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Daytona 24 Hours Analysis: Three Big Talking Points from IMSA Season-Opener

Daytona 24 Hours Analysis: Three Big Talking Points from IMSA Season-Opener

Racecar Engineering editor Andrew Cotton provides his three big technical talking points from the GTP class after another exciting Daytona 24 Hours.

Porsche’s Perseverance

Porsche won the Daytona 24 Hours, achieving its first overall victory at the event in 21 years, but it was not an easy run to the flag for the Penske factory team.

An issue under heavy braking meant that the No. 6 Porsche 963, which finished fourth, picked up multiple penalties for exceeding the power parameters allowed for the LMDh prototypes competing in the GTP class. While the winning No. 7 Porsche was not similarly penalised, had any similar issues emerged it would have handed victory to the chasing Cadillac V-Series.R of Action Express Racing, so the drivers had to be careful.

From early on it was clear that there was a problem with the No. 6 car. All of the Porsche 963s – including the customer cars from Proton Competition and JDC-Miller Motorsports – were running in an updated set up, including a new power steering pump and motor-generator units.

The issue appeared to be the inside rear wheel lifting as the weight transferred to the outside front wheel under braking for the left-handed corners. The inside wheel lifted and then as it loaded back up again on the power, the spike in power delivery was detected, possibly due to the differential locking.

The drivers had to adapt their driving styles to accommodate the issue, and according to No. 6 Porsche pilot Mathieu Jaminet, the team was trying to fix it with software updates through the race. Drivers were told to stay off the kerbs to try to minimise the risk, which cost them lap time. That didn’t help against a 21kg lighter Cadillac (by Balance of Performance regulation) that was particularly handy on the brakes.

‘The Caddy was super strong on braking and traction,’ confirmed Felipe Nasr, who held off the Cadillac of Tom Blomqvist to win by two seconds in the No. 7 Porsche. ‘And I was saving fuel. We were both short on energy.

‘Car 7 had no issues with the torque sensors. I was told not to be extreme on the brake usage, not put the brakes on the edge because you could have a violation. On top of all these things I still had to look after the car and the systems… and I had a car right up my ass, and you had traffic, and the heat was in favour of the Cadillac.’

Despite sacrificing some performance by avoiding the kerbs and applying the required power settings to minimise the risk of an issue, the…

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