ABS, Michelin’s Biggest Tire Change for the GTD Pro Corvette – Sportscar365

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

The biggest changes to the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in the GTD Pro specs are the addition of ABS and the shift to Michelin customer tires across all classes according to drivers Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia.

The Pratt & Miller-run squad will compete in the new class for 2022 using a modified form of the GT Le Mans class-winning entry, which was authorized by IMSA for the next two seasons in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, before the launch of the new Z06 GT3.R in 2024.

After initially testing the ABS system at last year’s GTLM pointless race in Detroit and conducting post-season testing at Virginia International Raceway to a modified specification, Taylor and Garcia believe there is still “a lot to learn” going into the season.

“There were a lot of little details that IMSA made us to do to bring the C8.R closer together,” Taylor explains. “The car was not designed for its class so they tried to make it as comfortable as possible.

“The biggest aspect is understanding how tires work. The team has spent years with Michelin developing the secret tire to function properly for our cars.

“Now we move on to tires that will work for front-engined, mid-engined and rear-engined cars. Understanding how it works and maximizing it not only for one round but for more than one task will be a very important thing to learn.

“ABS is another thing to understand brake wear with that system.

“It’s great to have someone like Nicky [Catsburg] who has so much GT3 experience that it can help Antonio and I who don’t have as much experience as him in this type of car to understand what it’s like and how we make the most of it.

“There will be a lot of learning. Antonio and I spent two days in the car at VIR after last year’s Petit Le Mans getting to experience things.

“I’m sure the Corvette Racing drivers will come back, study all the data and make their progress.

“There’s another driver in the sim developing an item we’ve been working on since then. I think we’ll have a good package for Daytona.”

Garcia added: “Adding ABS was the biggest change for us. IMSA and Corvette Racing did a great job of adapting a GTLM car to a GTD car.

“There was a lot of work together to collect all the data and bring our Corvette to GT3 specs.

“The biggest difference is the tires for this year. We have to adapt to that.

“A lot of the speed difference in previous years was due to the secret tire to customer tires, basically.”

Apart from other changes, which also include a significant reduction in power and a mandated 15mm gurney on the rear wing, Taylor says the car still ‘feels like a Corvette’.

“The C8.R has been a real success since its launch with a mid-engine layout,” he said. “The biggest thing is understanding how the tire works, the window in which it works, how you use it, how much you can slide it, the temperature window in which it works.

“The little details are good to understand.

“Tire degradation will be a different aspect for us. ABS is different – ​​it only maximizes it in how much pressure it uses, how consistent you are if you press the brake pedal too hard.

“Little details like that were nice for us to get a feel for last year before we went to Roar where most of the work was for Rolex and not really for car development or driver development.”

Garcia: Unknown GTD Pro/GTD Interaction

The Spaniard says the possibility of mixing GTD class cars in the GTD Pro entry is one of the biggest unknowns of the season.

While the GTD Pro class features 13 entries for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, an additional 22 GT3 spec cars will battle it out in GTD, which remains unchanged compared to last year.

“It will be interesting, for sure,” Garcia said. “I’m not used to that, and knowing we weren’t racing for the same result would have been different.

“There may come a point where a GTD car leads the GT field and ends up winning the race.

“This will be strange for most of us. I don’t know if they plan to split the class at the pit stop or something. For sure, there will be a lot of games.

“If you’re in the lead, you’ll want to have a lot of GTD between you and the next Pro car. It will be difficult to play, especially on strategy.

“If you decide to quit at the same time and you end up behind the GTD field, that will make things even more difficult. We don’t know how it will play out.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor in Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com and the SPEED Channel and has contributed to many other motorsports publications around the world. Contact John

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