In sports car racing, balance of performance (abbreviated BoP) is a regulation and mechanism that maintains parity between competing vehicles by adjusting limits on a car's parameters, such as horsepower, weight, engine management, and aerodynamics to prevent a single manufacturer from becoming dominant in a racing class or series.
The origin of the term "balance of performance" dates back to the creation of Group GT3 in 2005 for the 2006 racing season, using experience learned from homologation special phenomenon in previous GT classes,although other series such as British Touring Car Championship and Japanese Super GT series had applied similar concept in the past (and still in effect today) called success ballast, which only affected the weight of a competing car for each round. (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters also previously featured a success ballast system named as BoP between 2015 to 2017 until it was scrapped with two races left in the 2017 season). The aim of the system is to allow development of various racing models within a class, without leading to expensive development wars between manufacturers. The system was later adopted for other production-based racing classes such as Group GT4, LM GTE and TCR Touring Cars. Although one-make, open-wheel and prototype car racing typically do not use a BoP system, a similar system was devised for LMP1 class in FIA World Endurance Championship called equivalence of technology (abbreviated EoT), that allows for parity between hybrid and non-hybrid cars in the class. Additionally, DPi cars in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are subject to balance of performance as well.
Balance of performance is assigned by testing and analysis of a certain model's performance through previous races, although alternate methods may be used if the competing vehicle is new. For example, for GT3 cars, SRO holds two BoP tests a year at Circuit Paul Ricard, with cars driven by professional racing drivers who would have driven the car, to assess the performance of, and thus assign the BoP, of each car.These cars are equipped with a organizer-supplied telemetry device so that the organizer can gather data to allow the balancing of the cars, with new-to-class cars also subject to wind tunnel and dynometer testing. Once the results are obtained, various aspects of the car that can affect the car's performance such as engine horsepower, vehicle weight, aerodynamics, are then adjusted. By analyzing performance patterns of each car, organizers can change BoP of a car at any point during the season. Different series or organizers may calculate BoP differently depending on the conditions, with IMSA and ACO applying different BoP calculation for LM GTE cars in their respective series, while BoP for GT3 cars participating in Super GT's GT300 class are optimized to allow competition against cars built exclusively for the series, and TCR has a unique feature called compensation weight, as a further mechanism to balance the cars.
Some manufacturers have been accused of sandbagging, where a car would purposely underperform during a test, or during certain races, to receive favorable results later; for example, rival teams accused the Ford GT (run by Chip Ganassi Racing) of sandbagging during the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season, even after performance adjustments after the qualifying for 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.Various rules have been made to deter this; for example, IMSA mandated any car that is found to be sandbagging during the Roar Before the 24 (a testing session leading to the 24 Hours of Daytona race) at their discretion to serve a five-minute stop and go penalty starting from 2014 season if a team is caught sandbagging during the sessions (penalties are served differently if the sandbagging was discovered after the end of the sessions), although instances of sandbagging were still found as of 2019 race.
Several racing games, such as Gran Turismo Sport, Gran Turismo 7, RaceRoom and Assetto Corsa Competizione , also features a simulated balance of performance for each playable car as part of the games' game balance mechanism.
The 2014 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSC) was the inaugural season of the International Motor Sports Association's new series created out of a merger of the Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series and the first to be held under the name as the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. It began with the 24 Hours of Daytona, the first time since the 1997 IMSA GT Championship season that IMSA sanctioned an event at Daytona International Speedway on 25 January and ended on 4 October at Petit Le Mans. It was the 44th overall season of IMSA GT championship racing tracing its lineage to the 1971 IMSA GT Championship.
The 2015 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSC) was the second season of the International Motor Sports Association's Tudor United SportsCar Championship and last to be held under that name. It was also the 45th overall season of the IMSA GT championship tracing its lineage to the 1971 IMSA season. It began January 24 with the 24 Hours of Daytona. and ended on October 3 at Petit Le Mans.
The 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship was the sixth season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, an auto racing series co-organised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The series is open to Le Mans Prototypes and grand tourer-style racing cars divided into four categories. The season began at the Silverstone Circuit in April and will end at the Bahrain International Circuit in November, and include the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. World championship titles will be awarded to the leading prototype drivers and manufacturers, while for the first time in the World Endurance Championship the leading grand touring drivers and manufacturers will also be awarded a world championship.
The Ligier JS P217 is a Le Mans Prototype built by Onroak Automotive and named in a partnership with French racing driver Guy Ligier. The Ligier JS P217 was built to meet the 2017 FIA and ACO regulations for 2017 for the LMP2 category in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The car also meets the regulations for the International Motor Sports Association’s (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the Prototype class. It is active in both these championship series as well as the European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series in 2017. The prototype made its racing debut at the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona and its FIA World Endurance Championship debut at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
The 2018 IMSA SportsCar Championship was the 48th motor racing championship sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It was the fifth season of the United SportsCar Championship and third to be held under the name as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It began on January 27 with the 24 Hours of Daytona, and ended on October 13 with the Petit Le Mans.
The 2018 Continental Tire SportsCar Championship is the nineteenth season of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the fifth season organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
The 2019 Michelin Pilot Challenge is the twentieth season of the IMSA SportsCar Challenge and the sixth season organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). Michelin is set to become the new official tire supplier of the series, following the departure of Continental Tire at the end of 2018.
The 2019–20 FIA World Endurance Championship was the eighth season of the FIA World Endurance Championship, an auto racing series co-organised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The series is open to Le Mans Prototypes and grand tourer-style racing cars divided into four categories. World Championship titles were awarded for LMP drivers, LMP1 teams, GTE drivers and GTE manufacturers. With the new winter scheduling format, the series began at Silverstone Circuit in September 2019 and ended with the 8 Hours of Bahrain in November 2020.
The 2019 24 Hours of Daytona was an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned endurance sports car race held at the Daytona International Speedway combined road course in Daytona Beach, Florida, on January 26–27, 2019. It was the 57th running of the race, and the first of 12 races in the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, and the first of four rounds of the 2019 Michelin Endurance Cup. The race was ended ahead of the 22nd Hour, due to heavy rainfall. The race was won overall by Renger van der Zande, Jordan Taylor, Fernando Alonso, and Kamui Kobayashi in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R. The LMP2 class was won by the #18 DragonSpeed Oreca 07, piloted by Pastor Maldonado, Roberto Gonzalez, Sebastián Saavedra and Ryan Cullen. The GTLM class was won by the #25 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE of Connor de Phillippi, Augusto Farfus, Philipp Eng, and Colton Herta. The GTD class was won for a second consecutive year by the #11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bortolotti, Rik Breukers, and Christian Engelhart.
The 67th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts was an endurance sports car racing event held at Sebring International Raceway near Sebring, Florida from 14–16 March 2019. The race was the second round of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as well as the second round of the Michelin Endurance Cup. Action Express Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing brought home a Cadillac 1-2-3 finish for the overall honours, with the win going to the #31 crew of Eric Curran, Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, who won the 12 Hour race for a third time in the previous four editions. the #911 Porsche GT Team won in the GTLM class over the #66 Ford GT of Chip Ganassi Racing, LMP2 was won by Performance Tech Motorsports, and the Grasser Racing Team took a second straight victory in the GTD class, winning over fellow Lamborghini GTD team Magnus Racing, who came 2nd in only their second start as a Lamborghini team.
The 2019 Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio was a sports car race sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The race was held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, and was the fourth round of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The 2019 Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen was an endurance race sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The race was held at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York on the June 30th, 2019. This race was the sixth round of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as well as the third round of the 2019 Michelin Endurance Cup.
A Daytona Prototype International (DPi) is a type of sports prototype racing car developed specifically for the International Motor Sports Association's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as their top class of car, acting as a direct replacement, and spiritual successor of the Daytona Prototypes. They are named after the main series event, the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The class made its racing debut at the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona.
The Ferrari 488 GTE is a grand tourer racing car built by Ferrari's in-house Competizioni GT unit, for competition in endurance racing. It is a replacement for the Ferrari 458 GT2 racing car, using the Ferrari 488 as a base. The car is built in accordance with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest/FIA LM GTE regulations introduced for the 2016 season, and it currently competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship, and the European Le Mans Series. The car had its race debut at the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona, with the Scuderia Corsa and Risi Competizione teams.
The 2020 Michelin Pilot Challenge is the twenty-first season of the IMSA SportsCar Challenge and the seventh season organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
An LMDh is a type of sports prototype race car that will be used in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2022, alongside LMH entries. The cars will also be used in the GTP class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023.
The 2021 24 Hours of Daytona was an endurance sports car race sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The event was held at Daytona International Speedway combined road course in Daytona Beach, Florida, on January 30–31, 2021. This event was the 59th running of the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the first of 12 races across multiple classes in the 2021 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as well as the first of four rounds in the 2021 Michelin Endurance Cup.
The 2022 IMSA SportsCar Championship is a championship of racing, the 52nd racing season sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), which traces its lineage back to the 1971 IMSA GT Championship. It is also be the ninth season of the IMSA SportsCar Championship since the merger between the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series in 2014, and the seventh under the sponsorship of WeatherTech. The series started on January 27, 2022, for the 24 Hours of Daytona, and is scheduled to conclude on October 1, 2022, for the Petit Le Mans across 12 races.
DXDT Racing is a professional sports car team based in Statesville, North Carolina, founded by competitive off-shore sailor and businessman David Askew in 2014. With an early history in IMSA's Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, the team now primarily races in SRO America's GT World Challenge America, continuing a long term run as a Mercedes AMG Customer Racing team.
The 2022 12 Hours of Sebring was an endurance sports car race held at Sebring International Raceway near Sebring, Florida from 16 to 19 March 2022. It was the second round of both the 2022 IMSA SportsCar Championship and the Michelin Endurance Cup. JDC-Mustang Sampling Racing entered as the defending overall winners of the 12-hour event.