Daytona Prototype, or P2, that is the question...

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First real look in real time at the performance difference of P2 and DP, now what happens next?

As if Tony Stewart's news didn't blow up the motorsports media world already, suddenly we have two series that will be running together next season at Road America for the first time this weekend.

Instead of celebrating the simple fact that this merger is the best news for sports car racing in North America in years, the speculation on the prototypes had to begin.

United SportsCar Racing (USCR) series has announced they plan to run the Prototype class with the current ALMS P2 cars, the Deltawing, and the Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes (DP).

Currently, there is an almost six second gap to be made up for the DP cars to be competitive with the P2 cars, meaning the USCR officials have a lot of work to do before next season. Now the question is, do DP teams rely on USCR to even out the playing field, or jump ship now?

#01 Chip Ganassi BMW/Riley: Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas
#01 Chip Ganassi BMW/Riley: Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

I read a story over at Speedtv.com, in which TIm Keene, the team manager over at Chip Ganassi Racing said he is disappointed that there won't be a side-by-side test this week, or some point soon for the cars, and that they are undecided on what to run next year but are considering the change to P2.

"We'd like to have an on-track test to see where we'd actually stand before we can make any kind of decisions. We don't want to base a decision on what we think is going to be right because we don't really know what the regulations will be," he told Speedtv.com

I think, despite the amount of time and money that will be put into a Ganassi program, you need to stick with what you know for the time being. Period.

The amount of data that the team will get in off-season and pre-season testing just simply won't compare to what teams running P2 right now will have next season. But that beckons the question of whether USCR will bring DP performance up to P2, or P2 down to DP levels.

Again, this is all speculation at this point. If I was in Chip Ganassi's shoes I would relax right now, and work on my BMW Rileys this offseason and commit to them. While the team has not had as much success, or trips to the top step this year, they have a formula and it works.

#551 Level 5 Motorsports, HPD ARX-03b Honda: Scott Tucker, Ryan Briscoe
#551 Level 5 Motorsports, HPD ARX-03b Honda: Scott Tucker, Ryan Briscoe

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

When governing bodies are required to come up with changes to level the playing field, it can be done right and wrong.

Do you throw out the many years of data running your BMW/Riley DP, and hope that you can learn enough about the new car to be competitive? I say stay with what you know, until you know more about the playing field. The classes with undoubtably change again in 2015…and who knows beyond that.

And as for the Deltawing, which will be sharing a class with these cars…ask me when the phallic looking machine wins a race.

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About this article
Series TUSC , ALMS , GRANDAM
Article type Commentary
Tags daytona prototype, dp, ganassi, p2, road america, uscr, win

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