On Wednesday, Alex Job Racing announced the complete withdrawal of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche team from the remainder of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Thursday saw another Porsche team voluntarily withdraw, but only from one race.
Park Place Motorsports, which fields the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3-R in the GT Daytona class, has announced their withdrawal from Aug. 28’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway. The reasoning given was the same as Alex Job Racing: Balance of Performance (BoP).
The press release indicates that officials from Park Place Motorsports approached IMSA officials after the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in July. The goal was to educate themselves on the process used by IMSA to arrive at the current BoP. Data was shared by IMSA officials to Park Place Motorsports brass to show how IMSA arrives at their solutions.
Since Lime Rock, no adjustments have been made to the Porsche 911 GT3-R. Road America saw the Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3’s have 15 kilograms added while Riley Motorsports‘ Dodge Viper GT3-R (which won the race) get a 39 millimeter air restrictor, an increase of one millimeter. The only changes for VIR involve restrictor changes on fuel rigs.
This is a completely voluntary move on the part of Park Place Motorsports. The Porsche factory has no involvement in either Park Place’s announcement, or Alex Job Racing’s move on Wednesday. Park Place Motorsports’ move leaves only one entry, the No. 23 Alex Job Racing/Team Seattle entry for Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas, to fly the Porsche flag at VIR.
Team principal/co-driver Patrick Lindsey is still very passionate for racing in IMSA, but believes that the current BoP rules not only hurt the Porsches, but could potentially breach promises that Lindsey has made to sponsors.
“First, let me say that Park Place [Motorsports] is a team that is extremely passionate about racing and contains members with the most competitive spirit I have seen in the sport,” Lindsey wrote in a press release. “It is a hard thing to do, to ask my guys to disregard their feelings of being handicapped by the series and continue to fight through a race weekend. The reality is we can’t spend this amount of money in a place where we are not competing on a level playing field.”
Lindsey continued to state that the team will race at Circuit of the Americas in September and plans to defend their class victory at the Petit Le Mans in October. The team has existing sponsorships lined up for those two races and will not pull out of those obligations.
Lindsey and co-driver Jörg Bergmeister finished a season-best second in class at Road America in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase on Aug. 7. Lindsey told SportsCar365.com’s John Dagys that the finish was the result of a perfect race, plus other teams making errors, as opposed to pure pace.