Corvette Racing’s Nick Tandy and Jordan Taylor are wary of how LMP3 could affect the GTLM fight at the IMSA Daytona 24 Hours as both classes have similar pace.
The introduction of the LMP3 cars in the IMSA SportsCar Championship has created a whole new dynamic for GTLM competitors in the Daytona 24 Hours, as the two classes appear to have similar pace around the 3.56-mile road course.
The fastest LMP3 car in the qualifying session for Sunday’s Roar Before The 24 was half a second clear of the GTLM pole-winning time, but no other LMP3 entries eclipsed all the GTLM cars.
And with LMP3 driver line-ups being a blend of professionals and amateur drivers, the two classes are expected to interact throughout the 100-minute race on Sunday and next week’s Daytona 24.
Tandy, who shares the #4 Corvette C8.R full-time with Tommy Milner but will tomorrow compete alongside the car’s Michelin Endurance Cup driver Alexander Sims, said: “For a start, it is noticeable that there are more cars on the track than last year, which is great for the race and the spectacle.
“Now with LMP3, it’s quite interesting because currently it looks like on a lap time they are similar to GTLM. Also, the way they make their lap is very similar, with similar straight-line and cornering speeds.
“The interaction between GTLM and LMP3 – with the pro drivers especially – is something new and something we all will have to deal with and co-integrate on the track together. It hasn’t been easy to get clear laps for all cars in all classes.
“It’s difficult but it’s the same for everyone. The good thing is we have the qualifying race Sunday.
“It’s not the 24 Hours but it’s going to be groups of cars probably within the same classes interacting together. We’ll have a much better idea of things after tomorrow afternoon.”
Defending IMSA GTLM champion Taylor, whose full-time partner is Antonio Garcia but who will share the #3 Corvette with Nicky Catsburg, said: “I think the name of the game this week is just to learn as much as we can and come away with a car fully intact for the Rolex.
“Traffic will be a big part of that and avoiding those issues. We’re going to have to be very careful to not get caught up in other people’s races.”