News & Multimedia

GRAND-AM: DP Balance Of Performance Continues

Courtesy of

A new era of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series begins at next month’s 50th Rolex 24, as a new breed of Daytona Prototypes will be unleashed in what’s being touted as one of the most significant makeovers in the series’ 12-year history.

While a brace of DPs will be sporting sleeker-looking, all-new bodywork designed by Chevrolet and Riley, existing second-generation cars have been grandfathered into competition for next year.

It’s no doubt created a challenge for the series’ technical chiefs in balancing the two different specifications of Daytona Prototypes, but as GRAND-AM VP of Competition Dave Spitzer tells, the process has been going to plan.

“We came off three days of [wind tunnel] testing at Windshear [prior to the December Daytona test], where we tested the new Corvette Daytona Prototype and one each of the current-generation Riley, Dallara and Lola,” Spitzer explained.

“So we ran through a battery of testing, looking to determine the inherent performance characteristics of all the cars and the affect of the normal tuning you do, like rear wing, spoiler, wickers, and things you can do in the front.”

Spitzer said they also introduced aerodynamic devices that GRAND-AM could use to execute Balance of Performance adjustments between the new and old cars.

With the new-gen DPs featuring a significantly reduced greenhouse, yet the extravagant Corvette DP bodywork producing different levels of downforce than its predecessor, the series had first find out the optimal methods of adjustments before putting them into action.

“What we were looking for was the ability to, for instance, generate drag without having an impact on downforce,” Spitzer explained. “That's not easy to do because most things have a coupled affect.

“We tested a series of devices in the tunnel and learned a lot about what it does to the aero balance overall. We then tested some of those pieces [on the track last week]. There's no final conclusion at this point.”

Spitzer would not go into detail of what the devices are, but alluded that most of the adjustments would be made in the rear of the car. He also said the Balance of Performance could involve both the Gen-2 and Gen-3 cars, instead of slowing down or speeding up just one spec of car.

The quickest Corvette DP at last week’s test was about 1.5 seconds slower than the pace-setting Gen-2 machines.

"We're just trying to get the whole class balanced,” Spitzer said. “One of the fundamental goals of the new generation of prototypes was to allow a corporation like General Motors to build that beautiful body and not feel threatened that if it was losing an efficiency in some area, that would be the end of their program. That's what it it's all about.”

With Riley’s new non-brand specific MkXXVI set for its on-track debut next week with Michael Shank Racing, Spitzer said the second new-look Daytona Prototype will go through the same wind tunnel and on-track testing process prior to the “Roar Before the 24” test at Daytona next month, where he expects a finalization of BoP adjustments to be issued.

Nine Gen-3 DPs are expected to take the green flag in next month’s 50th Rolex 24, with nearly the same number of grandfathered cars slated to be on the grid as well. While Spitzer reaffirmed that existing Gen-2 cars will be allowed to compete throughout 2012, it’s unclear if GRAND-AM will extend the homologation past next year.

"It’s down to what the team's needs are and what their long-term view is,” he said. “We're trying to move people to the Gen-3 as aggressively as we can but we respect that in having that way to get in and make that transition is very valuable. And we want those cars to remain competitive.”

Spitzer confirmed the Corvette and Riley bodywork will be the only new-generation designs for the start of the 2012 season but has remained hopeful to introduce additional bodywork over the course of next year.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
GRAND-AM: DP Balance Of Performance Continues
GRAND-AM: DP Balance Of Performance Continues
It's no doubt created a challenge for the series' technical chiefs in balancing the two different specifications of Daytona Prototypes, but as GRAND-AM VP of Competition Dave Spitzer tells, the process has been going to plan.
Read More
Related Media
Tony Stewart
Stewart Officially Announces Retirement from Sprint Cup
Tony Stewart officially announced his retirement from NASCAR Sprint Cup racing after the 2016 season on Wednesday, saying the choice was “100 percent mine” and that he’s not done racing in other series.
Read More
Matt Kenseth
Monday Racing Roundup: Kenseth Wins as Harvick Runs Dry at N.H.
Kenseth, who came to pit road for fuel and tires on Lap 239, triumphed for the fifth time this season (tops in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series), for the second time at the Magic Mile and for the 36th time in his career. He finished 8.941 seconds ahead of Hamlin, who nursed his car to a runner-up finish despite a late-race issue with the right front wheel.
Read More
Denny Hamlin
Monday Racing Roundup: Hamlin Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland
Hamlin’s first victory at Chicagoland, his second of the season and the 16th of his career ensured the driver of the No. 11 JGR Toyota will advance from the Challenger Round to the Contender Round of the Chase, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire and the second race of the postseason.
Read More
NASCAR Green Award
IMS Wins Award for Solar Farm at NASCAR Green Summit
For more than 100 years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has stood for moving forward and breaking records. The IMS Solar Farm continues this tradition, and was recently recognized with an award at the NASCAR Green Summit.
Read More
Justin Wilson
Online Auction Benefits Wilson Children's Fund
Through eBay's direct involvement, all transaction fees will be waived and all proceeds will be deposited straight into the Wilson Children's Fund, which benefits Wilson’s wife Julia and daughters Jane and Jessica. Fans who sell their own Wilson-related items on eBay can designate the Graham Rahal Foundation as their chosen charity and proceeds will be donated to the fund as well.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 653
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
RT @NASCAR: The four drivers who have been eliminated from championship contention: McMurray Johnson Menard Bowyer #TheChase…
about 3 hours ago