BoP revolt brewing among IMSA's Porsche GTD teams

Richard Dole/Motorsport Images

BoP revolt brewing among IMSA's Porsche GTD teams


BoP revolt brewing among IMSA's Porsche GTD teams


Several of the GT Daytona teams running the new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 R are withdrawing from or altering their participation in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship following the test at Sebring International Raceway two weeks ago where all Porsche teams were still considerably off the pace.

RACER understands that Mark Kvamme plans to withdraw the entry for his MDK Motorsports team from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, and Ryan Hardwick has announced that he will run the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds only, instead shifting his focus to running a partial season in WEC to prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition, two other unnamed teams are believed to be looking at leaving the series after Sebring unless a more favorable Balance of Performance equation is introduced.

“It is now my intent to only run the remaining IMSA Endurance rounds,” said Hardwick in a statement, in which he noted his WEC and ELMS participation with Proton Competition in a Porsche 911 RSR-19, starting with the 1000 Miles of Sebring.

“Multiple factors have led to this decision, starting with what recently transpired at the Rolex 24. I am extremely disappointed by what took place in the GTD class at Daytona. There has been a lot of finger pointing as to who was at fault for one brand being at such an extreme performance disadvantage compared to the rest of the GTD class.

“Personally, I don’t care who is at fault. I do feel strongly that some changes need to be made. What took place during the race was a sad display of just how flawed the current IMSA BoP system truly is. The product that we all put forward on track in Daytona was a disgrace to our fans, our manufacturers, our sponsors, our teams and our drivers. The truth is the current BoP process has failed us. All of us. This sport is special because it has historically been a competition among people, and it has always rewarded those people who can extract the most performance from their cars.

“Unfortunately, the current BoP process and the IMSA officials who continue to defend it, are severely damaging the true spirit of competition within our sport. What took place in Daytona should never happen again, and it is my hope that the manufacturers and IMSA officials will work together to make some much-needed changes, because our sport deserves it. The people and sponsors who drive this sport forward deserve it. And most importantly, our fans deserve it.”

After the December test at Daytona International Speedway where GTD PRO champions Pfaff Motorsport ran a car it had just received, IMSA mandated a 33mm intake restrictor for the Porsche, down from 38mm for the previous generation. At the Roar Before the 24 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 911 GT3 Rs were two or more seconds off the GTD pace in every session, losing almost all the time in the high-speed section from the Le Mans Chicane (nee Bus Stop) to start/finish. The highest-placing Porsche in GTD was the No. 16 in ninth, six laps down, with Ryan Hardwick, Jan Heylen, Zacharie Robichon and Dennis Olsen driving, while defending GTD PRO champs Pfaff (Patrick Pilet, Laurens Vanthoor and Klaus Bachler) were fifth in class, one lap down.

Porsche wasn’t the only manufacturer to apparently experience trouble with BoP. Ferrari and Lamborghini, which also introduced new or updated cars in the 296 GT3 and Huracan Evo2 respectively, were also off the pace, but not as much as the Porsche teams. BMW teams, in their second year running the G82 M4 GT3, also struggled.

At the Sebring test, IMSA allowed a 36mm restrictor for the 911 – although 34 and 35mm restrictors were also reportedly tried during the test – with better, but similar, results. Team Korthoff Motorsports led the test in their Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mikael Grenier turning a 2m1.558s lap. Kay van Berlo was the quickest of the Porsche drivers, 21st of 39 drivers that logged times, with a 2m2.847s time in the No. 91 Kellymoss with Riley 911, still more than a second off the pace. Pfaff Motorsports did not participate in the test.

RACER has reached out to IMSA representatives for comment.