What’s Your Plan?
What’s Your Plan?
Many say that no plan of attack survives contact with the enemy, it will be interesting to see how many team race plans survive (hopefully without contact) two hours and 45 minutes at Lime Rock Park.
There are plenty of ways to slice the race plans, and our survey of team insiders revealed, well nothing for the record.
P1 and GT are “Pro” classes, so the drive time requirement for co-drivers is nominal. That leaves options such as pitting for a driver change at the first yellow after 15 minutes, taking fuel and tires and having the second driver do the balance of the race, like the Muscle Milk Honda did at Long Beach.
Another option is to take the first caution period that appears after 45 minutes, change drivers and do the balance of the race on just one more fuel stop.
There is a much different story in P2, PC and GTC where the “Am” driver is required to log 60 minutes.
For most teams in these classes the plan is to start the AM driver, then switch to the Pro co-driver as soon as the AM driver is past the minimum time. A few go the other way and have the Pro driver start, and the Am driver handle either the middle or final hour.
Then there is the Level 5 team which will have team boss Scott Tucker start in the 552 car before jumping into the 551 car after the first hour.
Theoretically, the race can be done on two pit stops and in some extreme circumstances, possibly even a single stop if there are a number of lengthy safety car periods.
Most teams and drivers prefer to change tires when they change drivers. If a driver remains in the car, teams can consider double-stinting or changing just two or all four tires. Changing four tires adds approximately 14 seconds to a pit stop.
Safety car periods can shake up the running order as teams pit or stay out, and gain or lose spots on their pit stops. With heavy traffic and limited opportunities for passing cars in the same class, track position is hard to gain and easy to lose.
With all of the classes turning laps in less than one minute, any green flag stops will cost nearly two full laps.
If there is a caution period with 30 or 40 minutes remaining, teams fighting for positions will need to decide whether to pit for fresh tires and attack, or keep track position and defend on used tires.