Are the Daytona Prototypes sandbagging or actually at a disadvantage going into the Rolex 24? The two sides can't seem to agree...
Jamie McMurray returns to Daytona as the defending champion with Chip Ganassi Racing. Practice isn't always truly indicative of where each team stands, but in the lone dry practice this weekend, the fastest DP (Taylor) was roughly 1.7 seconds back of the fastest P2 (Shank) while the DeltaWing led the way.
"They are two different cars. They should be different categories"
McMurray told the media during the Ganassi 'Meet the Team' that the gap is legitimate and in his opinion, nearly impossible to make up without help.
"We need some more parity among the P2 to the prototype cars," he said. "It's hard for any of us or Chip (Ganassi) to complain about the cars not being fast enough but there's a 2.5 second gap right now from the P2s to our cars, which is not realistic to race with somebody when you're that far off.
"When you come to the test, everybody thinks that somebody else is sandbagging but its obvious no one sandbagged there because we were two seconds off and now we're 2.5 off. To me, I think that Saturday and Sunday is going to be a huge challenge. The P2 cars, unless they break, are not going to be beatable by a DP car."
His CGR co-driver and reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon added, "And in IMSA's defense, they are two different cars. They should be different categories ... They're a lot different."
Allmendinger doubts DP at a disadvantage
Later, A.J. Allmendinger (2012 overall winner) was asked about his fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver's comments. To put it bluntly, he isn't buying it.
"It will be interesting to see. I don't think those boys have shown everything they got. They've been holding back since we got to the test here in November. But it's part of the game and how it's played. We've kind of gone the other way and said 'this is what we got' and shown it.
"It's definitely got speed in it, but in the end, a Daytona Prototype is a defending champion of the race and they pretty much won every race last year. Until we actually go out there and do the job, they're still the ones to beat."
Allmendinger added with smirk, "Ganassi is funny ... They're always slower, but then they drop the green and they are really fast."