara-X, an ORECA-Y. A Riley/Multimatic-Z." when the existing LP1-P cars are referred to as Rebellion and CLM when their chassis are ORECA and Adess?

A - I don't know - it seems not fully thought through yet - but notice that entries in LM24 for e.g. MSR are "Ligier JS P2 - Honda" and at Daytona 24, "Honda HPD Ligier JS P2".

Also Honda & Nissan, for example, are "used" to being the powerplant supplier in many types of racing and thus being the second part of the car name. This would be much less appealing to Cadillac or Bentley...

Q - Under these rules could Alpine entered ORECAs in LMP2 still be refered to as Alpines - currently "Alpine A460 - Nissan"?

A - I don't know - it seems inconsistent - but Alpine is only a small manufacturer - it could be different if they were called Renaults...

 

Q1 - "Is there anything to stop Mazda going to Riley and say Onroak and commissioning 2 different body sets?"

A - "Each manufacturer must commit to both and engine and bodywork package and would be locked into an alliance with one of the constructors" According to IMSA’s Director of Racing Platforms, Mark Raffauf, via Sportscar365.com

Q2 - "What if an independent team wants to race in DPi using their own engine?"

A - Pretty sure the answer here is; "Without support of the engine manufacturer the racecar constructor won't talk to you"

and "changing the engine type in a DPI will invalidate its homolgation"

Going along to Dallara with some Ferrari 488 engines won't get them to create 21st Century Ferrari 333SPs for you!

Q3 - Once a constructor has created a manufacturer's DPi is there anything to stop them selling to any team that wants one? Or will there be an IP clause to prevent free sale?

A- Mark Raffauf said (Sportscar365.com) IMSA will not require a manufacturer to make its engine and bodywork available to customers, “But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these OEMs partner up with more than a few teams" 

Q4 - So, if my name is, say, Dyson and I buy, say, a couple of Riley-Bentleys who's name do I put on the cheque? Riley or Bentley or two cheques?

A - feed back is that I will pay Riley in full for two of their Bentley DPis - then if I change my mind I'll pay them for two of their Mazda DPis! (did say my name was Dyson...)

Q5 - Can a team race their DPi in an ELMS round without altering its configuration?

A - Think so, just looking for the reference... (seems the reference was an error - dailysportscar.com ) so current answer is "don't know"

Q6 - Must the DPi resemble a model in the manufacturer's range?

A - No resembence at all is required. No branding at all is required.

Two from Horndawg:

Q7 - "Tied to question 1, is the reverse, how many OEMs will a constructor be allowed to take on as partners?"

A - There is no limit

Q8 - "Will there be some allowance in the beginning of the season to allow engine only (that will fit under the constructors body work with mods) as body work is be finished up?"

A - Looks like the answers to Q6 & Q9 give thumbs up to that - on the other hand get his from Raffauf :- "...there will be a minimum level each manufacturer will have to create.“It’s hard to define,” he said. “The only answer that really works is that we (IMSA) have the final say and process of what we’re going to accept or not accept.”

More from the Web:

Q9 - Homologation is for 4 years - can the design or powerplant change in that time?

A - Yes, in the same interview Mark Raffauf, via Sportscar365.com said manufacturers will be allowed to make changes to the appearance of the bodywork or even debut new engines and/or branding over that period , “The DNA of some brands change completely in that time. We have that option in place.”

Q10- Maybe Coyote can partner up with Crawford and makes some customer based DPis with crate Chevy engines, as a alternative to Gibson or a Factory engines.

A - Pretty clear "No" and "No" on this one. Only the "chosen 4" can make DPi bits - Crawford & Coyote are not in the 4. Ubiquitous as the crate Chevy is, only GM could agree to put it in a DPi (and only in one)

More Q&As folks...

Q&A from IMSA - website

  • "Teams fielding DPi cars and LM P2 cars will have the ability to use some approved aerodynamic add-ons, enabling them to tune their cars to each track. This will promote diversity in car setup and stimulate competition"
  • "...it has been understood and acknowledged that IMSA’s business goals and objectives for its top Prototype class differ from the goals of the FIA and ACO"
  • "prospective DPi manufacturers have revealed a desire to use their own electronics providers rather than using the “spec” Cosworth ECU"

Big list from IMSA

Q. What is exactly an IMSA DPi car?

A. A 2017 IMSA DPi car is a standard ACO/FIA homologated 2017 LM P2 Prototype chassis from one of the four approved constructors (Dallara, Onroak Automotive, ORECA or Riley/Multimatic) fitted with IMSA-homologated, manufacturer-designed and branded bodywork and engines. Each participating DPi manufacturer must partner with one of the four approved constructors and commit to a bodywork and engine package.

Q. How is this different from the standard 2017 LM P2 car?

A. The standard ACO/FIA homologated 2017 LM P2 car must use each constructor’s specific bodywork (and at Le Mans, the “low downforce” bodywork kit version is required) with no modifications and a Gibson V8 engine with a standard-specification Cosworth electronics package controlling car systems and engine management.

For DPi cars, IMSA has defined specific areas of the bodywork regulations to allow manufacturers design and stylistic freedom to create recognition of their specific brands. These areas include the nose and sidepod areas, rear-wheel arch and rear valance. Manufacturers will use this stylized package in conjunction with their eligible specific engine and electronic systems.  However, the expanded bodywork freedom will not create a situation of confusion in identification between DPi cars and GT cars.   

Q. What cars are eligible in the 2017 WeatherTech Championship Prototype class?

A. DPi cars, 2017 LM P2 cars and closed-cockpit 2016 LM P2 cars with IMSA-homologated engines will be eligible. After the 2017 season, 2016 LM P2 cars no longer will be eligible.

Q. Will customer versions of the DPi car be permitted?

A. Manufacturers have the freedom to run factory teams or make their car available to customers as they desire.

Q. What fuel and tires will be used?

A. In the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, all cars competing in the Prototype class will use Continental tires and E20 fuel provided by VP Racing Fuels.

Q. How will IMSA balance the differences in the two versions of the 2017 car?

A. All DPi and LM P2 cars will undergo comprehensive wind-tunnel testing programs to ensure competitive balance from an aerodynamic perspective. Teams fielding DPi cars and LM P2 cars will have the ability to use some approved aerodynamic add-ons, enabling them to tune their cars to each track. This will promote diversity in car setup and stimulate competition.

Each engine also will undergo IMSA’s standard engine testing and verification. The target power level is 600 bhp and a comparable level of power and torque will be determined for each option.

Q. Have there been changes made to the DPi or LM P2 platform since the four chassis constructors were selected and announced by IMSA, the ACO and the FIA last year?

A.  Shortly after the selection of the four approved chassis constructors last summer, IMSA received feedback from interested manufacturers that resulted in a need to make a slight alteration to the car dimensions in order to accommodate engines of a certain length. IMSA has worked closely with the ACO and the FIA to confirm the required dimensions. In addition, prospective DPi manufacturers have revealed a desire to use their own electronics providers rather than using the “spec” Cosworth ECU and related electronics that will be used in the Gibson-powered LM P2 cars.

Q. When will the DPi regulations be finalized?

A. IMSA expects the technical regulations for both DPi and LM P2 to be finalized this month to enable constructors and manufacturers the ability to move forward with the project and meet established deadlines. These cars will make their competition debut next January in the 55th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Q. The ACO has voiced concerns in the media that, in their opinion, the IMSA DPi platform has moved too far away from the global LM P2 platform. Do you agree with that perspective?

A. IMSA, the ACO and the FIA have worked very closely together throughout this process and we will continue to do so as the last details of the technical regulations and related elements are finalized. All three organizations have raised concerns over different aspects of the project at different times. It’s all in the spirit of collaboration.

From the start, it has been understood and acknowledged that IMSA’s business goals and objectives for its top Prototype class differ from the goals of the FIA and ACO for a class that is not the top Prototype category for them. The IMSA DPi is intended to attract and involve top-level manufacturer involvement with professional teams and drivers – as is the case with the ACO’s top category - LM P1. The ACO LM P2 category prohibits manufacturer involvement and is a tightly restricted pro/am class.

Throughout this very complex process, multiple interested manufacturers have provided feedback and guidance that has resulted in an evolution of the technical details. As a result, some technical details are different from the original plan. However, the primary objective of using the same chassis – the same core car -  and have cars (DPi and LM P2) that could truly compete with each other in ACO and IMSA competition has absolutely been retained.   IMSA and its partners at the FIA and ACO remain closely aligned on the overall objectives of delivering a competitive, cost-effective prototype that can be used for different applications across multiple championships.

More answers from Mark Raffauf (Aug 2016)

 

   

email trevor@mariantic.co.uk