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Thread: USCC Prototype Regs released

  1. #1

    USCC Prototype Regs released

    http://www.racer.com/2014-tudor-unit...rticle/317060/

    As I expected, the costs of upgrading the DP will clearly be a significant factor in the future of the class. "I can easily see $500,000 being needed to update a [DP] car." If an accurate estimate, it would be better for many teams to simply buy an LMP2. If the other estimate of $350,000 ends up being more accurate, we'll likely see a lot of calls based on each team's figures on which car will be better in certain situations.

    Discuss.
    Last edited by FormulaFox; 10-19-2013 at 07:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Looks like the equivalent of the Group C demise-inducing "hey, let's use F1 engines" rule.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Danske View Post
    Looks like the equivalent of the Group C demise-inducing "hey, let's use F1 engines" rule.
    I don't see the similarity at all. Group C forced everyone into a new formula without choice - it wasn't just the engines, it was a revamp of the chassis rules that more than doubled the cost to run.

    While upgrading the DPs will cost teams quite a bit, if you were to buy a DP pre-upgraded it wouldn't be excessively more expensive than the current cars.

    And more improtantly, unlike Group C, there is a CHEAPER OPTION available that is just as legal.

  4. #4
    Sounds good to me. It becomes more apparent that NASCAR did this move not to end the ALMS, but to actually make Grand-Am into something better, something richer. I think that it's a lot more mutual than expected. We all know the ALMS has been for-sale for many years, and I think they all realized it was a good way to make sure everyone had a place to race, while also enhancing the product. It's going to be good. Yeah, I love LMP1s, but a three-car race (where one car never finishes and runs with the PCs, and the other is super slow, too) isn't what we need. I think this is a great compromise that will make for a wonderful series.
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  5. #5
    Kart racer, Indyfan 1988- SteveK51's Avatar
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    If I were a non-house DP team, I'd be putting my hand out for a little assistance from the series management. Nascar will be putting up about a million to cover Action Express and Spirit of Daytona, so what's another million or so to spread around? Sort of like Tony George buying Dallaras for the Champ Car teams.

  6. #6
    So upgraded wheels, bearings, differential, dampers, clutch, brakes, throttle, traction control, and batteries, some with open regs, along with the aero and engine upgrades. Some of that will add development/testing and running costs on top of the already increased costs from the expanded number of hours raced. It's like they're aiming for eight-figure budgets to run a DP and just don't care if anybody can afford it or not.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Danske View Post
    So upgraded wheels, bearings, differential, dampers, clutch, brakes, throttle, traction control, and batteries, some with open regs, along with the aero and engine upgrades. Some of that will add development/testing and running costs on top of the already increased costs from the expanded number of hours raced. It's like they're aiming for eight-figure budgets to run a DP and just don't care if anybody can afford it or not.
    When you break down the expected cost increases(in the article they mention the upgrades will cost $350,000-$500,000) and then subtract the cost of parts that will no logner be on the car, the actual increase in DP coss won't be horribly drastic. It's actually going to be a bigger problem for teams to upgrade than it will be for a new team buying a pre-upgraded DP(if they chose to take that route rather than an LMP2).

    In short, I don't think it will be as big a problem as you would think based on the number estimated right now. Most of the DP teams are subsidized by either a manufacturer -we know Ford is paying for at LEAST one of Shank's entries next year, for example- or in several cases by the series itself. I suspect we'll only lose a few DP teams that were on the edge of dropping out anyway.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK51 View Post
    If I were a non-house DP team, I'd be putting my hand out for a little assistance from the series management.
    Many already get some help. I'd expect it to continue for 2014 at least.

    Nascar will be putting up about a million to cover Action Express and Spirit of Daytona,
    I can't speak for Action Express, but SoD is not currently series-subsidized - they're backed by GM now.

  9. #9
    Noted Raconteur Red Byrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FormulaFox View Post
    When you break down the expected cost increases(in the article they mention the upgrades will cost $350,000-$500,000) and then subtract the cost of parts that will no logner be on the car, the actual increase in DP coss won't be horribly drastic. It's actually going to be a bigger problem for teams to upgrade than it will be for a new team buying a pre-upgraded DP(if they chose to take that route rather than an LMP2).
    How many of the upgrades were items that were routinely replaced at the end of the season anyway?

    I ask, for I know not.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Byrd View Post
    How many of the upgrades were items that were routinely replaced at the end of the season anyway?

    I ask, for I know not.
    Probably about half of them. Brakes for sure - the brakes costs for DPs might actually go down for the overall season.

  11. #11
    Kart racer, Indyfan 1988- SteveK51's Avatar
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    The other thought that came to mind last night:

    If I was ESM let's say, can I rehomologate my HPD as a Patron ARX, whose LM aero is a pair of dive planes .5" shorter than the "sprint" version? That is to say, not nearly the downforce loss that TUSC is anticipating.

  12. #12
    Elkins has now tweeted that the "open" areas aren't wide open, so maybe we'll avoid some of the stupid testing/development wars.

  13. #13
    I don't see how they can make DP even close to competitive to LMP2. You can't slow LMP2 that defeats the whole purpose of it being a Le Mans class if it isn't 100% compatible with the ACO.

    The DP's are around 6-8 seconds a lap at most tracks behind the LMP2's.

    This is a direct quote from one of the comments on alms site:

    "Comparing times from qualifying times for both series last year at Laguna Seca.
    The P2 pole time was over 5 seconds faster than the DP pole time.
    The PC pole time was just over 3 seconds faster than DP pole time.
    The DP pole time was ONLY 1 SECOND faster than the ALMS GT pole time.
    GTC pole time = GTD pole time"

    Assuming that's accurate, how can DP even hope to be close. Ignoring aesthetics, their closest counterpart are the GT cars, not any of the prototype classes.

    What they need to be doing is working with the ACO to develop a new, compatible prototype class. There is no sense in having a prototype class that can't race at Le Mans.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ForzaFerrari View Post
    I don't see how they can make DP even close to competitive to LMP2.
    The proposed changes to P2 are requiring running the Le Mans aero kit at some tracks and adding 60kg to the min weight. That puts them about 100kg lighter than DP, but with ~150-200hp less after the DPs get more for next year. And unless that 60kg is in gold bars that's also a lot cheaper than the DP mandatory upgrades.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ForzaFerrari View Post
    I don't see how they can make DP even close to competitive to LMP2. You can't slow LMP2 that defeats the whole purpose of it being a Le Mans class if it isn't 100% compatible with the ACO.
    If you really think about how big a difference cornering speeds make, the changes planned for DP look VERY likely to get things close enough. I don't think the currently-announced weight increase for the P2s will be enough - I think they'll have to add a bit more, but I do think they can merge the two sufficiently close to LMP2 speeds and plenty clear of PC.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Danske View Post
    but with ~150-200hp less after the DPs get more for next year.
    The DP power increase is not guaranteed. There is a belief that the chassis and aero changes will be sufficient, so they're going to do tests before they commit to any power increases.

  17. #17
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    What are the power levels of both currently? If they increase the power of the DP's by the suggested 50hp, is that anything significant to accomplish, major engine building differences?

    How about decreasing the weight of the DP's as anticipated, would that be easily accomplished by just removing ballast and/or having the lighter wheels/brakes?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by leftandright View Post
    What are the power levels of both currently? If they increase the power of the DP's by the suggested 50hp, is that anything significant to accomplish, major engine building differences?
    They're both in 550-575 range. The engine rules between LMP2 and DP have been almost identical since the last major overhaul of the LMP2 class.

    How about decreasing the weight of the DP's as anticipated, would that be easily accomplished by just removing ballast and/or having the lighter wheels/brakes?
    The problem with decreasing the weight of the DP is that their tube-frame chassis design is inherently more top-heavy than the carbon-fiber tubs used in LMP2. A problem made worse by the fact that the metal construction must be made much heavier to achieve similar safety standards.

    Removing ballast takes away from the DP's adjustability, which would made it much harder to set up a DP on a competitive level with an LMP2. The unsprung weight -brakes and wheels- is the only area from which you can take away weight without impacting either the safety or adjustability.

    With the new aero parts, the loss of some weight adjustments could possibly be offset by the new aero. But it's by no means a guarantee - IMSA has a very complicated balancing act to perform here, and I hope they do a LOT of testing before Daytona to work things out.

  19. #19
    Registered User WillMazeo's Avatar
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    A LMP2 has about 450hp. 550 is something about the LMP1 considering the Toyota has a total of 800hp using the hybrid system and the info I found is that the electric engine does close to 300hp.
    And here they say 625 for the DP changes.
    http://www.racer.com/tuscc-starworks...rticle/317404/
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  20. #20
    This week's Grand-Unleashed fan podcast has Peter Baron talking more at length about the proposed regulations than the few select quotes in the Racer article. I haven't listened to it yet, but sounds like he's not actually expecting all of them to go through, what with the peasants with the pitchforks and torches storming DIS.

  21. #21
    One little bit from the Baron interview was that because of clearance issues the smallest currently available carbon brake discs wouldn't fit on the DPs without changing the suspension pieces, and it would take several months for smaller discs to be delivered.

  22. #22
    http://sportscar365.com/imsa/tusc/dp...track-testing/

    That's a 40% scale model of the Ford DP with the proposed aero changes on it.

  23. #23
    And just like that, DPs look mighty cool.

    I'm going to like this TUSCC, I'd bet. Might be more than just "The Future" of sports car racing if they play it right. If not, well, at least I'll enjoy it. Yeah, they've won me over. I resisted for a long time. But they did this the way I wanted to see it done. I'm happy. Can't wait for January's race...boy, haven't said that in forever...

  24. #24
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    Just wondering if this increasing cost makes the DP class moot and causes all of these teams to move over to LMP2s. Can you imagine Ganassi at Lemans?
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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by BizzyV View Post
    Just wondering if this increasing cost makes the DP class moot and causes all of these teams to move over to LMP2s. Can you imagine Ganassi at Lemans?
    The Le Mans thing is cool and all, but for TUSCC, I hope not. A well-balanced class of DP and P2 is better than a class of either alone, to me. Now, well-balanced will be the hard part, of course, but on paper, it's way cooler.

  26. #26
    Does the new FIA closed top rule for next season for P1 also apply to the P2 class? If so this could mean some changes to current ALMS P2 cars if they want to be eligible to run Le Mans next season.

  27. #27
    So they just published the second draft of the DP rules (maybe we'll get the final draft some time this year ). It apparently closes up some of the perceived freedom that had current DP owners freaking out over the cost of, and Bob Stallings has announced coming back for at least the NAEC rounds.

    It was announced earlier that the P2 regs will remain unchanged globally through 2016 (erm, I think that was the year).

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Nicol View Post
    Does the new FIA closed top rule for next season for P1 also apply to the P2 class? If so this could mean some changes to current ALMS P2 cars if they want to be eligible to run Le Mans next season.
    I believe open tops are still allowed in LMP2, but with the new regs making it more possible for independent chassis builders to make a car that can be easily converted between P1 and P2, it's expected the open-top will be gone before too long.

  29. #29
    http://www.racer.com/performance-ben...rticle/320258/

    That's the new rear diffuser for the DPs. They've actually got some of them made before the tests.

  30. #30
    And one on the SDR Corvette DP:

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