Home Sport Ford Mustang hopes hit by BoP change for Daytona debut, claims Rockenfeller

Ford Mustang hopes hit by BoP change for Daytona debut, claims Rockenfeller

by News7

Mike Rockenfeller, who is racing the #64 GTD Pro entry with Harry Tincknell and Christopher Mies run by the factory Multimatic squad, told Motorsport.com that “for sure the car is not at the sharp end of the field” ahead of the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.

“That is my feeling from being around the other cars, seeing their straightline speed, acceleration and handling,” said Rockenfeller in the wake of the opening sessions on Thursday.

“I would say that we are struggling a little bit — today has not been very positive for us.”

The Mustang, developed by Multimatic, was given a 15kg increase in minimum weight between qualifying last Sunday and the start of the free practice sessions leading up to the start of the 24 Hours on Saturday.

Ford was the hardest hit of 11 manufacturers competing in GTD along with Ferrari, whose 296 GT3 has been handed a 10kg weight increase and a 5kW or 5.4bhp decrease in power.

The moves to slow the Mustang came despite the two factory entries ending up ninth and 13th of the 13 cars in GTD Pro in the 15-minute qualifying session last weekend.

Dirk Muller was a second off the pace in the #65 car he shares with Joey Hand and Frederic Vervisch in ninth place, while Tincknell was a further six tenths behind after encountering traffic on his best lap.

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

#92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3 R: David Brule, Alec Udell, Trent Hindman, Julien Andlauer, #64 Ford Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT3: Harry Tincknell, Mike Rockenfeller, Christopher Mies

But the new Ford had been nearer the front during the track sessions that led up to qualifying at the conclusion of last weekend’s Roar test; the car was consistently in the top three and #64 was quickest in the second period in the hands of Mies.

The two Fords were again ninth and 13th in first practice on Thursday morning and then ninth and 12th in the afternoon period, although the regular GTD class entry from Proton Competition was second quickest overall in class in the second session in Dennis Olsen’s hands.

Rockenfeller stressed that the first task for the Multimatic factory team and Proton teams will be to finish the race.

“We are not complaining because this is a BoP category and when you come into a championship it will take a while for the organisers to work out where you should be,” he said.

“First of all we need to focus on ourselves and make sure we have a good race in terms of reliability.

“It is probably wrong to say we don’t have a chance: if we can get to the last four hours without having problems and then make the right calls on strategy, you never know.”

Tincknell expressed quiet confidence that Ford and Multimatic are ready for the debut of the Mustang in the longest race of the IMSA season.

“We are as confident as we can be without having done a race,” he said.

“We did a lot of running in high temperatures in the summer at Sebring, probably the hardest track in the world.

“But now is the acid test.”

Ten of the 11 manufacturer competing in the GTD classes were given a revised BoP on Wednesday, only the two Lexus RC F GT3s run by the Vasser Sullivan team going into race week unchanged.

Mercedes was the big winner in the change: its AMG GT3 had its minimum weight reduced by 15kg and power increased by 8.5kW or 11bhp.

Source : Motorsport.com

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