Grand-Am has announced changes to fuel cell capacity and fuel hose restrictors for its Rolex Sports Car Series, with the goal of necessitating an additional pit stop for races in the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. The changes will take effect at the next round of the series – the Bosch Engineering 250 on May 14 at Virginia International Raceway.
Daytona Prototypes currently use 24-gallon fuel cells, and can race for approximately 55 minutes on a full fuel load. The new fuel cell capacity will be 20 gallons, aimed at changing the maximum time to less than 45 minutes.
In the GT class, Mazdas' fuel cells will drop from 24 gallons to 20. All other GT entries' cells will drop from 22 to 18.5.
These changes are expected to add a third pit stop for both classes in races of two hours, 45 minutes in duration, and a second stop for two-hour events. Strategy changes with the additional pit stop could include the option of adding a third driver or an additional driver change, which would allow the professional driver on a Pro-Am team to both start and finish a race.
"The pit stops will look the same, because fueling will take the same amount of time, but race strategy will be significantly affected," said Mark Raffauf, managing director of competition for Grand-Am.