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Jamie Klein

Tandy: Night pace could fluctuate "dramatically" in Daytona 24 Hours

Tandy, who is sharing the #6 Porsche 963 with Dane Cameron and Mathieu Jaminet for this weekend's IMSA SportsCar Championship curtain-raiser, observed how limited running has been on Michelin's new low-temperature soft tyre in the build-up to the event.

The bulk of pre-event running with the new LMDh prototypes has been done with the high-temperature soft compound, and Tandy believes some cars could suffer more than others during the nighttime running that makes up the bulk of the Florida enduro classic.

"We ran the cold soft [on Thursday night] in practice, and that was the only session we could use it, because the night session at the Roar [pre-event test] was wet," the Briton told reporters on the eve of the race. 

"There is a balance shift between the two tyres as you would expect, but for all the teams it’s the first time we’ve run on this tyre. We’ve got to do 13 hours of the race on it, and we haven’t really tested it!

"The end of the race we’ll be on the soft-hot, so I think everyone is setting their cars up based on that and just accepting there may be a balance shift when you switch to the cold-spec tyre in the night.

"But you could see the pace of the cars changing quite dramatically depending on the tyres we’re on. If one car struggles to put energy in the front tyre, they could struggle on the colds, but others could struggle to look after the rear tyres on the hots."


Tandy however conceded that the nature of IMSA races, with frequent caution periods offering chances to catch up to the leaders, mean that being fast at the end of the race will be the priority.

Wayne Taylor Racing's Filipe Albuquerque is also expecting the new tyres to provide a major challenge during the Daytona 24 Hours, as well as the expected increase in stint lengths.

A typical stint for the GTP cars is now expected to run for 50 minutes to an hour, depending on caution periods, compared to 35-40 minutes during the DPi era. The reduction in available tyre sets - 33 for the whole weekend and 21 for the race - also means teams will have to double-stint tyres.

“One thing that is tricky is that with new tyres, it's very slippery getting out of the pits," said Albuquerque. "We've seen Helio [Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing Acura] spinning in the pitlane [during Friday morning practice] – that's how slippery it is.

"So it's going to be interesting to deal with that, especially when the things are starting to get more heated up with racing and track position. It is easy to do mistakes.

“I think we will learn through the race how much time we lose on cold tyres, how much we lose by having to double-stint tyres. It's new for everybody and we could never really do a proper long run and double-stint tyres because this compound was new in December. It's not that we were working with this compound before.

“Again, it's the same for everybody at the end of the day, so it's going to be curious to see who really nails the set-up and the strategy.”

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