The one limiting factor expressed by the Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost DP team since Sebring has been a comparative lack of front downforce, and the latest round of Balance of Performance changes from IMSA could help the Rolex 24 at Daytona winners to find Victory Lane once more before the season ends in October.
The addition of a ¼-inch vertical wicker placed behind the diveplanes will give drivers Scott Pruett and Joey Hand a slight downforce increase by accelerating and extracting more air through the Ford DP’s splitter. As Hand told RACER, it’s the kind of update they’ve been hoping for since March.
“The main issues are we’ve needed more torque, and we’ve struggled with aero – this is all compared to the Corvettes,” he said. “Their BoP has been the best; they’ve had the best downforce and we’ve had problems with aero wash trying to follow them. We got a little bit of a restrictor break and one extra hole on the rear wing going into Watkins Glen, but we haven’t had the ability to run our max rear downforce because we couldn’t match it with front downforce, and this update will help us to do that.”
The Ford DP has used a pair of diveplanes mounted to the outer portions of the car’s nose to address the front downforce deficiency. With the new wickers in place for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the modest downforce increase will proved added cornering stability.
“We’ve had the two dive planes up front, but those lose downforce when you get behind another car, so IMSA asked us to try the wickers in one session last weekend and Scott said it made a difference,” he noted. “It’s something in the right direction, and at placed like CTMP and the rest of the track we’re going to, it should keep us closer to the Corvettes.”