EXCLUSIVE: 8Star Planning For Dual DP/P2 Program

Photo: John Dagys

With the much-talked about / Balance of Performance yet to be finalized, is preparing to hedge his bets in ’ Prototype class title bid for next year’s United SportsCar Racing series.

SPEED.com has learned the Florida-based squad is finalizing plans to field a P2 car alongside its Corvette DPs next year, which would see its lead driver pairing swap between cars on a race-by-race basis, depending on the best-suited package for each specific track.

8Star is the first team to confirm intentions of attempting such a concept in the Prototype class, which will be eligible to both DP and P2-spec cars next year.

“That’s our goal,” Potolicchio said in a SPEED.com exclusive interview Friday in Brazil. “I think next year, to win the Prototype drivers’ championship, you’re going to need a mix. Some races we’ll show up with the DP and some races we’ll show up with a P2.

“The Balance of Performance can be really complicated, so I think we’ll have to use both cars during the season to benefit from one or another. That’s my conclusion. They’re going to make us spend a little more money to have two cars instead of one.”

Potolicchio, who won last year’s FIA LMP2 championship, is also working to return to the cost-capped ranks of the in 2014, entirely with his own team.

The Venezuelan owner/driver said he’s currently in discussions with two LMP2 manufacturers for the WEC program, which would likely run in parallel to the team’s efforts.

Potolicchio sold his 2012 WEC championship-winning HPD ARX-03b to Extreme Speed Motorsports in February and it’s believed that package is not an option for the future.

“If we run a [LMP2] chassis in WEC, we’ll probably run the same chassis in USCR,” he said. “We’re heavily invested in DP, so we’ll have cars in DP as customer programs. But we’re still making a decision for what [LMP2] chassis to run.”

While 8Star’s Ferrari F458 Italia GTE-Am car is currently run by AF Corse, Potolicchio envisions the proposed WEC LMP2 program to be operated in-house, similar to the Starworks operation in 2012.

“If we do it, we will do it on our own,” Potolicchio said. “We’ll get a group of international [crew] and base it in England like we did last year.

“Let’s see how the funding comes from Venezuela and the sponsorship. If everything continues the way it’s been, I think we’ll be able to have the right program to do it right.”

Potolicchio says a final decision on both 8Star’s USCR and WEC programs will be made by the end of October. The team will also continue its multi-car operation in IMSA Prototype Lites series, in addition to a planned attack in the Prototype Challenge ranks.

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