I'm looking forward to more sports car racing this year (alas, just as a participant) and so I thought I'd look over the rules in detail. Specifically, I was reading the 2016 IMSA Technical Regulations for the GTLM class in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship. For the crankshaft, and mostly consistent with last year's rules, it says:
Free design. Its weight must not be more than 10% lower than the original (titanium-based alloy forbidden). The firing order is free.
It's obvious to me why they'd restrict the material and weight (since lighter is often faster in a racecar), but I was curious about the possible ramifications of the firing order being free.
By my reading of the rules, the engine control unit is also free, which suggests that a non-fixed firing order might be employed. I know that in the current F1 cars, it's allowed to have the engine control unit "skip" cylinders (e.g. at idle to avoid overheating the engine on the grid).
My question: is a dynamic firing order ever used in racing?
If not currently, it seems likely that somebody must at least have consider using it in the history of racing, but I can't find much to indicate one way or the other.
To be clear when I say dynamic firing order, the simplest case would be to simply skip cylinders as the old Northstar engine did to save fuel when cruising. My understanding of the rules (which may be flawed) is that variable cam timing is allowed if the original engine had it, so I'm imagining a scenario in which cam timing, injector and spark plug firing might all be controlled (as it is in some production engines) to the extreme that the firing order might be changed as the engine is running.
Even Koenigsegg, doesn't quite yet have an entirely cam-less engine (yet), but I was wondering if a more conventional cam-based engine might still be able to employ such tricks.