ESM will be pulling double-duty this weekend.
Extreme Speed Motorsports will be racing in two races and on the same day at Circuit of the Americas this weekend, using nearly identical cars, but racing under different rules.
The first race will be the Lone Star Le Mans, run under the Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSC) and the second will be the Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas, run by the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The difference beween WEC and TUSC
They will compete with a Honda ARX 03B in both races, but the two sanctioning bodies have different rules that they must adhere to. For example, in TUSC, the prototype class has to run on Continental tires, while in the WEC race, there is open competition, so the team will run Dunlops in the Saturday evening race, which have different characteristics according to Robin Hill, Director of Operations for the team.
The only thing that holds the car to the ground is four tires, so we’ll have to dial the setups around that
ESM's Robin Hill about the different tires used in the two series
“The cars are very similar, we just tune the car around the tire," ESM Director of Operations Robin Hill told Motorsport.com. Obviously, the Continental and the Dunlop are two totally different animals. Continental’s have harder tire that are less forgiving and the Dunlops are a more proven race tire, designed specifically for these cars, whereas the Continentals were pretty much designed for the Daytona Prototype cars, which are a lot heavier than ours."
The cars are also tuned slightly differently given that the tires have different wear and grip patterns.
Aesthetically, you wouldn’t see too much. There’s a lot of electronics that are different
ESM's Robin Hill on the differences between running WEC and TUDOR
“Basically you want the car to be as drivable as possible, given the tires. The only thing that holds the car to the ground is four tires, so we’ll have to dial the setups around that. We haven’t had a lot of time with Dunlops but we do have a bit of a background with them. We’re pretty confident on our Continental setup, definitely going to be a bit slower just because of the nature of the tire, and maybe slightly different ride heights and camber and stuff but overall the cars will be pretty similar.”
Aesthetically, what's different?
As for the rest of the car, a lot of the exterior isn’t very different thanks to the rules packages, but there are other slight changes between the two cars.
“Aesthetically, you wouldn’t see too much. There’s a lot of electronics that are different. The TUSC has the lit numbers of driver position, whereas the WEC still have the three lights on the side. Bodywork wise, they are the same because of homologated bodywork, so you have to run that. The brakes are the same, same skids, same package and same dive planes, that’s all the same because it’s homologated so you really can’t do too much with it,” Hill revealed to Motorsport.com
So despite the major differences between the WEC and TUDOR, there really isn't much that changes between the two cars.