There are a few other aspects of the LMDh cars in the GTP race that may alter strategy, similar to the pit stops in which “energy” has replaced fuel in determining stint lengths and time spent in the pits. However, much like the pit stops, the changes will largely go unnoticed by the uninitiated.

Ryan McCarthy, Meyer Shank Racing’s strategist for Tom Blomqvist, Colin Braun, Helio Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud, says, “On the inside, when you look at all the numbers and energy saving versus fuel saving and all that,” “it’s quite different.” However, from a spectator’s perspective, what the cars will actually do during the race is very similar to saving fuel and energy.

Our stints are longer, our fuel tank is larger, and we now run according to an energy rule rather than only until we run out of fuel.

Thus, we now spend 50 minutes in a DPI vehicle, up from 35 minutes the year before. The stint is longer, and IMSA has required us to stay in the pits for a longer period of time during the pit stop to refill our energy tanks. As a result, things seem to settle down and the men have more time to finish the job.

That amounts to approximately 28 stints in green-flag running, depending on how many laps are run under caution, with stints lasting approximately 50 minutes. Throughout the race, teams will have access to 21 sets of Michelin tires. This means that two stints will be required for up to eight sets of tires. However, the team decides how exactly those tires are double-stinted. Some options include double stinting one side or the other or even taking a set off after a stint and putting them back on later.

Hans Emmel explains, “I think you’ll see a variety of approaches.

” The series manager for Michelin. When people talk about double stinting, the first thing that comes to mind is that you put on a set of tires, go out, do a stint, come in, feel the GTP race, and then go back out on the same set of tires. However, this is not always the case.

“Depending on the weather conditions we’re dealing with, the teams might want to keep at least some of the tires on the car warm, and then benefit from new tires on one side. You can look at approaches like double stinting the left side tires and double stinting the right side tires.

There are now two Michelin tire compounds when a new variable is added.

You can call them harder or softer if you want, but the teams and series usually refer to them as cooler or warmer-weather tires (SLT, as Michelin, calls them). Since IMSA has restricted the use of the softer compound for Daytona from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m., it is actually a daytime and nighttime tire. “We have a little bit of a new twist where there are two compounds available,” says McCarthy. In addition, we have our standard Daytona tire, which will be the preferred option unless the race is particularly gloomy or chilly. We must strike a balance because there is a limited amount of each.

But you don’t want to wear out all of your low-temperature tires and then have to put on daytime running tires at 3 a.m., and vice versa. You should avoid running too late into the night on your daytime tires because you might be taken aback.

To accommodate the different weight distributions caused by the hybrid system, the LMDh GTP race vehicles have tires that are wider in the rear and narrower in the front compared to the DPis. Due to their weight, the LMDh vehicles exert a greater strain on the tires and brakes. However, electricity regeneration relieves some of the burdens on both. That last fact may throw some unexpected curveballs when it comes time for a team to conserve energy, especially when attempting to extend a stint at night.

The emergence of hybrids has had a significant impact.

Michael L. Levitt/Motorsport Images “The car cools a lot when we start saving energy. As a result, we use the brakes and tires less. As a result, the temperatures of our brakes and tires both decrease significantly. It might be very important. McCarthy elaborates, “So sometimes you might make an adjustment in the race, you add some tape to your brakes to bring everything up because you know you’re gonna go conservative for a while. This is because you know you’re going to go into an energy-saving period of time, maybe over the night hours or something like that.”

“Tires are extremely challenging to manage here; The IMSA has set a minimum pressure for tires at all times. Therefore, you need to think about how much energy you can save while remaining legal. Or do you have to make a plan ahead of time and say, “We’re going to save energy on these next few stints, so we’re going to increase our tire pressures first?” That will be difficult to control.

That was still a consideration during the DPI era; however, its significance has increased.

The GTP race fuel-to-electricity ratio is almost entirely automatic, but there are various maps to choose from. As the 920-megajoule limit approaches, adjusting the balance will either increase or decrease the amount of energy consumed. Chip Ganassi Racing team manager and No. 1 strategist Mike O’Gara 01 Cadillac, driven by Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, and Renger van der Zande, says that’s going to be a new thing to think about.

“There may be instances in which teams use a little bit more electric power during a stint, resulting in a shorter stint or the use of electric power but not all of the car’s fuel. Because we’ve used up our virtual fuel tank, we might be pitting with laps of fuel left in the car that we can’t use. Therefore, it will depend on how much electric assistance you use during a period, he explains. However, figuring out how to balance the amount of gasoline and electric energy will require a lot of calculations in the pit box.

The actual strategy is the same. We want to know how long sets of tires can last.

When can single-stinting begin at the conclusion of the GTP race? We haven’t done it yet, so I’m not sure how much more I know beyond that because there is a new layer of complexity with the electric energy in the car and the actual fuel tank.

“You can run “full-rich” and go faster, but you’ll have to pay the price in less time. You are currently burning electricity in addition to fuel at the same time. Therefore, the balance between conserving energy and fuel, as well as the knobs that have an effect on each of these, is something that I don’t think a lot of teams have yet figured out.

Early on, “I expect teams to be pretty conservative here and just kind of figuring out each other and how far everyone is going to go on a tank of fuel,” says the coach.

With a better understanding of everything, those who enter Rolex 24 at Daytona may end up leading. But without a doubt, they will all return from Daytona with a lot more information about how everything will work.


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