General Motors is taking a wait-and-see attitude on its future participation in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s Prototype category.
Corvette DP has been very successful in the category, having won the final Grand-Am Rolex Series DP title in 2013 and currently residing atop the TUDOR Championship Prototype standings.
But the tubeframe DPs are slated to be phased out at the end of 2016 and replaced by carbon-fiber P2 coupes in 2017.
That means GM Racing will have to decide if it wants to invest in Prototype in 2017 or focus completely on GT racing.
“We’re curious as to where it’s all going to go, and it’s still fairly unclear where things are headed,” GM Racing Director Mark Kent told RACER. “We’ll have representatives at the upcoming  meeting in Paris to see what’s happening.”
Not many decisions have been made on the 2017 P2 by the ACO, FIA, and IMSA, other than it will be a closed-top car.
Kent is hoping that similar DP-style branding and road-relevant engines are eventually approved.
“I think the beauty of the Corvette Daytona Prototype is there’s relevance in not only how it looks, but also the powertrain,” he said. “There is a V8 Corvette, which the Corvette DP is modeled after, and that link works quite well for us. The question we have is what the future holds.
“Will it be a car that is aesthetically production relevant, or will it have a production relevant powertrain, and offer us an avenue to explore something different there if we choose? Until we understand what the new car is going to offer, we really don’t know what our participation will be right now.”
Kent says the current DP has a Corvette shape, greenhouse, fenders and taillights.
“If the new car has a roofline that doesn’t look like anything we produce, or doesn’t allow us to make the front and back look like a production car, that is a step back from where we are today and could potentially diminish our interest in participating in that class,” he said.
The meeting in Paris could begin to make the picture clearer, Kent said.
“We’re going to have to wait to see what comes out of this next meeting – what the vision is – and if it makes sense to unify or if it makes sense to look at another alternative,” he confirmed.
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