Despite having a brief respite with on-track competition, the race between major manufacturers to ready their new-for-2023 IMSA GTP hybrid entries continues to ramp up in private testing.
RACER has learned Acura’s ARX-06 prototype turned its first laps in anger last week in France at Magny Cours and will soon be headed to the U.S. where the factory Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing teams are expected to learn more about the car as its development shifts to North America.
Acura’s debut with the ORECA-built car that will succeed its championship-winning ARX-05 was followed the first outing on American soil by Cadillac Racing at the Putnam Park road course in Indiana, which is situated near its Chip Ganassi Racing team.
Like the Acura, which is believed to make use of a similar twin-turbo V6 engine architecture as found in the ARX-05, the as-yet unnamed Cadillac GTP machine relies on an updated version of the naturally-aspirated V8 motor that has propelled the current DPi-V.R to numerous titles.
Using CGR and factory driver Earl Bamber for the Putnam Park outing, Cadillac reported no major issues during the rollout test.
Provided the scheduling holds, the end of July should produce another first. RACER understands Cadillac and Porsche are meant to share Sebring International Raceway for multiple days of GTP running, and if the plan remains unchanged, it would give IMSA and the manufacturers an opportunity to test and benchmark performance with two models in action at the same time.
Of the four GTP models set to debut in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, Acura, Cadillac, and Porsche have reached their first on-track milestones, leaving BMW as the last brand to venture out and log miles with its Dallara-built design. Although no formal testing plan has been released, it’s believed the BMW M Hybrid V8 is being readied for an early August shakedown.
IMSA’s first official test for its new GTP cars is on the calendar for October 3-5 at Road Atlanta following the WeatherTech Championship’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans Oct. 1 season finale.