Forty-two cars are set to take part in this week’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway.
IMSA released the complete entry list for the Feb. 20-21 test on Monday, confirming the competitors that will take to the 3.7-mile Florida circuit in preparation for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to be held March 13 – 15th.
12 Prototype class entries will be present, with this marking the first race in which the Daytona Prototypes will race on the historic circuit. Action Express will be a team to keep a close eye on during these test, following their win at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona. With a incredible start to the 2014 season, Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, and Sebastien Bourdais will be on hand at the test to take laps in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype. The Prototype Challenge class will see four cars participate in the testing sessions, including two BAR1 Motorsport Oreca FLM09s.
Eight of the GT Le Mans class teams are scheduled to be on hand to test, however the biggest news sounding the GT Le Mans class is the debut of Team Falken Tire’s new Porsche 911 RSR, which will be driven by Wolf Henzler, Bryan Sellers and Marco Holzer.
With the largest number of teams entered to test this weekend, the GT Daytona class is set to include eighteen teams, including the Snow Racing Porsche, which sees the addition of driver Matt Plumb. This is also the first public appearance for the team under the newly listed Rum Bum Racing/Snow Racing banner.
Action Express Racing, SpeedSource, Chip Ganassi Racing, Starworks Motorsport, BMW Team RLL, and SRT Motorsports, have elected to only bring one car to the test.
It will be interesting to see the effects of recent Balance of Performance changes as changes have been made in all four categories but primarily in the production-based GT ranks.
The GTLM class sees a 15kg weight increase for both the BMW Z4 GTE and SRT Viper GTS-R cars, while also a 0.3mm reduction in the diameter of the Viper’s air restrictor. Aston Martin’s Vantage V8 have been given a 20kg weight reduction and a 0.3mm increase in air restrictor size, while fuel capacity has been reduced class-wide, with the Vantage now carrying the least amount at 87 liters. The SRT Viper will be allowed to run at 105 liters whilst theFerrari F458 Italia will see a significant reduction down to 94 liters.
In GTD, both the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Audi R8 LMS cars have been handed a 20kg weight increase, in addition to a 5mm smaller air restrictor. The Audi R8’s will also see a decrease in the size of air restrictors as they have been given a 2mm reduction. Rear wing heights and placements have been equalized, in addition to a reduction in fuel capacity for all GTD class competitors, with the Porsche 911 GT America taking the largest reduction of fuel capacity of a 17-liters. Additionally, the SRT Viper GT3-R will be allowed to run a 20mm Gurney instead of the 10mm allowed at Daytona.
The full extent of adjustments to the Prototype class have yet to be announces, as Daytona Prototype air restrictor sizes in the latest technical bulletin have not yet been defined. The P2 cars, will remain unchanged from Daytona for the most part, aside from a 3-liter increase in fuel capacity.
Prototype Challenge class will see the elimination of the mandated rear wing position, which had been implemented to reduced the car’s top speed around the high banks of Daytona.
Over the two days of testing during the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway, teams will see nearly 10 hours of track time. This large amount of on track testing, should provide both the teams and IMSA a good amount of data for any additional BOP changes, as IMSA attempts to reduce the distance between DP and P2 classes.
Check out the full list of entires here: Entry List
Photo by Josh Tons