The teams will meet at Road Atlanta for the first-ever IMSA-sanctioned testing, which will help each manufacturer finalize its single tire selections for the entire 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.
The testing is open to all five GTLM manufacturers so they can evaluate several Michelin tire options available, though it’s not sure that Porsche, with a new 911 GTE car coming in 2017, will take part.
While the manufacturers will also be testing three medium-cool range temperature tires and two medium-medium temperatures for 2017 competition, it’s expected that all the teams will continue to use hot temperature range tires.
The testing will be new for IMSA, but similar tests have been held by Michelin for FIA World Endurance Championship teams.
The Road Atlanta 2.54-mile circuit was chosen by IMSA and Michelin for the testing because it “is demanding of tires and well known by the GTLM teams who will have recent data from race week for comparison,” said Ken Payne, technical director, motorsports, Michelin North America.
In the past, in-season tire development has been a key part of GTLM racing, but those days will end with the implementation of the preseason testing.
IMSA’s new policy also means that WeatherTech Championship teams will be using different tires in 2017 than the WEC, which reportedly will be using longer-lasting multi-stint Michelin tires to accommodate the WEC’s further limit on the number of tires used each weekend in 2017.
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