mikathegreat2

Alms 2009

37 posts in this topic

Getting excited about the 12 Hours of Sebring & loads of questions are in my head! Will the new Audi R15 be more powerful than the superfast yet unreliable Peugeot 908 HDi, will the new Acura ARX02-a surprise the diesel cars, will the new E92 M3 GTR beat the Risi Ferrari's, Flying Lizard Porsche's & soon Corvettes in GT2 & will there be a new team to keep Corvette Racing company in GT1 for the 1st few rounds?? Sebring starts @ 10am in the US, 3pm in Ireland, UK, Spain, Casablanca!

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Monday morning test results:

1 - #1 Audi Sport North America - Audi R15 TDI - 1:44.855

2 - #2 Audi Sport Team Joest - Audi R15 TDI - 1:45.24

3 - #08 Team Peugeot Total - Peugeot 908 HDi FAP - 1:45.437

4 - #07 Team Peugeot Total - Peugeot 908 HDi FAP - 1:46.156

5 - #66 de Ferran Motorsports - Acura ARX-02a - 1:47.903

6 - #9 Patr

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Looks like the "diesels will no longer have an advantage" thing is a myth. I think Acura lost it's advantage by going to P1, honestly. Without the diesel power, it's just not going to have it at Sebring. At least in P2, it had a weight advantage that really helped it (and the Porsche) against the P1 Audis at certain courses.

ALMS was the best pro racing last year in terms of overall awesomeness. The racing was brilliant and the technology and innovation is something that makes it unique. The problem is that other than Sebring and Petit, the grids are just going to be too weak for enjoyable racing, unless there's some Acura v Acura action, which isn't as interesting as last year's Acura v Audi v Porsche stuff.

GT2 should be exciting. I'll be interested to see how the BMWs go, even if I'm not a BMW guy in the least. But I am a Rahal guy and like their driving lineup a lot. I hope Pat Long gets back in the protos when Porsche comes back (or goes to IndyCar if Porsche goes in 2011/2012). He's a pretty cool guy, and pretty talented. I knew his brother, he was a college student who worked at an indoor karting place I used to race at a few years back. His brother actually got to test for the Porsche factory team, but recommended Pat over him, and Pat got the seat. Don't know what they're all up to, but the guy used to drive his dad's GT40 (as in the original) to work sometimes. I never got to see it; I only raced there in winter, and by the time it warmed up, the place had closed down after failing to pay rent. I'm not sure what the point of that story was, but now you know; Pat Long's brother can wheel a racecar, but didn't feel like it, and went to uni instead.

I think. The guy never specifically said Pat Long was his brother. But he said he tested with the Porsche factory team, was offered a seat, but gave it to his brother. Pat Long is the only American to be a Porsche factory driver, so I think it's safe to assume that it was his brother.

Not like it really matters.

Back to ALMS, surprised that Primetime is there. They've had their Vipers for sale in RACER Magazine for months. $1,000,000 and they'll run the team for you, you just choose key personnel (like drivers) and rebrand it under your own name and stuff.

R15 and 908 look pretty close, though. It'll be interesting. I think Audi will be hard to beat at Le Mans.

Let's go Highcroft! (They're based in CT, they brought a Lotus 79 to Speedway EXPO, a local stock car show, last place you'd expect to see one of those! It was a promo for Lime Rock park, they'll be running historic F1 on Memorial Day weekend, I can't attend, but that's the day of the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix so you know, it happens). Some shots of the 79, btw.

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Sorry, I lack skills in the photo department, and my camera ain't exactly great with the shots.

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Three things:

Panoz is trying to get an LMP1 developed. Front-engined (only in class) with an engine based on the Chevrolet C6R. Hopes to run on butanol derived from algae.

The Acura LMP1 has the widest front tires ever put on a racecar; they're the same width as the rears.

Add Audi to the list of motorsports people using Twitter, follow the Audi R15 TDI here.

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A front-engined LMP1?? Only the Americans :lol: (no offence Eric & Bruce)! BTW was'nt that previous Panoz LMP front engined??

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Yes it was. And they had some giant killing performances, even beating Audi several times. As Don panoz said "You never saw a horse pushing a cart"

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Yes it was. And they had some giant killing performances, even beating Audi several times. As Don panoz said "You never saw a horse pushing a cart"

Enzo Ferrari said the same stupudity 50 years ago, as he looks the cooper...

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Good race, the R15 is good, but does'nt do what Audi claim it does like fuel economy & tyre efficiency. Pity the Acura ARX-02a's had reliability issues, same for the new M3 GTR's. Well done to Advanced/PeCom Engineering for finishing 2nd in its 1st race & well done to Panoz for getting on the podium & managing to fight with the #45 Flying Lizard Porsche towards the end which the crash between them was the #45s fault!

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Congrats to Audi on their win with the new car. Although i can't wait till LMS kicks off. It's a much stronger series imo.

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Only 15 cars for the next race @ St. Petersburg, 3 LMP1's, 3 LMP2's, 0 GT1's & the rest GT2's which means for the 1st time..ever, there'll be less cars on an ALMS race grid than on an F1's!

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St.Petersburg qualifying, race is on @ 1:20, 6:20 GMT. Will try & use the speedtv.com onboard pass I spotted when watching Sebring which is Acura. Not sure if you need to register but if you do, you have to pay $2.99. Anywhay, quali results:

http://americanlemans.com/events/current/r...0Qualifying.pdf

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Well, ALMS 2009 hasn't been much a talking point after the epic brilliance of the 2008 campaign. Fear not, though, amidst talk of collapse, amidst talk of real racers and teams neutering themselves and taking place in a massive dump into the IRL, hope has come.

ALMS 2010 will be the rebirth of genuine professional North American autosport.

It's nearly certain Audi will field an R15 or two full-time next season.

Additionally, there's a Porsche sitting on shaker rigs in Europe, waiting to be fielded stateside by Roger Penske and his faithful sidekick (who will be the majority owner of Team Penske from 2010 on) Tim Cindric. That's probable.

De Ferran's team will go off to bore themselves to death with the engineering challenges of a spec car and the driving feat of holding your foot down running single file all alone on a speedway in the IndyCar Series. However, Acura won't be pulling support if Audi and Penske Porsche are around, as they should be, so they'll find a replacement, or at least have Highcroft (I don't see them wasting their time in the IRL) and possibly Fernandez (I could see them in IndyCar because they were before, but I don't know, that'd mean Fernandez has to hang up the helmet as a racer, and I don't think he wants to).

Nissan wants a works GT2 in ALMS next year.

Even once an agreement is reached in Grand Prix, Toyota and Renault are likely to leave, with the former headed to sports cars. I'm not sure if they're interested in North America because of their NASCAR investment, but if a Toyota LMP1 came across the pond, it'd be icing on the cake.

So, in short, ALMS will rattle again.

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I heard Porsche will be making an LMP1 to compete in ALMS :D

Yep. It's already been built and is undergoing preliminary off-track testing in Germany. I wasn't sure if it was coming to the US but I'll be very glad if it does. Hopefully under the Penske banner. I just wish it'd come NOW so the rest of the season won't be so dull.

LMP2 has gotten better for 2009, though. Cytosport has returned with a Porsche RS Spyder. Sascha Maassen will be one of the drivers, so they may well be competitive. The Dysona Lola/Mazda package has looked better; I'm hoping to see the Mazda Racing Ladder lead to a young driver from Atlantics get a seat there next year to add a missing element to that program: a star driver. Current series leader Simona de Silvestro, who has won two of the first four races and is now tied with Katherine Legge for the winningest female in Atlantics (for the record, Danica didn't win a single race in that series), would be a very welcome addition to the series, and it'd be cool if she stayed within the Mazda camp.

I do miss my Boston team Black Swan very much, though. Even if they weren't very fast.

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After the 1st few rounds, heres my winning predictions

LMP1: Highcroft Racing Acura, will have to fight with de Ferran though

LMP2: Lowe's Fernandez Acura, surprised the Dyson Lola Mazda's have'nt won as their 2L turbo engines have plenty more torque than the 3.4L N/A V8's

GT1: Vette have left so.....

GT2: Flying Lizards Porsche, weird how they do good in ALMS but don't seem to do as well as the Risi Ferrari's. Too late for Corvette to win GT2.

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Robin Miller's reporting it so you know that it isn't 100% true (but there's probably some sort of something that's accurate in there), but...according to one of the Grand-Am team principles, NASCAR (who own Grand-Am) are trying to buy ALMS. The goal for them is to take the remaining premier North American sports car races (Sebring, Petit, etc) and add them to the Grand-Am schedule and just eliminate the ALMS teams altogether. I'd be rip-roaring p**sed if they did that; ALMS is the premier championship in North America, 24 Hours of Daytona or not, and while Grand-Am puts on a good show most of the time, the Daytona Prototype is a bit slower than an ALMS GT1 car. However, Dr. Don Panoz is selling Elan Motorsports Technologies, and it looks like he just wants a quick way out of ALMS now. It'd thoroughly suck in every sense of the word to see a Sebring with two boring classes (DP And Grand-Am GT) when the likes of Audi, Porsche, and Acura could be battling it out at next year's event.

Fortunately, Robin Miller's never 100% correct, so I wouldn't get too worried about it. I'd hate to see anything of the sort happen, though, because ALMS WILL rebound in 2010, just look at the projected full-time grid:

LMP1

Audi Sport North America (1-2 cars)

Penske Porsche (1-2)

Highcroft Acura (1)

Intersport Lola (1)

Autocon Lola (1)

LMP2

Dyson Mazda (2)

Fernandez Acura (1)

Cytosport Porsche (1)

Van der Steur Radical (1)

GT2

Corvette (1-2)

Risi Ferrari (1)

Flying Lizard Porsche (2)

Farnbacher Loles Porsche (1)

Krohn Ferrari (1)

Rahal BMW (1-2)

Elan Panoz (1)

Robertson Doran GT40 (1)

VICI Racing (1)

Falken Tire (1)

That's a mighty fine grid to me...no reason to sell (well, I'm not sure if ALMS is profitable since it's only shown on a time-buy, but they do get good attendance).

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Well now it looks like no LMP1 Porsche; Penske is rumored to be looking at running an Audi (one report says R10, one says R15). Fernandez and De Ferran are out to the stupid IRL that's going to fold after 2010. Highcroft might go with them.

Not good. Auto racing died in North America a while ago and this is its last hope; if ALMS goes under like some say, I've really got nothing to watch or attend in person. Which isn't exactly horrible because it's just a sport but not ideal.

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Well now it looks like no LMP1 Porsche; Penske is rumored to be looking at running an Audi (one report says R10, one says R15). Fernandez and De Ferran are out to the stupid IRL that's going to fold after 2010. Highcroft might go with them.

Not good. Auto racing died in North America a while ago and this is its last hope; if ALMS goes under like some say, I've really got nothing to watch or attend in person. Which isn't exactly horrible because it's just a sport but not ideal.

I'd presume if they ran any Audi it would be the R10. Basically because Audi wouldn't want to be shown up by a customer team. Pretty much the same with how Kolles works in LMS with the R10s.

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I'd presume if they ran any Audi it would be the R10. Basically because Audi wouldn't want to be shown up by a customer team. Pretty much the same with how Kolles works in LMS with the R10s.

Yeah, though the one rumor suggested Penske will take over the R15 for Champion Racing to enable it to run full-time. I'd prefer if Champion kept fielding the R15 and Penske fielded an R10 just for the sake of numbers, but we'll see; there may not even be an ALMS to field anything in next year according to some.

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Because of the supposed NASCAR buy out of it?

Yes and no. The NASCAR buyout is a result of the ALMS dying. Dr. Don Panoz is losing money like hell, hence he's selling Elan Motorsports Technologies (they make the racecars, Danny Panoz, the owner of Panoz road cars, lets his father Don brand Elan cars as Panoz), and the ALMS is contributing to those losses (few major sponsors, they pay for their TV time instead of getting paid for it, iffy attendance numbers). Dr. Don is looking for an easy out, and NASCAR loves buying and killing. They see it as a way to get Grand-Am on the map with Sebring and Petit (my a##...Grand-Am's actually very fun to watch but they'll never be on the map without Le Mans and with really slow speeds and second-rate drivers and such ugly cars etc etc), and hopefully add a few teams from ALMS to their roster.

I hope it doesn't happen, but if it does, what are you going to do? I just hope if it DOES get sold that some of the races Grand-Am doesn't take and some of the teams go to the LMS. Since they've added the Asian swing, maybe LMS could do a US swing for one or two races from whatever's left (Road America, Laguna Seca, Mosport, Mid-Ohio, Lime Rock, Long Beach, any of those) and some of the teams like Dyson and Penske and Rahal Letterman BMW and Corvette could join them.

If there isn't an ALMS.

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Yeah, well LMS apparently wants to expand to the Sportscar world series in a few year time and obviously more US teams would enter then, but still, is that the wisest decision with the economic climate?

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Yeah, well LMS apparently wants to expand to the Sportscar world series in a few year time and obviously more US teams would enter then, but still, is that the wisest decision with the economic climate?

Yeah, why not? It expands their brand. Look at it: transporting equipment to the US from Europe or vice versa isn't that expensive; Team US F1 said so, and they probably have the budget of a sports car team, or less, or whatever. Make them non-championship races so teams can opt out of travelling if they don't want to, and the US teams can fill their positions.

But what it does is this: the US and Canadian fans will only have two events to go to, so they'll be out in force (crowd size for an ALMS event is usually very high all things considered), and the European races may be put on SPEEDTV to fill the gap left by ALMS being gone, which allows the couple hundred thousand US viewers (studies show the average US viewer of ALMS makes $100,000 per year, so it's a nice crowd to be involved with in terms of making money), etc, etc. There's a big enough faction of US viewers who don't want to watch Grand-Am but love ALMS and would love to see LMS to make a short trip to North America profitable.

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Other than Sebring and LeMans it has been a lackluster season for American fans of sports car/sports prototype racing. The effects of a major economic downturn can't be underestimated but how much of this began with devisive words and actions in the past has to play a part as well. Just as the split in American open wheel racing in the early 1990's spelled trouble, the creation of the Grand Am series when the ALMS was starting to build a foundation could only end in tears. Too many series/too many races chasing too few broadcast dollars and too few diehard fans. Compound this with the money & credit meltdown that began in earnest in 2008 and you have the current status of employing all creative means for survival. Time will tell who and what will be left standing for 2010.

Edited by Persevere

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