The Meyer /Shank Acura driven by Tom Blomqvist took the pole during the ROAR qualifying session. The time was slightly slower than the existing lap record set a few years ago by the Mazda Dpi. Photo: Martin Raffauf
The 2023 Daytona 24 hours was the 61st year of the event. It was once again a watershed year, as this was the first year of the new GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) cars. These of course are the new prototypes that came out of the combined rule set between IMSA and the ACO (Auto Club l’ouest at Le Mans). This was their first actual race after some four years of development. They are named as GTP in memory of the last great era of GTP cars, which were the mainstay of IMSA in the 1981-1993 time frame.
These new cars are Hybrid powered Prototypes, of which nine were entered. Two from Porsche, Two from BMW, Two from Acura/ Honda and Three from Cadillac. Several additional cars will probably enter the series later this year, with Lamborghini also joining the series in 2024. These are brand new cars which have undergone massive testing during the latter part of 2022. They all use a standardized Hybrid system consisting of a battery, MGU(Motor Generator Unit) and gearbox developed by the consortium of Williams Engineering, Bosch and Xtrac. The chassis are all new, and once again come from the four makers that constructed the Dpi chassis: Multimatic (Porsche 963); Dallara (Cadillac V-LMDh, BMW M Hybrid V8); Oreca (Acura ARX-06); and Ligier (Lamborghini). The Porsches were entered by Roger Penske, Cadillac by both Chip Ganassi and Whelen Engineering, BMW by Rahal-Letterman-Lannigan, Acura one each from Wayne Taylor/ Michael Andretti (Andretti having bought a stake in Wayne Taylor Racing) and Meyer/Shank.
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