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The Future Is Now – UPDATE

The winning Porsche 919 charged through the field. [Photo by Porsche Motorsport]

We will know Porsche’s future plans by the end of July. [Photo by Porsche Motorsport]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

Back in February, after the debut of the new DPi class at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, we wrote this article stating that the DPi class was the prototype class of the future and that the ACO and FIA should get on board the IMSA train going into the future.

With recent developments in the season, such as Toyota’s failure again to secure a 24 Hours of Le Mans victory and Porsche reevaluating whether to continue in the series, it is perhaps time to take a look at that article again, as everything we said seems to be coming true.

We will know Porsche’s future plans by the end of July, but it seems likely that they will not continue in the ultra expensive FIA-WEC series with their 919 Hybrid, leaving only Toyota to continue to find ways to defeat themselves. Today’s race at the Nurburgring was typical for Toyota – a fuel pump failure on the pace lap of all things put one of their cars out of contention for the win before the race even started.

Since Daytona, Acura and Penske have announced their factory effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2018 and beyond, and we continue to hear rumblings about other manufacturers taking a hard look at IMSA as well. The Joest and Audi rumors continue to swirl, and usually where there is smoke, there is fire. If Porsche does leave the FIA-WEC championship, perhaps they will be taking a hard look at IMSA as well. Only time will tell.

One thing is for sure, as our article from February points out, the future of IMSA looks bright and the sooner auto manufacturers make the calculation that the DPi formula is the way to go, the better it will be for sports car racing overall.

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Eddie LePine & Jack Webster
Jack Webster has been shooting motorsports since the early 1970's, covering Formula One, CanAm, F5000, TransAm, GrandAm and American Le Mans races, among others. In addition to his photography, he has also worked on racing teams, both in IMSA and IndyCar, so has a complete knowledge of the inner workings of motorsport. Both his photography and writing can be seen here on racingnation.com. Eddie LePine has been involved in motorsports for over 30 years as photographer, columnist, and driver. Eddie also is now a retired racer (well, retired unless a good ride pops up). You can usually find Eddie in the paddock area, deep in conversation with a driver.
Eddie LePine & Jack Webster

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