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2019 Daytona Rolex 24 articles are starting here

Old 04-20-2018, 08:35 AM
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Default 2019 Daytona Rolex 24 articles are starting here

This thread is for 2019 Rolex 24.......................
There are over 100 postings...you will be asked to "click here" at post #40
to see the last 60 posts, including the hour by hour accounts and many others.

https://www.tamparacing.com/forums/a...ting-here.html
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2018 Rolex 24 is posted here:

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INSIGHT: Zanardi's Rolex 24 preparations for 2019

Look at the steering wheel......
Thursday, 19 April 2018

George Tamayo / Images by BMW; Hawkins/LAT

Alex Zanardi has accomplished a lot in his remarkable life. From CART championships to Paralympic gold medals [[I]below] to New York City Marathons, life both before and after his accident at the Lausitzring in 2001 has been about competing, and winning. After a few years away from competitive motor racing, he's ready to get back behind the wheel for another big challenge: a tilt at the GTLM class in the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona driving a factory-backed BMW M8 GTE.
Final plans are still being made, including which team will run the program and who his co-drivers will be, but in the meantime, preparations go on as Zanardi confers with BMW Motorsport on adapting the car to simultaneously suit his needs as well as those of his co-drivers. Zanardi makes it clear that this isn't feel-good story fodder. He's doing this because his appetite for winning is insatiable.

This won't be Zanardi's first try at a 24-hour race. In 2015, driving a BMW Z4 entered by ROAL Motorsport, Zanardi co-drove with fellow BMW works drivers Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock to finish in 25th place overall out of 57 entries.

"After the 24-hour race at Spa in 2015, we all felt it was a kind of unfinished business because it was a great experience with a bittersweet ending," says Zanardi. "The car had a technical problem with only one hour to go.

"It was a decent surprise to do that well. We can't say it was a 'big surprise' because that would mean that there was no expectation of doing well, when in reality the expectation was there all along – but probably not to do that well. In the middle of the night we were in a position to win. The huge talent of Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock had a big role in allowing us to have that aim. Still, for me to have role in achieving that goal and turning out competitive lap times was a big surprise to the people [at BMW] in Munich.

"So they were all very, very excited," Zanardi continues. "And after a few days we spoke about trying to do this again, but in a better way. In 2016 there was the Olympics, and Jens Marquardt asked me if I wanted to [race] again, but I chose to focus on the Olympics. But right after the games, I got the chance, with only two weeks preparation, to drive in the final of the Italian GT Championship at Mugello, and everything went so well that I won! The following day Jens was so happy and he called me and said, 'Hey Alex, we have to organize something,' so we talked about it and it was announced – much to my surprise because it wasn't yet official in my mind – at the year-end BMW Motorsport party in December of 2017."

When discussing the plans, Zanardi says that other races including Le Mans were considered. But from boyhood, when he first fell in love with motorsport, one name was etched in his mind: Daytona. He last drove there on the oval as part of the 1997 International Race of Champions (IROC).
"Le Mans is a great event, but Daytona takes place in a country that changed my life and happens in front of fans who are going to remember what I've done here," he says.

Currently, Zanardi has been spending time behind the wheel of a BMW M6 GT3 trying to optimize the system he will use to drive the M8 GTE in Daytona while incorporating the lessons learned from his Spa 24 Hour experience. Chief among those is figuring out a way for Zanardi to drive without the use of his prosthetic legs, which he says isn't a problem for a sprint race, but they are an impediment in endurance racing. BMW Motorsport has developed a steering wheel and braking system that Zanardi has already tested extensively, having completed approximately 450 miles, including a triple-stint, on a recent test day.
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This is continued at Post #11
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:37 AM
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F1 Alex Zinardi former World Champion

The pass they are all talking about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBthxGThBkc

Unignorable Anomaly
That was a spectacular move, although a little cheeky. He passed him and THEN went off the track after the move was done. Of course he knew he wouldn't stay within the track limits to pull it off.

He did not break any rules in place at the time, and therefore this is a perfectly legal overtake.

This was before Zanardi lost his legs in a later race.
Alex Zanardi still races and still kicks butt!

****************************************
Zinardi has raced many cars and also bicycles since he lost his legs.

As Dom Toretto says......."ask any racer....any REAL racer...."




INDYCAR: Zanardi claims another Paralympic gold

RACER staff

Ex-IndyCar star Alex Zanardi has claimed his second gold medal of the 2016 Paralympics. The 49-year-old was part of the three-man Italian team that dominated the H2-H5 mixed team relay at Pontal in Rio de Janeiro.
Zanardi was third in the rotation on the three-man team, taking over for the first time on the third leg of the race after Vittorio Podesta and Luca Mazzone completed the first two. Podesta ended the opening leg in third place, with Mazzone then moving into the lead when he took over before handing over to Zanardi.
Zanardi extended the lead over the USA from 13 to 21 seconds before Podesta took over again as the trio rotated in the same sequence. The Italian team went on to consolidate its lead, with Zanardi maintaining the 40s advantage he was given on handover during his second stint.
Zanardi then closed out victory in the final leg, taking over with a minute in hand over the USA team's Oscar Sanchez and crossing the line to win by 47s.

This is Zanardi's second gold medal of the 2016 Paralympic games, the first coming in Wednesday's HT time trial.

It takes Zanardi's Paralympic gold medal tally to four, having won two at London 2012.

ZANARDI 'COLLAPSED' IN ROAD RACE
Zanardi also claimed a silver medal on Thursday competing in the H5 road race after being pipped to victory in a sprint finish by South African Ernst van Dyk. Following that race, Zanardi admitted he had not recovered from the time trial the day before, but he was always confident he would be "back in the racing mood" for Friday's relay.


"It was a difficult race," he said after winning the road race silver medal on the 15th anniversary of the Champ Car accident that led to his legs being amputated. "Sometimes you cannot control your emotions and when I had won gold, I was very proud but psychologically I simply collapsed.


"All the pressure I had put myself under, but that I tried to ignore all the time, fell off my shoulders. I was not in the racing mood that normally pushes you, that makes you forget that you have less sleep and that helps that you don't feel the pain in the muscles.
"I felt empty in the beginning and it was a very tiring race for me. To bring home the silver medal under these circumstances is a great and fantastic achievement."
This was Zanardi's second Paralympic silver medal, as he also claimed one in the H1-H4 team time trial at London 2012.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:43 AM
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:51 AM
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Default Christian Fittipaldi to retire after 2019 Rolex 24

Christian Fittipaldi to retire after 2019 Rolex 24

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By: RACER Staff | August 5, 2018 7:55 AM Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar champion and three-time Rolex 24 winner Christian Fittipaldi will retire from top-level racing after the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The 47-year-old Fittipaldi, whose next race will be the 2018 IMSA season-ending Petit Le Mans, took on the role of sporting director for Action Express in January, stepping aside from full-time competition to allow Filipe Albuquerque to join the No.5 Cadillac DPi team full-time.“Everything in life has a beginning, middle, and end — and I am at the beginning of the end of this stage of my career and competing at this level,” said Fittipaldi. “All that I can say is that it has been an awesome trip. Thank you to mom and dad, and to my whole family. Without them I couldn’t have had the opportunities that I have had all through my career. My wife and daughter have given me so much motivation, especially in the later stages of my racing career.”

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Fittipaldi’s third Rolex 24 win, which came this year in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R with Filipe Albuquerque and his longtime co-driver, Joao Barbosa, with whom he shared the championships and the majority of his IMSA wins, was what started him thinking about retirement from driving.“I think one of the last items of it – and it was a huge weight that came off my back – was Daytona this year,” he said. “After what happened in 2017 – and don’t take me wrong, I’m not here to point fingers if Ricky (Taylor) should be disqualified or if he shouldn’t. I’m way beyond that. If he pulled a good move or a bad move, at the end of the day, we lost the race and they won the race, and I thought we would have won the race. So, we kept that for almost a year and it was heavy inside the team.

“When we managed to pull it this year, I said, ‘Wow, three is a cool number.’ Obviously, four, five or six would be even nicer, but three is a cool number. I think that started generating the little snowball. From that point onward, I went to Long Beach and it was the first time I was out of the car and I was spotting for the team and helping out the team technically. Then something else clicked in.“My relationship with my family, my daughter, my age, so it’s the package. It’s not one thing. It’s not that I went out there, I had a huge accident and said, ‘Whoa, now I’m afraid of doing this. I can’t do this anymore.’ It wasn’t that. It was the package and I think the timing is correct. I’m going to respect the timing a lot.”

Fittipaldi made a name for himself in Formula 3000 before three years in Formula 1 with Minardi and the Footwork Arrows teams. He arrived on the North American open-wheel scene in 1995 with Walker Racing and immediately scored a runner-up result in his first-ever Indianapolis 500. He moved to NASCAR competition with Richard Petty Racing before racing in A1GP, American Le Mans and Brazilian stock car competition.Fittipaldi joined Action Express in 2011, winning the 2014 and 2015 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships as well as the North American Endurance Cup titles in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. With co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque, he claimed two Rolex 24 overall wins in 2014 and 2018, adding to his Rolex victory with Bell Motorsports in 2004.

“I wanted to give it a shot,” he said of ending his career after Daytona. “I owe a lot to Daytona. I owe a lot to the France family and Daytona has brought me a lot of happiness. I have had a lot of success there. We won three times. I think I have six or seven podiums in total. Maybe it’s not Scott Pruett’s statistics, but it’s not bad.”As sporting director at Action Express, Fittipaldi has raced in the endurance events while also being on site for IMSA event weekends as part of the performance engineering effort for the team and serving as a liaison with team sponsors.

“To IMSA, thanks for all the great opportunities,” said Fittipaldi. “Jim France has once again built something really incredible and has been key to making everything happen, from his original vision to this great upward path of growth. This is an amazing paddock with very strong teams, so many manufacturers and great tracks on the entire schedule. To Cadillac and ECR, thank you for all the horsepower and downforce.”
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:56 AM
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Default PRUETT: Split decision

PRUETT: Split decision

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By: Marshall Pruett | August 3, 2018 6:17 PM
It won’t make every entrant happy, but IMSA’s decision to split the Prototype class into separate championships was the smartest option available to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series.




Announced Friday at its State of The Series event, the adjustment comes after two seasons of largely unsuccessful attempts to balance IMSA’s custom Daytona Prototype internationals and the FIA World Endurance Championship-spec LMP2s. With a win tally of 14-3 in favor of DPis, the recent upturn in fortune for the P2s with back-to-back wins wasn’t enough to halt the mounting wave of frustration expressed by the auto manufacturers and teams supporting DPi.

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On average, DPis have been responsible for two-thirds of the Prototype grid, giving Acura, Cadillac, Mazda and Nissan (by way of Tequila Patron ESM) a strong voice when addressing concerns with IMSA. Citing the endless Balance of Performance restrictions applied to the DPis in an effort to give the P2s a shot at winning, something close to a mutiny formed leading into the May race at Mid-Ohio.




With a quick brokering of peace happening before tensions hit a breaking point, the first whispers of the split emerged later in the Mid-Ohio weekend. Adding fuel to the topic in July, DPi manufacturers were less than enthused to see Pro-Am privateer P2 teams come out on top at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. For the sake of unity and positivity, a split became inevitable.




The last note, if not the entire premise of DPi entrants being displeased with the BoP restrictions and losing to P2s, has been a source of amusement for some of the Pro-Am entrants.
Image by LePage/LAT
“Didn’t they sign up in the beginning knowing they’d be balanced with us?” one team owner said on the condition of anonymity. “How can anybody be upset since they knew what they were getting themselves into?”

It’s a completely valid point, and speaks to the shared disenfranchisement on both sides of the Prototype divide. A promise that P2s would be able to vie for victories was not delivered (barring one race) in 2017, and has only become a reality in the middle of the 2018 championship. For those who bought P2s with the expectation of giving its drivers and sponsors regular visits to the podium, the promise will finally be fulfilled at every round once the new season arrives.




And how many Pro-Am P2 teams will sign up for the new class next year? That’s going to be the big topic to follow as the Rolex 24 At Daytona approaches in January.

Some P2 entrants like United Autosports have made use of all-pro lineups, and going forward, it will not be an option if they wish to continue using their Ligier JSP217s. To race with Pros, UA and every other team with that aspiration will need DPis. It takes us back to the old question of whether privateers will be granted access to buy factory-blessed prototypes.




UA owner Zak Brown has the type of connections to land DPis. Through new sponsor/partner Bob Stallings, the JDC-Miller Motorsports team could be closing in on a DPi if the extra funding can be found.
Image by Levitt/LAT
If they’re unsuccessful, will they come back to P2? Will an AFS/PR1-Mathiasen Motorsports or a Performance Tech Motorsports do the same? That’s the adjustment P2 entrants will need to make. Without divine intervention, overall wins will not be possible as DPis are set to have the BoP shackles taken off.




Can P2 owners find enough non-pro drivers with deep pockets to sign up for running behind DPis? The class split was never going to be a cure-all. It’s freed the majority of the Prototype entrants — the well-funded factories — from the areas that created constant grousing. But will it open up new problems for P2 entrants if they can no longer offer headline-making wins to its customers? And will there be enough P2 cars on the grid to keep two classes afloat?




Daytona 2019 will be a mightily important State of The Series update for IMSA’s privateer P2 owners.
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:01 AM
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Default IMSA to split Prototype classes from 2019

IMSA to split Prototype classes from 2019

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By: Marshall Pruett | August 3, 2018 4:45 PM IMSA will split its Daytona Prototype internationals and spec LMP2s into separate classes starting in 2019.The factory DPis will no longer receive Balance of Performance adjustments in relation to the privateer P2s, which should unleash a decent amount of speed that has been dialed back under the current DPi/P2 balancing practice. Starting next season, DPis from Acura, Cadillac, Mazda, and Nissan will have a class-specific BoP designed to created parity solely within the DPi class.

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In P2, a shift to full Pro-Am status will take place, which creates further alignment with the FIA World Endurance Championship P2 category. At present, IMSA’s P2 teams are permitted to use Pro-Pro driver lineups, and once the new season gets under way, it will transition to the required use of one Bronze- or Silver-rated driver to go with a driver of any rating—most likely a Gold- or Platinum-rated professional—for the standard rounds.For the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds, up to five drivers will be allowed in P2. Drive-time restrictions will be announced at a later date for Gold- and Platinum-rated drivers in the class for Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Petit Le Mans at Road America.

With the adoption of full Pro-Am rules in P2, the Jim Trueman Award will be given to the Bronze- or Silver-rated driver who finishes the highest in the championship; an entry to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will also be granted. In the Pro-Am GT Daytona class, the same program will continue under the Bob Akin Award banner.

IMSA has developed a new plan for GTD Bronze and Silver drivers that will provide extra track time prior to qualifying, and a policy change has also been implemented where Am drivers who qualify GTD cars must start the race. Ams taking part in the special practice session will be able to purchase an extra set of new dry Michelin tires.

“As we continue to evolve the WeatherTech Championship, we’ve engaged in extensive dialogue with our stakeholders to consider appropriate refinements,” said IMSA Vice President, Competition Simon Hodgson. “The changes we will implement in 2019 are based upon the feedback we’ve received from all WeatherTech Championship class stakeholders in the paddock. We expect the changes will be popular with participants and IMSA fans alike.”
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:13 PM
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Default Farano, RLR looking to add Rolex 24, Le Mans to 2019 schedule

Farano, RLR looking to add Rolex 24, Le Mans to 2019 schedule

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By: Stephen Kilbey | 8 hours ago RLR Msport and Canadian driver John Farano are working on racing in the 2019 running of the Rolex 24 Hours and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with their new ORECA 07 Gibson, RACER has learned.The team, which currently leads the LMP3 class standings in the European Le Mans Series with just one race to go, has announced that it is going to enter its new ORECA 07 Gibson with Farano in the full ELMS season next year. The team hopes part of its 2019 season will include Le Mans, should it obtain an invite.

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“I’ve driven Le Mans three times in the past, but not in the main race, so I hope we can race there in 2019 as I love the track and the whole event,” Farano told RACER at Snetterton during his second LMP2 test with regular RLR driver Job Van Uitert.“We hope to put the 24 Hours of Daytona on our list for 2019, too. If we do that, we won’t have any other testing time after the end-of-season ELMS test at Portimao, but we’ll get the Roar in January and the late test in December at Daytona.”“We’re working on it,” he continued when asked about his pre-2019 ELMS preparation schedule.

“I’ve run at Daytona many times, and there’s a lot I like about it. The car is well suited to the track, and it’s a great way to prepare for the season, we’ll almost be using the Rolex as a test. It suits everybody in the team and other drivers we hope we can have come along too.“As a Gentlemen, I like what they’ve done with splitting the classes, it’s perfect. IMSA recognised that they needed the change. I’m now interested in doing an IMSA program with the long races; one day maybe we’ll do that in the future, too.”
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:22 PM
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Zanardi completes first BMW M8 test in Rolex 24 prep

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By: Alison Sneag November 9, 2018 10:20 AM Alex Zanardi has completed his first test in the BMW M8 GTE as he prepares for the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona.Zanardi has been racing BMW cars since 2003, but earlier this year – and essentially by accident – he began driving without his prosthetic legs. BMW M Motorsport has made extensive modifications to Zanardi’s cockpit, including a hand-operated braking system for the first time. Using the same modified in-car system, the 52-year-drove a BMW M4 to an emotional fifth-place finish in a August DTM race in Misano. Zanardi drove over 400 miles this week over three days at Miramas in southern France. Despite some rain, Zanardi was able to familiarize himself with the M8 GTE while BMW M Motorsport evaluated how the specially modified car was functioning.Related

Zanardi's fifth-place DTM finish 'feels like a gold medal'

Eriksson wins first DTM race; Zanardi fifth in guest drive

Zanardi tests modified BMW M4 ahead of DTM race

INSIGHT: Zanardi's Rolex 24 preparations

“I think I made huge progress during this test,” Zanardi said. “Particularly when you consider that the conditions were very tough. Miramas is not an easy circuit anyway, and then we had the rain to deal with too. It was a challenge getting to know the car in these conditions, and at the same time finding out what I need to do when whilst driving.“However, it was a very productive test. My feel for the car improved all the time and I soon found out what I need to be doing with my hands and how I can control the car’s various electronic functions. We are now very well prepared for the next test at Daytona. I have to say, the BMW M8 GTE is a real beauty. It was a privilege for me to take it out onto the track and drive it for so many laps.”Braking is performed using a lever, which he operates with his right arm. The special steering wheel allows Zanardi to accelerate using a gas ring and to change gear using shift paddles. The gas mechanism at the steering wheel, proven in DTM, has been adapted to the much more complex steering wheel in the BMW M8 GTE. The brake lever also has a button, with which Zanardi can shift down through the gears when braking into corners. Based on the knowledge gained at Misano, the system has been optimized for the BMW M8 GTE.Another part of the test included practicing a driver change, as Zanardi will share the M8 with other drivers at Daytona. Zanardi practiced the procedures with BMW works driver and Rahal Letterman Lanigan IMSA driver Jesse Krohn (below). “It is impressive what we achieved,” he said. “You have to bear in mind that, as well as the usual driver changeover, we must also swap the steering wheel. We consistently achieved that in under 20 seconds, and a few times we even managed the changeover in about 15 seconds.
Zanardi with Nathalie McGloin, president of the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission
“When you observe how quickly a ‘normal’ driver like Jesse jumps out of the car, it is a bit different when you then see somebody like me getting out. Undo the harness, remove the steering wheel, pass it to somebody and jump out of the car – all in less than three seconds. Then turn around, wait until Jesse is in, climb back into the car, hook my leg into the frame, help Jesse with the radio and harness, pass him the other steering wheel, close the net and get away from the car…It is really impressive and looks a bit like a dance. We will now continue to work on perfecting the driver changeover.”The 24-hour endurance race will mark Zanardi’s first competitive race in the U.S. since the CART race on August 19, 2001 at Road America, a month before he lost both his legs at the Lausitzring. BMW M Motorsport is working with the FIA, ACO and IMSA to gain approval for a car adapted to Zanardi’s needs for GTE races.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:25 PM
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Default ytona Rolex 24 2019 Michelin encouraged by feedback on ‘multitasking’ IMSA tires

Michelin encouraged by feedback on ‘multitasking’ IMSA tires

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By: Marshall Pruett | November 20, 2018 10:10 AM Michelin continues to receive encouraging feedback while finalizing its new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship tires.“In the time we’ve had with teams across all the classes in IMSA, a theme that we keep hearing emerge when they try our tires is that they’re very good at multitasking,” said Ken Payne,

Michelin North America’s technical director for motorsports. “If you want to trail-brake in while cornering or start rolling in the throttle mid-corner to exit, apparently they’re finding our tires are pleasantly capable of doing such things.”For Michelin’s existing teams in IMSA’s GT Le Mans category, 2019 should feel no different from recent years where the brand’s approach to tire compounds will be unchanged. Teams in Prototype, for example, will need to adjust to Michelin’s methodology,

which differs from the usual grip model of soft, medium, or hard provided by other endurance racing tire manufacturers.Michelin’s mindset targets ambient temperature ranges first — making it easier to pick a compound based on the environment faced by the tires on any given day — and once that decision has been made, teams can select the desired durability characteristics offered within that compound choice.

It’s a new level of customization that extends beyond previous norms.“It very much is in that domain of temperatures,” Payne said. “You could really characterize the one tire as a medium that is in the cooler to medium temperature range window, and then the other tire is for the higher, hotter conditions. We’ve factored in the unique characteristics of places like The Glen and CTMP in the summer months. What we’re going to have in terms of our hot tire for LMP2 is maybe a bit more of a hard hot than a medium hot that we would have,

say, in GTLM.“Our philosophy definitely is targeting tires that are intended to work in temperature ranges and pretty broad temperature ranges as well. That’s one of the changes that we may see with the slight revision for the IMSA spec tires versus the WEC tires, is that they’ll probably wind up having little bit broader functional range in terms of the temperature windows that they can work in.

”Prototype teams will have plenty of time to log miles in testing at Daytona International Speedway before the new Michelin era officially begins at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January. With memories of repeat and worrisome high-speed tire failures during the 2018 race, Payne says he does not anticipate similar dramas with its product.
United Autosports Ligier LMP2 was among those to have tire trouble at this year’s Rolex 24. (Image by Scott LePage/LAT)

“Carcass durability or casing endurance, tire endurance in general, is a first-order consideration for Michelin no matter what the domain or track is,” he added. “The tire we’re starting with, the LMP2 tire, is quite a robust design and in fact, we will not have a Daytona-specific tire for the prototypes. Just as within GTLM today, there is not a Daytona-specific tire.

But what we do is we have a very rigorous protocol to validate our tire constructions for the different tracks and load and operating conditions that we use. It starts with simulation testing.“It goes into machine testing with very proprietary, confidential algorithms and controls to the processes of that testing. All of that is rolled into determining what the tire design should be and then into the matrix that we provide the teams of pressure and camber recommendations. I say recommendations, but actually, requirements might be a better word to use. We’re very specific in that we’ll give a team and say, ‘OK, you’re going to Daytona.

If you want to run that tire for one stint, here is the different camber settings you can use, and here is the corresponding minimum hot pressure that you have to run at in order to use that camber setting.’“We do that for all the different tracks that we operate at. That’s one of the ways that we manage those conditions at the tracks, is by giving the teams different boundaries to operate in with respect to camber and pressure settings on the cars. We [recently] had a session down at Daytona with two of the DPI teams, and it was a very productive session, and tire durability was a nonissue.”
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Last edited by senor honda; 11-21-2018 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:30 PM
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Alonso set to make Rolex 24 return

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By: Marshall Pruett November 26, 2018 8:28 AM Fernando Alonso’s second attempt to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona will come from inside a Cadillac DPi-V.R entered by Wayne Taylor Racing.RACER has confirmed the Spaniard will share the No. 10 WTR entry with Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande for IMSA’s season-opening WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event in January with the 2017 Prototype champions. Although it’s unclear whether the team will go with three or four drivers for the event, Alonso’s seat at WTR will likely come at the expense of Ryan Hunter-Reay, who has filled the third-driver role.Alonso made his Rolex 24 debut at the beginning of the year with United Autosports (pictured), the endurance racing team owned by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. Saddled with an uncompetitive chassis, the two-time Formula 1 champion, who completed his final grand prix race for McLaren on Sunday, had a forgettable introduction to Daytona.Finishing 38th in the 50-car field, Alonso turned his attention to a dual F1 and FIA World Endurance Championship calendar that added an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota which completed the second leg of racing’s ‘Triple Crown.’

Related

Johnson keen to partner Alonso at Rolex 24

Johnson impresses Alonso with F1 test debut

Alonso, Johnson enjoy car swap day in Bahrain

A recent announcement from McLaren has Alonso in the frame to complete the Triple Crown in May when he attempts to win the Indy 500 on his second try in a Chevy-powered Dallara DW12 chassis that will be run by McLaren with technical support from Andretti Autosport.WTR closed the 2018 IMSA championship with a win at Petit Le Mans, and with its 2017 win at the Rolex 24, the team can be expected to feature when WeatherTech Championship action resumes.
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