IMSA is clamping down on team radio chatter in an attempt to hamper the ways teams manage their performance during races.
As Sportscar365 reports, IMSA sent out a competition bulletin this week that said: “providing false or intentionally misleading information is a breach of the rules and the use of code(s), cipher(s), disguised, misleading, or otherwise secretive language to attempt to influence the BoP process by manipulating the performance through driver management or by any other means is prohibited and may be penalized per Art. 57.”
This rule comes after Action Express Racing driver Pipo Derani accused Acura Team Penske of using numeric codes over the radio during the race to help the drivers manage the car settings and better control the pace from the front. IMSA characterizes this behavior as trying to manipulate the car’s performance in order to overcome their Balance of Performance regulations and has thus outlawed it.
Sportscar365 says that other teams were also reported using codes in a similar fashion.
IMSA’s initial bulletin regarding the matter, which has since been retracted, noted that all radio transmissions must be in English. Now it only notes that the radio messages must be “directly understandable,” however, so teams could still presumably use a different language, so long as the message was clear. The sanctioning body plans to no longer provide speed trap data either and will provide data for only three sectors on track throughout the race weekend, limiting the information teams can work with.
The sector time data is crucial, as it is believed that teams were making adjustments on the fly to compensate for areas of the track where BoP adjustments slowed them down. The only way to tell where they were slowest was via the sector data provided by IMSA, which now won’t be available until after the event, as of this weekend’s GT-only VIR round.
These changes come as the top-tier DPi championship is heating up in the team’s, driver’s and manufacturer’s standings. Derani and his AXR/Cadillac teammate Felipe Nasr sit three points back from championship leaders Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya in the driver’s championship, while the two squads are seven points apart in the team standings. Just five points separate Cadillac and Acura in the manufacturer’s standings.