Friday, January 27, 2023

ROLEX 24: Iconic German Brands Join the GTP Polka!

Although No idea if we’ll be Rolling Out the Barrel for either of them in Daytona’s Victory lane…


These two legendous’  German marques have joined the Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) revolution, which allows for competing for Overall victories at all of the iconic Endurance Sports Car races around the globe. Such as Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans for starters.



BMW M Hybrid V-8

Engine: 4.0-litre V-8 Twin Turbo


Nos. 24-25) BMW M Team RLL

Longtime BMW runners Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will continue their association as the Factory BMW Squad in IMSA, joining the super anticipated GTP Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) Prototypes category, Ja Volt!


As Connor De Philippi and Mick Yelloly will campaign the No. 24. And Augusto Farfus and Philipp Eng the No. 25 for the Full season Campaign. With Sheldon van der Linde and Marco Wittmann being the Nos. 24-25 Endurance Specialists respectively.


Yet many IndyCar Fans will be watching the #24 closely, since it’s fourth Driver for Daytona is Andretti Autosport’s “Team leader” Colton Herta. As Herta will be aiming for His third Rolex wristwatch! With the first two coming from GT Le Mans and LMP2 Class victories.


Although I’m not sure if the new BMW Hybrid racecar will go the full distance, since the new Bimmer’ was the last GTP Challenger to get On-track. And they’ve had the most intensive development programme, essentially playing Ketsup’ with Thar competition…


Yet I seem to be most fascinated by this racecar, notably it’s motivating power. As BMW Dusted Off it’s old P66 DTM motor for the basis of it’s new Hybrid motor. Beginning with the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated 90-degrees V-8 lump’ from 2012-2018, which is now known as the P66/1.


Then BMW “re-engineered” this engine with the addition of two turbochargers, in what I believe became known as the P66/2 internally. Before the current 2022 spec P66/3 unit which is now mated to the spec Hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS) and spec Xtrac sequential Gearbox, which All manufacturers incorporate into their designs.


As Racer’s Marshall Pruett notes that the BMW is the Quietest GTP Chassis on the Grid, along with the lowest revving at 8,000 RPM’s…


So I’ll be interested to “See” how the new BMW racer performs at Daytona. Which Marshall claims took it’s individual styling ques to the maximum limit. And Nobody won’t know who’s behind them when seeing BMW’s iconic Kidney shaped nostrils flashing it’s High Beams at them!


As here’s the second of Marshall’s GTP 101 Tech videos, where He goes over the basics of the BMW M Hybrid V-8 racecar…



Porsche 963

Engine: 4.6-litre V-8 Twin Turbo

TEAM: Nos. 6-7) Porsche Penske Motorsport

Presumably everyone knows about El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske’s lengthy association with Porsche. Stretching Wayback to those All Conquering 917/10, 917/30 Can Am Panzerwagen Days over a Half Century ago! Along with a very successful partnership when campaigning the Porsche RS Sypders during the American Le Man Series (ALMS) years.


As Penske has reunited with Porsche as it’s Werks’ team with it’s brand new Porsche 963 Hybrid Prototype. Arse-sumedly the GTP Chassis that’s logged the most testing mileage, since they were the first to reveal and test their GTP racecar last year. With it’s public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ironically where Roger Penske Himself was running His Team Penske’s 2008 Sebring 12 Hours Overall winning RS Spyder.


Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy are the No. 6 regular season Chauffeurs, with Dane Cameron joining them during the Endurance events. While the No. 7 entry sees Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr for the Full IMSA GTP season, with Michael Christensen running the Endurance races.


Naturally, I became curious about the 963’s motivating power aftert what BMW decided to utilize. Which reportedly the new 4.6-litre Twin Turbo V-8 lump’ is a development of the Porsche 918 Spyder’s engine. Which in turn is a derivative of the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 that powered the RS Spyder racecar.


Meaning Thar new “Quad Valve” (32 valve) V-8 “Thumper” 963 Panzerwagen which seems to have the most testing mileage? Having Debuted over one year ago, could very well find it’s way into victory lane on Sunday.


Ah contraire, Mon Sheree! As I’ve just learned via Marshall Pruett’s GTP Tech 101 videos. That Porsche is actually using it’s RS Spyder’s old 3.4-litre normally aspirated race motor as the basis for the 963’s engine. With it having been Up-stroked to 4.6-litres and twin turbocharged, revving to an 8,150RPM Redline.


As Porsche takes a page out of it’s Bavarian rival BMW, or was that visa-versa? By Dusting Off one of it’s old racing engines and modernizing it…


But Porsche’s Customer 963’s won’t be present at either Daytona of Sebring. With JDC Miller Motorsports, the first customer announced eagerly awaiting the delivery of it’s $2.9 million Porsche 963!


Whilst JOTA and Proton Competition also await arrival of their 963’s. With Porsche originally aiming for delivery in April, but I’ve read that seems unlikely now, and presumably more likely May instead…