With ten brands at the start of the 24 Hours of Daytona in GTD, the category promises to be tougher than ever. Mercedes, Aston Martin, Acura, Lexus, McLaren, Corvette, Lamborghini, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari are all manufacturers who want to win the day and succeed Porsche.
The race has not yet started and discussions are going well on the Balance of Performance with quite significant gaps during qualifying. We can already sense the frustration on both sides. When the Mercedes-AMG GT3, which will start Saturday from pole, lapped in 1:46.093, the fastest Porsche 911 GT3 R was credited with a 1:48.942. We are still talking about a gap of nearly three seconds.
Between a Corvette C8.R which is not a GT3, known GT3s and new GT3s, the legislator must harmonize everything and not hamper the race even before the start. On the side of some manufacturers, we expected a boost after qualifying but this boost did not arrive. The Balance of Performance will not change before the start of the 61st edition of the 24 Hours of Daytona on Saturday at 1:40 p.m.
No BOP change in GTD
The only small adjustment concerns BMW whose tank capacity of the M4 GT3 is increased from 97 to 99 litres.
IMSA has to deal with two new GT3s, namely the Porsche 911 GT3 R version 992 and the Ferrari 296 GT3. The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 receives an EVO2. These three GT3s are competing in their first race at Daytona. These new cars are quite well represented with 7 Porsche 911 GT3 R, 4 Ferrari 296 GT3 and 5 Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Note that the Acura NSX GT3 is also an EVO 2.
GTD PRO or GTD, GT3 are identical with a unique BOP. Only the composition of the crews is different. It is therefore not surprising to see GTDs faster than GTD PROs when the pro pilot is behind the wheel.
Each driver preaches for his parish and defends his interests but the new GT3s are clearly not on the rise so far. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is favored in lap times with the four fastest times in qualifying. In the race, the minimum refueling time will be 40 seconds for all brands.
If we compare the weight of the GT3 between 2022 and 2023:
Acura: 1295 kg (2022) – 1305 kg (2023)
Aston Martin: 1320kg (2022) – 1290kg (2023)
BMW: 1340 kg (2022) – 1325 kg (2023)
Corvette: 1335 kg (2022) – 1370 kg (2023)
Ferrari: 1330 kg for the 488 (2022) – 1365 kg for the 296 (2023)
Lamborghini: 1305kg (2022) – 1320kg (2023)
Lexus: 1345kg (2022) – 1360kg (2023)
McLaren: 1295kg (2022) – 1305kg (2023)
Mercedes: 1350 kg (2022) – 1375 kg (2023)
Porsche: 1300 kg for the 991 (2022) – 1340 kg for the 992 (2023).
Note that the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO had two flanges of 37 mm against one of 47 mm on the EVO2 version. Mercedes retains its two 34.5mm flanges. At Porsche, we go from 2 x 38 mm on the 991 to 2 x 33 mm on the 992.
Every year, everyone keeps a little under the pedal, which makes the legibility of the times difficult to understand. If the figures given by the manufacturers are wrong, IMSA reserves the right to apply penalties at the end of the race.
The question that remains unanswered at the moment is whether IMSA will restore some power to the LMP2s which lost around 3 seconds per lap between 2022 and 2023.