In August General Motors motorsports boss Mark Kent revealed the automaker is still internally assessing a return to the IMSA WeatherTech United SportsCar Championship for 2017. IMSA plans to implement an LMP2 format for its Prototype class in 2017, ruling out the use of the current Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype, so there’s still uncertainty within GM about whether to run a Cadillac badged P2 car or a Corvette P2.
GM’s doubts have also led to uncertainty within the teams that currently field the Corvette DP in the race series. Speaking to RACER in a recent interview, Action Express Racing team boss Gary Nelson said they have no chassis or engine plans in place for the 2017 season, though they’d like to stick with similar suppliers and components due to the success they’ve had with their current setup.
“We’ve certainly been pleased the last couple of season with our record in the series, and look at that as some good equity we’ve built into the series with our ERC engines, our EMCO gearboxes, and our Corvettes, and all of our people,” Nelson said.
“Moving forward into 2017, we know some of those things have to change because the rules are changing,” he added. “All I can say is we don’t have any news on our 2017 plans, but you can expect us to make as few changes to the equity we’ve built up. That’s how we’re looking at it, even though we don’t have the details in order.”
There’s been rumors GM is preparing Cadillac-badged Dallara P2 cars for 2017, and considering Action Express Racing is the most successful of the three Corvette DP teams currently racing in the series, they seem like a good candidate to field one of the cars.
Chevy’s indecisiveness about its return to the series has caused IMSA to begin shopping around for other manufacturers to join the series and potentially partner up with other current Chevy teams like Wayne Taylor Racing and Spirit of Daytona.
For now, Nelson is remaining patient in regards and is focused on locking down the third IMSA championship in a row for the Corvette DP in 2016.
“You can make a list of what makes a race team, and the car is a big part of it, but you still have the drivers, the engineers, the crew, and all of that stuff you can carry over,” Nelson said. “We know what we’re wanting to keep for 2017, and we still have another championship to get with Corvette next year. All the rest will fall into place when it’s time, and we’ll make sure we’re ready to go when the new cars get here. That’s the best we can do right now.”