Report: Toyota closing in on new 2015 Camry for Sprint Cup

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That’s the case for the new design of the Toyota Camry for the 2015 Sprint Cup season.

According to Motorsport.com, the first design of the new Camry has been sent back by NASCAR for further revision and development.

But instead of major or radical changes to Toyota’s design, officials at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., are seeking tweaks rather than wholesale changes.

“We had a preliminary submission, but we have more work to do,” David Wilson, president/general manager of Toyota Racing Development, told Motorsport.com. “We’ve been working with NASCAR on the car. They give you the opportunity to see where you are and of course our objective is to get the most performance out of it as possible.”

Wilson believes it will only be a few more weeks before the manufacturer’s next submission to NASCAR is ultimately approved.

“We have to pass their submission criteria, so we’re going to have another go at it and hope to have that put to bed in the middle of August,” Wilson told Motorsport.com. “Then we’ll unveil it to the public and get ready for 2015.”

If the tweaks are approved by NASCAR, the newly redesigned model could potentially make its debut at an upcoming test on Aug. 18 at Michigan International Speedway, one day after the Sprint Cup race there.

Like its manufacturing counterparts at Ford and Chevrolet, Toyota also is working on reducing power in its Sprint Cup motors for 2015 by a NASCAR-mandated 100 hp.

The redesign of the Camry, the third since Toyota entered NASCAR in 2007, has been underway for nearly a year. From indications, the new NASCAR version will be the closest to its production model counterpart seen in dealer showrooms that it’s ever been.

To date, Toyota has won 65 races in the Sprint Cup Series since its debut nearly a decade ago.

“We’re happy, very happy,” Wilson told Motorsport.com. “We’re excited because the new Camry looks great and we look forward to getting it out on the race track because 2015 is going to be a big year for us because we pace the Daytona 500 again.”

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III