Times beginning to tumble

August 22, 2015

Times beginning to tumble

August 22, 2015

vir_practice_8_21_15_14The pace in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is certainly beginning to hot up.

The GTLM class is the “playground” for leading manufacturers with Corvette, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari doing battle in 2015. For next year, Ford will also join the battle with their new entry.

risi_wins (1)Remarkably, 14 different drivers scored consecutive poles in the GTLM championship before Nick Tandy repeated his 2014 Petit Le Mans pole at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this year. He remains the only driver to date to score more than one pole.

In the manufacturer stakes, Porsche leads the battle with six poles from BMW on four, Corvette with three, Dodge Viper with two and Ferrari with pole here at VIR last year.

On average during the first six corresponding races from 2014 to 2015, qualifying was approximtely 4/10ths of a second quicker for 2015. Rain cancelled qualifying in 2015 at Watkins Glen.

Corresponding with the introduction of the new “Single Stinter” Michelin tire at Road America, the pace has begun to improve dramatically. Earl Bamber’s pole at Elkhart Lake was 1.363 seconds faster than 2014.

The times in practice here at VIR seem to indicate another massive spike in speed with all seven Michelin-equipped GTLM entries under the track record in morning practice with BMW setting the pace at 1:41.953.

Michelin concentrates heavily on tires for major international endurance races – often running a single set of tires for three or four stints.

However, the rules in international competition do not permit teams to change tires until the car has been refueled. If you elect not to change tires, you can make significant time gains.

However in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, changing tires can take place while refueling is happening – electing not to change tires does not provide a worthwhile time gain.

To take advantage of this rule package, the new “Single Stinter” Michelin is designed to provide more grip and more performance for a single tank of fuel – but doesn’t provide ongoing performance for multiple stints.

You can see the result on the stopwatch.

Latest Photos

Latest Video

Kellymoss provides drivers a path to the IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Friday August 25, 2023