(featured image courtesy of IMSA / Galstad)
Along with the IMSA WeatherTech Championship the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar championship was in action at the Roar before the 24. For 2018 we see some new GT4 machines and the addition of some the new TCR class. In GS we see the debut of the Audi R8 GT4, the BMW M4 and the Mercedes AMG GT4. The TCR contingent only saw two different brands, Audi and Volkswagen.
This data was compiled from all 6 practice sessions from the entire weekend. Teams were evaluating different drivers, different set ups and different components so the data isn’t very reliable.
In ST we saw 3 different manufactures set times where the Mini’s and BMW’s seemed to have a slight advantage over the Porsches. The Mini’s were quick through the infield and the bus stop chicane while the BMW made it’s pace in the speed trap. The Porsches were just as quick as the BMW through the speed trap but slower through the infield. Overall the entire class was within 1.4 seconds on fastest lap time and 6 mph through the speed trap.
In TCR it was a battle between VAG brands. The Audi RS3 LMS TCR, one of the most popular TCR cars worldwide was represented by 6 cars at the roar test. Volkswagen was represented by a single entry. The majority of the cars were pretty close. Through the speed trap most of the cars were within 3 mph while on lap time there was a little more disparity but outright pace was still fairly close.
In GS we had a metric ton of cars. And it’s awesome. When looking at average lap time the fastest 7 cars are from 7 different manufactures. At this point it looks like the Porsches and Aston Martins might have an advantage through the speed trap while the Fords might have a slight advantage through the infield and the bus stop. The BMW showed good pace through the twisty bits as did the new Audi R8. Overall the entire class was within 2.8 seconds on average lap time and 6 mph through the speed trap.
In full TCR spec, the TCR cars are capable of running lap times just as quick as the GS class. IMSA has pegged the TCR cars back a bit to put them in between the GS and ST classes. Looking at the class spread it seems IMSA got it just about right. The fastest TCR car was still slower than the slowest GS car. Through the speed trap, though, there was a little bit of overlap between the ST and TCR cars. It will be interesting to see how that shakes out next week when we have more cars to work with.