The RACER Mailbag, March 15 – EAST AUTO NEWS

The RACER Mailbag, March 15

Welcome to the RACER Mailbag. Questions for any of RACER’s writers could be despatched to mailbag@racer.com. As a result of excessive quantity of questions acquired, we are able to’t assure that each letter will probably be printed, however we’ll reply as many as we are able to. Printed questions could also be edited for size and readability. Questions acquired after 3pm ET every Monday will seem the next week.

Q: There are extra questions and gaps within the story of Meyer Shank Racing dishonest with the minimal tire stress numbers. As I watched the top of the race, it certain gave the workforce monumental efficiency profit ensuing of their victory — which after studying concerning the infractions, to my shock IMSA determined to uphold. 

What means do tire stress information usually get communicated from the race automotive to IMSA? Reside telemetry or on a USB stick or laptop computer obtain effectively after the occasion? Isn’t this information dealt with in a closed system if stay? How can that be tampered with — within the software program? Can guide entry be dominated out or not? 

When did HPD study concerning the violation and the way quickly after the race did they grew to become conscious? Was HPD conducting shaker rig testing and evaluating tire information coming from Wayne Taylor Racing, for instance?  

Mike Shank must confess who really got here up with this concept: actually Ryan McCarthy on his personal, or was it the workforce principal who needed to do that however used McCarthy as a sacrificial scapegoat? 

Why did the automotive not get disqualified at least? Is that this as a result of NASCAR owns IMSA and it’s their coverage that whoever crosses the end line first retains the place regardless whether or not achieved by the use of dishonest? What do different groups and producers take into consideration this?

Adam Lipcse, Toronto, ON 

MARSHALL PRUETT: In order for you a deeper dive, Adam, take a hearken to my The Week In Sports activities Automobiles podcast I do with Graham Goodwin; it was the opening subject final week.

A few issues: The violations have been twofold. First was the setting of tire pressures beneath Michelin’s minimal for the occasion. The second was manipulating the tire stress monitoring system (TPMS) information leaving the automotive by way of stay telemetry which was being acquired by IMSA.

I’m instructed the information techniques on the GTP vehicles are certainly closed by way of groups and producers having the ability to fudge numbers on the regulated gadgets; the TPMS system falls outdoors of this and, as we discovered, was an space the place an offset may very well be utilized within the software program to pretend the tire stress numbers fired throughout each second by way of telemetry.

I can’t say on the precise date and time it was found, however anecdotally, I’ve heard it was discovered and/or reported by HPD to IMSA a couple of week after the race.

I used to be not a fan of the assertion distributed by MSR pointing to McCarthy, who’s listed because the workforce’s technical director on his LinkedIn profile, because the proverbial “lone gunman.” Having spent a few years of my life on groups precisely like MSR in IndyCar and IMSA, I simply can’t consider how one particular person might concoct and execute this plan in full isolation.

Groups have one to 2 tire technicians who deal with each side of tire utilization, together with the setting of tire pressures. That’s not one thing the technical director would do as soon as, a lot much less a dozen-plus occasions over a 24-hour race. So directions to set the pressures low needed to be given, and that now includes a number of folks.

And even when the tire techs had no clue concerning the stress settings being decrease than the principles allowed, there’s no means you ship drivers out on chilly and under-pressured tires with out telling them to watch out — additional cautious — till they obtained as much as temperature. In the event you’re working a pound or two low on pressures, you’re additionally needing to regulate journey heights, at a minimal, or else you’d be dragging the bottom. And there are different chassis settings you’d want to regulate to compensate for working low pressures.

Belief me, I’ve had loads of race engineer pals, workforce house owners, and workforce principals attain out and both ask for particulars or share their ideas on this, and never a single one has stated they consider one particular person, and one particular person alone, acted in isolation from the remainder of the workforce. I wish to consider it was one unhealthy actor, but it surely is mindless to me or different racers.

Yep, it is a straight NASCAR deal (NASCAR owns IMSA for many who weren’t conscious) the place they refuse to take the winner’s title off the trophy. They’re massive on whomever people noticed in victory lane will keep the individuals who celebrated in victory lane.

Q: MSR simply obtained penalized by IMSA for manipulating the minimal tire stress information and working beneath the brink set by Michelin. The penalties appeared fairly stiff. How massive of a bonus did this present? Was it sufficient of a bonus to affect the result of a race?

Brian Henris 

MP: Large, Brian, which is why they did it. I listened to numerous GTP drivers and engineers at Daytona inform me that Michelin set the minimal tire stress threshold too excessive — above the place the tires can be happiest and provide the most effective stability and really feel — however they have been certain by the principles to function above the minimal.

MSR’s Acura was a rocket at each step of the occasion, and within the race, it was not solely the quickest automotive, but it surely was notably sooner than its stablemate Wayne Taylor Racing Acura. No one might clarify why the MSR Acura was so unbeatable. This tire stress revelation was the “AHA!” second for everybody else within the class. Simply so rattling disappointing. What will probably be attention-grabbing is to see how they carry out at Sebring.

Q: I simply noticed the article about Porsche and Lambo getting some BoP assist for Sebring, and noticed some groups already pulled out as a consequence of BoP points. It feels like some groups have been shifting focus away from IMSA races. Simply wanting on the optics of this, it seemed like groups pulled out of Sebring and IMSA went, “Oh OK, we’ll change the principles!” Which isn’t a terrific look. I suppose I’m simply confused as to why BoP exists? When the motorsport world is all about innovation and expertise, wouldn’t BoP trigger producers to not spend money on tech and growth? Particularly once you would possibly get a bigger restrictor thrown in your automotive and be a second or extra off the tempo, what’s the level of growing a high-tech quick automotive?

I do know I’m preaching to the choir right here about BoP, however as a comparatively new sports activities automotive racing fan, I’m so interested in how this all works.

Mike, Michigan

MP: This was an outlier by way of BoP and Porsche’s new 911 GT3 R mannequin, and albeit, IMSA and Porsche failed one another. IMSA refused to consider the brand new 992-based GT3 automotive was as sluggish because it was in pre-season testing, and insisted — to the nice frustration of the numerous Porsche GTD groups utilizing the brand new automotive — that the dire lack of pace was a ploy to obtain an advantageous BoP. The vehicles have been so sluggish, that was the one factor that made sense.

In actuality, and that is the place Porsche failed, the brand new automotive is a canine in comparison with its predecessor. In the event you’re issues from IMSA’s perspective, it simply doesn’t appear conceivable. However that’s exactly what we’re coping with: The 2023 911 GT3 R left the manufacturing facility in a poor state of growth and readiness to compete with the opposite GT3 fashions.

When confronted with its dire lack of pace throughout BoP information gathering at Daytona in early December, IMSA couldn’t and wouldn’t consider the automotive itself was at fault as a result of, effectively, when was the final time Porsche got here up so brief with a brand new GT3 mannequin? By no means, mainly. And so now, with clear proof that the 911 GT3 R wants additional BoP like to measure as much as its rivals, its Sebring BoP settings ought to convey it into the aggressive dialog with out giving it a bonus.

Porsche has loads of work to repair its shortcomings, simply as Lexus did when it developed a number of variations of what grew to become its unique RC F GT3 which has turn into a race-winning beast. IMSA received’t preserve giving Porsche favorable BoPs ceaselessly to compensate for the automotive’s apparent deficiencies, so watch this area.

Q: There was a lot dialogue of the Rolex 24 scandal because you broke the story final week. Many, myself included, have opined that watches must be returned. It might be an excellent gesture for Mike Shank and his workforce to be those to return them voluntarily. I’ve to consider that proudly owning or sporting the coveted watch won’t ever really feel fairly proper in gentle of the way it might have been received.

Brian Bristo

MP: I consider all of the Tour de France cyclists who have been caught dishonest and needed to return their medals. Solely appears honest to return the Rolex 24’s VERY costly model of a medal in the event you’re caught dishonest. How’s this: It will take BALLS to put on these Rolexes in public, proper?

The RACER Mailbag, March 15 – EAST AUTO NEWS


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