2016 WeatherTech USCC: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park preview
Watkins Glen didn’t turn out to be the turning point for Porsche North America Racing that the US factory outfit hoped it would be. After kickstarting its 2015 title tilt at the New York circuit, this year’s six-hour race proved more challenging as the works Porsche 911 RSRs continued to struggle with an unfavourable Balance of Performance.
Qualifying at the back of the GTLM pack, the no. 911 machine of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet and the no. 912 RSR of Earl Bamber and Frédéric Makowiecki ran faultlessly throughout but their sterling efforts were only rewarded with ninth and tenth respectively as the Ford GTs once again dominated.
The dominance of the Detroit sports cars has lead WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship organiser, IMSA to invoke a last minute BoP adjustment in order to try and equalise the field ahead of round six at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Ford’s new racer (still not available as a road car and competing in the USCC and FIA WEC under a waiver) has seen its base weight increased by 15kg and its boost level reduced between 2,000-7,200rpm.
The factory Porsche 911 RSRs meanwhile have been given a 10kg weight break as IMSA attempts to level the playing field between the new-for-2016 turbo cars and the naturally aspirated offerings from Weissach and Corvette.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – formerly known as Mosport – marks the USSC’s sole trip north of the border into Canada and, last year, marked the start of the no. 911 Porsche’s winning run (five victories in the final six races) that led PNAR to all three GTLM championships in 2015.
Like Watkins Glen, the 2.46-mile track near Toronto is fast and flowing, favouring a car with good high-speed stability, something the 911 RSR excelled at last season but has struggled with in 2016 guise (despite the increased downforce levels produced by the new aerodynamic regulations).
Having sat second in the points heading to Watkins Glen, the no. 912 crew of Bamber and Makowiecki now finds itself in fourth, 19 points behind the leading no. 4 Corvette team while Porsche dropped a further four points back (but still sits second) in the manufacturers’ battle ahead of CTMP this weekend.
The two-hour, 40-minute race gets underway at 11:05am ET on Sunday after the GTLM field is set during a 15-minute qualifying session on Saturday afternoon at 4:05pm local time.
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