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      05-27-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
Gearhead999s
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GRAND-AM: New BMW DP Engine Set For 2012

GRAND-AM: New BMW DP Engine Set For 2012

Dinan-tuned, BMW M3-based 4.5-liter V8 powerplant could make debut at 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona...




While there’s been much talk about the new-look Daytona Prototypes for next year, developments have also been occurring ‘under the hood’ as competitors ramp up efforts for the 2012 Rolex Sports Car Series season, which kicks off with the 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona.

For teams utilizing BMW power in their Daytona Prototypes, a new powerplant will be offered for next year. Dinan Engineering has been in development of an all-new V8 engine, based from the E92 BMW M3.

“We’re expecting to have it for 2012,” Steve Dinan told SPEED.com. “We don’t know if we’ll have it for the [Rolex] 24 or the race after, it depends on how the durability test goes in the fall. We have to run a couple of simulated computer dyno runs for 27 hours. If it survives two of those, we’ll give it the blessing.”

With the current-spec 5.0-liter V8, which took Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas to the 2010 Rolex Series championship and wins in the opening three races this year, having been in use since the Daytona Prototype’s inception in 2003, Dinan felt it was time for a move towards a more current and relevant powerplant.

While teams, such as Ganassi, may opt to not run the new 4.5-liter engine in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona next year, Dinan expects it to be installed in the BMW-powered entries for the balance of the 2012 season.

“As much as everyone thinks Ganassi is on the edge, they are a very, very conservative team and they like things that don’t break,” Dinan said. “And they think that overall race strategy and not making mistakes is more important than raw speed. So they might pass on this, just because the other one is proven.”

Work on the all-new engine began over a year and a half ago, and while there was initial hope of a possible debut later this year, all efforts have now been placed on 2012. Dinan said he anticipates having the first unit installed in Ganassi’s No. 02 Riley for testing in the fall.

Dinan admitted while that there was discussion of the possibility of developing a turbocharged powerplant, GRAND-AM has yet to officially detail the specific rules package for such a specification.

“It may be the next [engine] after that,” he said. “I think the world is headed that way, to small-displacement turbos. But GRAND-AM, as of yet, hasn’t given me the green light on that.”
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