BAR1 Motorsports team owner Brian Alder came away from the Tuesday-Wednesday IMSA test at Daytona International Speedway feeling encouraged by the outcome of his first major outing in the Prototype category.
After stepping up from IMSA’s former PC class, Alder will campaign a Riley/Multimatic Mk. 30 WEC P2 next year. He relied on veterans from his PC program to help IMSA’s technical department gather data to use with its Balance of Performance tables.
“It was good, and we’re just getting used to everything from a new car to our drivers to our mechanics,” Alder told RACER. “The whole goal of the test was to get everybody up to speed in the car, and it was hard not to focus on lap times, since we don’t have all the new updates for the car, but we met all our goals. We ran every lap we could, no issues with reliability, which was great and wasn’t surprising, but it’s odd when that happens in your first outing. It was a success for us. And we’ll be out again next week to get more laps in with the car.
Tomy Drissi, Gustavo Yacaman and Don Yount wheeled the blue No. 20 around Daytona during the test, and one or more could return to race the ex-Ben Keating chassis.
“Part of our plan next week is to get a few more drivers in the car who are interested in running with us, and unfortunately, last year with PC we had two cars and 10 drivers, and now, we have one car and a lot of options to think about, so it’s going to be hard to narrow down who we go with for Daytona,” Alder added.
Although BAR1 is the only privateer team utilizing the Mk. 30, it will benefit from the new homologation process that chassis has gone through with Mazda Team Joest, which uses the Mk. 30 as the basis of its RT24-P DPi. Once the final, approved chassis components trickle down to BAR1, Alder believes he will have a package to entice full-time drivers to sign on after the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“We submitted a premium entry for the car, but we don’t have our lineups confirmed for the year,” he said. “Everybody can see how well the Mazda’s doing now, and I feel like once we get those updates and get to the Roar, we’ll have a lot of interest for the rest of the races.”