BAR1 Motorsports will move up to the Prototype class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2018, with team owner Brian Alder confirming they will partner with Multimatic.
Following the Prototype Challenge class being discontinued following the conclusion of the 2017 season, BAR1 Motorsports were contemplating their next move, and they will united with Multimatic and their MK.30 LMP2 chassis, along with the Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8 engine.
Multimatic are one of the three chassis providers, along with Dallara and Ligier, to get performance breaks for 2018 in a bid to close the gap to the dominant chassis from ORECA, and Alder said it was an easy decision to do something different to get towards the front of the field.
“If you look at who we’re competing against, and the high level of the teams we’re facing, you have to look at doing something different to get out in front,” said Alder to RACER.
“I’ve seen all the work Multimatic has done, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the fastest cars in the field next year.
“Everything you’ve heard for the changes is positive, and they’re motivated because Multimatic’s name is on the line. They have a year of experience with the car, which is good, so they know what needs to be updated, and as a customer, it may be a slight advantage next year.
“I think it’s going to be a good package. A lot of the stuff underneath the bodywork is happening on the Mazda DPi, and that development is going on as we speak. And that work will filter down to us with their P2 car.”
Alder revealed that the team will get the Mk.30 on track within the next few weeks to find out more about it, before knuckling down to get everything ready for Daytona in January.
“We’re going to get the car on track in the next couple of weeks in its current configuration, get some seats made, get some drivers in it, just to learn the car,” said Alder.
“And then we’ll have it updated towards the end of November to be ready for the Daytona tests.”
With the move to Prototypes, BAR1 Motorsports will be racing in a class that could lead to a place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans sometime down the line, something that their PC drivers had shown interest in previously.
“We would love to go to Le Mans, many of our drivers have expressed that interest, and this will give us that option,” said Alder. “But the first step is to get drivers in the car, get that going, and take it one step at a time.”