IMSA is looking to implement a high-voltage hybrid system when its DPi 2.0 (Daytona Prototype International) regulations come into a effect for the 2022 racing season, prompting concerns over rising costs.
The American sports car racing series had previously targeted mild hybrid 48V hybrid systems for DPi 2.0. While this would be a more cost effective route, Ford and other manufacturers interested in DPi 2.0 allegedly asked for a more intensive hybrid system that would help them further development of their hybrid road car programs.
According to Sportscar 365, more than 40 automotive and racing industry representatives met with IMSA in Florida this past week to further hash out the future of DPi, where suggestions of a 400 volt hybrid system were abound. A cost cap of $100,000 would be placed on the hybrid system, which could be purchased from a supplier.
But some teams aren’t convinced that IMSA will be able to keep costs down. Cadillac Racing team Wayne Taylor Racing, which currently fields a single Cadillac DPi-V.R in the IMSA WeatherTech Series, is unsure if it would even be able to continue operating should the proposal get approved.
“It’s a very big worry for me,” Taylor told Sportscar 365 in an interview. “As it may look from the outside that we’re a factory program, we’re not. We are customers just like every other Cadillac [DPi]. But we’re racing against Honda, which is Penske and factory, and we’re racing against Mazda, which is factory with Joest.”
“Quite honestly, the budgets have got to such a point that at the moment, it’s almost impossible to keep going at this level.”
Taylor said he was spending $5.6 million for 10 races a season in DPi as it is – making the idea of a hybrid prototype program simply out of the question.
“A team like mine will not exist unless a manufacturer calls up and says they’ll pay for everything,” he added.
The discussions around the future of DPi are set to continue when IMSA and industry reps meet at Road America in early August.
Photos via IMSA