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Don't change IMSA GTP BoP yet, Albuquerque urges

Acura driver Filipe Albuquerque has urged IMSA not to change the Balance of Performance in the GTP class following a one-two finish for the brand in last month's Rolex 24 at Daytona.

#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX-06: Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Louis Deletraz, Brendon Hartley, #6 Team Penske Porsche 963: Mathieu Jaminet, Nick Tandy, Dane Cameron

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Acura got the new GTP era off to a perfect start with a one-two finish for its two new ARX-06 prototypes, with Meyer Shank Racing taking victory in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship opener ahead of Wayne Taylor Racing.

While the Honda brand proved itself the class of the field at Daytona, Porsche managed to get one of its new 963s on the front row before suffering reliability issues in the race, while Cadillac was also well in the mix for the win for large stretches of the race, its best V-LMDh finishing third.

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The close nature of the competition between the four LMDh manufacturers came after IMSA elected not to adjust the BoP in the GTP class in the wake of the pre-event Roar Before the 24 test.

And Albuquerque feels that the series should let the manufacturers make further progress on extracting more performance and reliability from their all-new packages before tinkering with the BoP.

"After Daytona, I don’t want to sound biased because we won, but these new rules have started really well," Albuquerque, who shared the second-placed WTR Acura with Ricky Taylor, Louis Deletraz and Brendon Hartley, told Motorsport.com.

"We were obviously competitive. Cadillac was very strong in one part of the race, Porsche was very competitive with [Nick] Tandy in the end until he had a failure. Maybe BMW was a bit of a step back, but just give them time to sort things out, because they are a great manufacturer.

"I don’t think we should have any BoP adjustments yet. I think we need to give all the manufacturers time to address their long list of issues they have to address. And only then should we start changing the BoP, if needed.

"There should be room for the manufacturers, the teams and the drivers to make the difference at the end of the day."

 

The final year of IMSA DPi competition were characterised by swings in performance between Acura and Cadillac at different circuits, with the previous ARX-05 tending to excel at some tracks and struggling at others.

Albuquerque feels that Acura has come up with a much more consistent package for the first year of the new LMDh regulations but warned that the marque can't rest on its laurels after a strong start at Daytona.

"I think we have a good car," said the Portuguese driver. "We have addressed a lot of the issues we had with the DPi, especially considering the IMSA calendar. We were able to make the areas we were not so strong with DPi better.

"But just because we did a 1-2 in Daytona doesn’t mean it will be like this for the rest of the year. We had a good start, but we need to stay humble, because when you lose, you work harder.

"We need to have the same mentality, we need to work harder to find speed in our car. We don’t underestimate our opponents because they are really strong."

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