Iconic Florida-based sports car entrant Brumos Racing took a sabbatical from its Grand-Am Rolex Series participation after the Road Atlanta round in April, but according to Brumos Porsche VP Hurley Haywood, a return with a new chassis could come toward the tail end of the inaugural United SportsCar Racing season.
“Our current plan is just to sit and wait to see how everything melds together,” the racing legend told RACER. “We want to make sure that the 991 is fast enough, which I've been assured that it is, and we want to see what they do with the balance of performance on the Ferrari and the Audi and all the rest of the cars that are running against us. And then that said, we would probably come in maybe at the tail end of next year to sort of get warmed up for 2015.”
Prior to its withdrawal from the series, the Porsche devotees had participated in every Grand-Am race since the series' formation in 2000, using production-based 99x-series GT cars and Daytona Prototypes carrying flat-six or Porsche powerplants. Its most recent championship came in 2011 when Andrew Davis and Leh Keen took Rolex GT honors, but with the need to secure additional sponsorship to continue this year, Haywood and Brumos chairman Dan Davis made the tough decision to park the team and plan for the future.
“We spent a lot of money and Dan was not happy with the way the direction was going so I think the most prudent thing to do is just wait to see what happens, rather than make a commitment now or in a month or two to buy a car,” Haywood added, confirming the team will not make a one-off appearance at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“I do absolutely know that he does not want to start the season – we might get our name on a car for Daytona – but I would say that the best case scenario is that we would come in on the tail end of next year.”
The question Haywood and Davis need to answer is whether they will return in the GT Daytona class using Porsche's new 911 GT America, or step up to the costlier GT Le Mans category with the 2014 911 RSR.
“That's a question we're going back and forth on right now – which class to return with,” Haywood confirmed. “But it's looking like it might answer itself. Just to give you an idea of the price difference between even getting a new GT Daytona car ready or to run in the Pro [GTLM] class is about a $2 million swing.
“It goes from $2 million to run my current program to $4 million to run that program – for what? You're not getting more prize money, you're not getting more TV coverage, you're not getting anything for that additional cost other than just giggles.”
The costs involved with running a Porsche 991-based GTD program happen to be more favorable, but Haywood added his voice to those who are less than pleased about the upcoming requirement to place an amateur driver in the car alongside a pro.
“As Brumos, we never had, nor would we ever consider having a pro and an amateur guy running on our team,” he declared. “We want two pro guys. Now, I understand that there's a lot of leeway in the classifications of that, platinum, gold or however they rank that stuff, so conceivably you could have a pro driver that has not got a top classification. Like I could come back and run, I would be classified, because I'm over a certain age, as being a “silver” or nonprofessional driver.
“The silver guys could run with the pro guy, but it's a whole separate mess to figure out. There are a lot of decisions for us to make, and clearly, just choosing which car to run is the easy part. But there's a lot more behind that decision, so this is everything we're having to take into account before committing to a direction to take the team.”