Alfa Romeo is taking a hard look at entering IMSA’s new-look 2017 LMP2-based Prototype field as part of the brand’s ongoing re-introduction to the American market.
Multiple sources have now confirmed the Italian auto manufacturer has held meetings with the sports car sanctioning body regarding the engine and bodywork necessary to badge a P2 chassis when the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship changes Prototype formulas at the end of 2016.
“Alfa Romeo has very ambitious plans in the United States. They’ve made it clear that racing is part of their heritage, and part of what they plan to carry forward,” said one source with knowledge of the discussions who asked to have their name withheld. “So it’s not that big of a stretch to say that if they are going to go be involved in racing in the United States, it’s going to be IMSA, so the most logical place for them to land is Prototype.”
Alfa Romeo, which is owned by FIAT, has not competed in North America with a factory effort since its brief participation in the CART IndyCar Series between 1989-’91. Provided it returns in 2017, it’s believed a production-based 2.9-litre V6 turbo would form the basis of its P2 engine programme, this the base engine for Alfa’s current range topping Giulia sedan (below).
IMSA requires all manufacturers involved in the new P2 formula to create custom bodywork to complement its engine, and with four official P2 chassis suppliers to choose from, Italy’s Dallara, France’s Onroak or ORECA, or the American/Canadian Riley-Multimatic would need to create the bespoke body and create an engine installation kit on behalf of Alfa Romeo.
This story first appeared on racer.com