Photo: Peter May
By: Kobe Lambeth
After months of evaluation, European Le Mans Series regular, Greaves Motorsport will not take part in the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, which is the season opener of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. The team had been considering a potential LMP2 or Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program for the twice around the clock American endurance classic.
Although the British team will not be racing on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway to kick off their 2017 program, team principal Jacob Greaves is looking forward to the new year with a possible move to the FIA World Endurance Championship on the horizon.
“Daytona will be too early for us in 2017 but don’t rule it out for 2018,” Greaves told Daily NASCAR Scoop and More. “We are in discussions for the FIA WEC in 2017 and we would love to race back in the WEC next season.
“For the Asian LMS and IMSA again we would love to race there and I think with the new cars it gives you a level playing field again to go and compete in some IMSA races. We’ve very much enjoyed racing in the States both with IMSA and the FIA WEC.
The new 2017 LMP2 regulations will consist of four constructors (Onroak, Oreca, Dallara, Riley/Multimatic) and a spec Gibson engine. Greaves confirmed that the team has not decided on a 2017-spec LMP2 car, but there are discussions in place.
“I think the new rules from the car and engine package look good, it will make the gap between LMP2 and GTE bigger which I think will make for easier overtaking especially for the gentlemen drivers,” said Greaves. “The uptake on the new cars sounds very promising as well so it will be good to see who is on the grid for next season.
“LMP2 was good in 2016 and the previous couple of years, good grids, and very competitive racing. It has been effectively 4 chassis manufacturers but with 2 engine options so from that side of things, it doesn’t change much. I think it’s good just to stop someone coming in with a car to beat everyone when other cars are tied into a homologation process, everyone now starts at the same time and can make changes at the same time so it should be fairer going forward.”
FIA Driver Ratings will also be a hot topic for another year after much controversy of the “sneaky silvers.”
“I think it is the impossible fix,” said Greaves. “You need young drivers with less experience to come in as a Silver to give them value and the chance to get that experience.
“Some of them will come in and be very quick and do a great job. At the same time, you have some great gentlemen racers that run businesses etc… and this will put them off. The only way to try and make things fair could be in season BOP.”
Greaves Motorsport operated two Ligier JS P2’s (One with Krohn Racing) during the 2016 European Le Mans Series season.
“It was a different year for us and a new experience running 2 Ligier Chassis, 2 new cars for the team to learn and develop, but the cars were good out of the box and with the support from Onroak the cars were topping the time sheets during official testing,” said Greaves. “Working with Tracy and the Krohn Racing team was great and was a pleasure to work with them all season, the effort and the performance put in by all the guys were great, it was just some hard luck that denied the results that the car and team deserved.
Greaves Motorsport finished 6th (Krohn Racing) and 7th respectfully in the 2016 European Le Mans Series LMP2 standings.