GRAND-AM Outlines Changes To Daytona Prototype Class

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 13, 2011) – GRAND-AM Road Racing has issued a new Constructor’s Manual outlining significant changes to the Rolex Sports Car Series’ Daytona Prototype class that will take effect in 2012.

The DP class debuted in 2003; the new version will debut in the 2012 season-opening event, the 50th anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway.

“There will be new cars to cheer for at the 2012 Rolex 24 – new dramatic shapes with more variety to feast the eyes on,” said GRAND-AM Vice President of Competition Dave Spitzer.

“We will have a strong field; this debut will mark a new growth curve for Daytona Prototypes where manufacturers and privateers alike know that GRAND-AM is the place to compete.”

The key aspects of the new DPs:

– The greenhouse (cockpit) area will be nearly identical for all newly constructed cars. The roll cage will be narrower on each side of the car, although the driver’s position will not be moved. There will be a one-inch zone throughout the greenhouse surface to allow for individual styling cues, including windshield implementation and window outlines.
– New minimum body cross-section provisions will make the new DPs have a more upright front fascia and nose, rather than the more sloped layout of the current cars. This will allow the different manufacturers to add more design character to their cars, making them closer to their street production offerings while still offering the dramatic message embodied by a prototype.
– Flexibility has also been introduced into the rules for the side bodywork, including production-derived sidepods and open vents behind the front wheels – enabling styling elements from the street cars to be functional on the race cars.

These considerable changes notwithstanding, the basic chassis structure below the DPs’ greenhouse remains the same, including suspension details, engine installation, bellhousing, gearbox, electronics, fueling and safety systems.
Wind tunnel and simulation testing has been ongoing for the new DPs and will continue in the fall, in preparation for the 2012 season.

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