American Le Mans Series P2 team Conquest Endurance joined Grand Am’s Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes at Daytona International Speedway to test how a P2 car would perform on the Rolex Series’ Continental tire.
Grand Am’s owner NASCAR bought ALMS and the two series, Rolex and ALMS, will merge in 2014. The popular ALMS P2 class and the equally well-represented Rolex DP class will possibly be merged, which will mean balancing the performance of the heavier, more primitive, but more powerful DPs with the lightweight, high-tech P2s with their smaller motors.
Conquest’s driver Martin Plowman proved that even on the harder, longer lasting Continental tires instead of the sticky Dunlops the car was designed for, the Conquest Morgan-Nissan was seven-tenths of a second quicker around Daytona’s 3.56-mile track than the quickest DPs.
“We had a specific plan to make sure we adapted the setup of the car to the Continental tires, we ended up very happy with the result,” Plowman said in a press release. Of course he was happy—he was fastest.If the Conquest engineers had had more time to adapt the car to the new tires, and also to change to a low-downforce setup suitable to the Daytona track, likely the difference would have been much greater.
Both series raced at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway this year. The ALMS P2 pole, set by Christophe Bouchut in the 055 Level 5 HPD ARX-03b was 1:15.846 at 106.226 mph. The quickest DP, Richard Westbrook’s 90 Sprit of Daytona Coyote-Corvette, lapped the 2.24-mile course in 1:21.042 (99.415 mph.)