Understanding the Origins of Racing's Most Hated Acronym

You are likely not down with BOP.

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Marshall Pruett

Balance of Performance, or BoP for short, is motor racing’s most hated three-letter acronym.

The parity-minded formula, which applies rules to slow the faster sports car models while giving performance handouts to the turtles in the pack, fosters artificial competition at the world’s greatest endurance racing venues.

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Its stench is found at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the 24 Hours of Daytona, and if you’ve ever wondered how a series like IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship can take a Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype with a voluminous 6.2-liter V8 engine and make it perform at similar levels to Mazda’s RT24-P using a tiny 2.0-liter turbo 4, BoP is the answer.

Understanding the origins of BoP, at least through the decades with IMSA, is the subject of a conversation with my friend Jeff Braun, noted race engineer and former IMSA team owner during its glory days in the 1980s. If you’re curious about how BoP works and why there’s a somewhat justified reason for its use in some forms of sports car racing today, take a listen:

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