Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

615 posts in this topic

Full gallery here - seems there was a decent crowd, which is good to see. If it brings more fans through the gates this weekend, it'll be worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMSA have decided to uphold the ALMS GT results from Road America. There will be no penalties.

The right call, in my opinion. I didn't see anything dirty or out of line.

Looking forward to watching the WEC race. I'm pretty impartial outside of LMP2, so I hope the racing's as close as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems off-topic, but it's actually incredibly relevant.

Dyson Racing have submitted a proposal to be a chassis and engine supplier (their current ALMS engine) for Indy Lights in 2014. But Eric, that's not sports car racing!

Well, here's where it matters: they are basing it off of Lola's past proposal and using Lola's employees. They are calling the project Hulman rather than Lola, but it looks like they really just picked up the pieces of Lola's 2012 plans and put them into action.

Reminder that there were rumors Dyson were going to buy Lola outright. Could this have future implications on sports car racing?

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-dyson-led-group-submits-2014-indy-lights-proposal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Must have been a tough choice for AF Corse between fielding the idiot who tried to kill Rockenfeller or the idiot who tried to kill Davidson, so they fielded one idiot in the other idiot's car. ;)

Obviously I'm pulling for Starworks to win LMP2. Peter Baron's been so open with "insider" stuff going on with his team, and is a real competitor, so being supportive is the least I can do. They're a small team, too, and I have to say I liked Potolicchio having the balls to leave Grand-Am after the officiating was so poor. I know some can say he was a sore loser, but to me, a sore loser whines about officiating and doesn't back it up in his or her actions. Enzo did.

And then you have Dalziel, who had the quote of the year at Mid-Ohio on his radio chatter. He was leading in LMPC but was going to need to make a pit stop. His engineer told him "we'll still get second." Dalziel screams back in his Scottish accent "I DON'T WANT TO BE SECOND." :lol:

So there's my fanboy garbage for the week. Just had to get that out of the way. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Must have been a tough choice for AF Corse between fielding the idiot who tried to kill Rockenfeller or the idiot who tried to kill Davidson, so they fielded one idiot in the other idiot's car. wink.png

:D

Interesting weather forecast this weekend (just for Eric, because I know he loves it whenever I talk about weasther ;)) - showers for Sunday. That'd make a 6 hour race very interesting, especially if rain keeps coming and going as the race goes on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, a bit of sad news - Pescarolo Sport has reportedly filled for insolvency. Seems like that's the end of it.

pesca-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a non-factory team in LMP1 ain't easy. I think that's why the 2014 regulations were designed with two goals:

1. Entice manufacturers to build works prototypes.

2. Entice manufacturers to sell those prototypes to customers.

The cost-capped LMP2 with required pro-am drivers (who almost always bring funding) makes a lot more sense for small privateers. Plus you stand a better chance of contending for a class victory.

I realize Pescarolo built chassis, too, but if there's no one to sell them to, there's not much point to building them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with what you're saying. I think overall, the ACO has done a lot of good for the sport in the last few years, but I think they could have done more to prevent something like this happening.

Pre-diesel era Pescarolo was almost always Audi's closest challenger at Le Mans. They never won it, but always seemed to finish on the podium, and were capable of challenging Audi over 24 hours. Audi came in with a diesel, and then Peugeot came in with a diesel, and that was it - they couldn't even get close to the podium, particularly when Audi and Peugeot were running three cars each. Last year or the year before, I can't recall, Henri called upon the ACO to make the diesel and petrol cars performance more equal, and his words were to the effect of "it's hard to sign sponsors up when they see you are five seconds a lap off the pace, even when you run your best race ever." It's true, and despite the changes the ACO made even up to this year, the gap between privateers and manufacturers is still too large.

Maybe manufacturers are always going to win, whatever the rules, based on the budget and knowledge they have over privateers? I don't know, but it'd be nice for privateers to at least have a chance of winning. Look at Rebellion and Audi this year - okay Audi are incredible at Le Mans, but even so, they had more problems with their cars this year than in any other recent race, Rebellion had a clean race and still missed out on the podium.

I get the argument that LMP1 is supposed to be for the manufacturers - but you can hardly turn privateers away from LMP1 if that's really what they want to do. LMP1 still gets the most coverage at a race like Le Mans, so it is natural privateers will want some of that exposure. Besides, if LMP1 was only for manufacturers, we'd have had what...only six cars in LMP1 at Le Mans this year from only two different teams.

I'm not entirely sure what the solution is to be honest, I hope as you mentioned that come 2014 manufacturers will start selling cars to privateers, but somehow I can't see that happening till 2015 or 2016. Put it this way: I'm not sure the manufacturers would take kindly to being beaten by a privateer, customer stage, particularly at a race like Le Mans especially when they've spent millions of pounds/dollars/euros building and developing it in the first place.

But who knows? Maybe Audi and Toyota will screw up this weekend, we'll get mixed weather conditions, and someone like Rebellion/Strakka/JRM will end up winning. Nevertheless, I still think we're on for a great race between Audi and Toyota - I'd be massively surprised if Toyota couldn't take the fight to Audi this weekend - Silverstone should suit their car better than Le Mans did, and remember that Toyota were competitive for the first six hours at Le Mans and actually led on merit before things went horribly wrong. So we'll see.

Wow, that was a long post. tongue.png

Edited by JHS18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, I can see it both ways, but I think this way is right.

ALMS did a good job of equalizing diesels and petrol cars. The racing was great...

...and then everyone left because they were tired of getting beaten by X (i.e. Audi tired of being beaten by P2 cars on smaller tracks, P2 cars tired of being beaten by Audi on larger tracks, etc). By letting everyone contend for a win, they also ensured everyone suffered embarrassing losses.

The thing is, someone has to win and someone has to lose, and I'd rather the guys winning be the ones who brought the best thing than be the ones who got the most Balance of Performance thrown at them. If Audi found a way to make diesel that much more advantageous to run than the others, they should be allowed to have the advantage. The excitement is in the test of the innovation, not in the equalization of cars, at least in this particular form of racing. Every discipline should be different and I think that's the selling point here. You're watching testing and development and innovation, and that doesn't happen if everyone's going to be equal in the end. If you want to compete with Audi and Toyota, innovate something that will allow you to. Toyota isn't a diesel car and they kept Audi honest over the first part of the 24 Hour race. I know Pescarolo or Rebellion or any of those teams don't have the budget Toyota Racing has, but the point is, if you don't want to lose to the diesels, find a way to make your own car better rather than asking the ACO to make it better for you. I don't mean to be harsh, but if taking the failure of an AMR-One and making it your own on a shoe-string budget was the best you had to take the fight to Audi/Toyota, that's not the ACO's fault.

It's disappointing to lose teams, always is, and it's disappointing if the racing isn't always close. You need a balance. But to me, sports car racing's about finding solutions, and I don't think complaining to the ACO is a good one. If diesel's that much better, either 1) adopt diesel, 2) find a way to make your petrol car faster, or 3) find an alternative to diesel and petrol that can give you an advantage. We all like the underdogs, but high school football teams aren't in the NFL. If you can't innovate as well as, or develop things as quickly, or do things as efficiently, or make your own equipment as easily, as a big team, that's just reality. Some can, some can't, some try, some succeed, some fail.

It's complex, obviously. You can't just go fully in the direction of manufacturers or fully in the direction of independents because you need both. Sometimes, the manufacturers refuse to play, so then who do you have? Look at ALMS after Audi, Porsche, and Acura disappeared. You had to rely on independents. Other times, the independents just don't show up, so then who do you have? Look at ALMS' GT1 the last few years. You had to rely on Corvette and Aston Martin to keep that class alive because there were no independents anymore. So you need both to be healthy and like anything else in the world of policy, it's balancing tons of conflicting interests in a way that pleases everyone, rather than p**ses everyone off.

Protecting teams that can't survive on their own and protecting technologies rendered obsolete by better ones may be a nice way to do the old guard a solid, but at the end of the day, it just hurts progress and gets in the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On that note, here's an article on the cost of sports car racing: http://blog.roadandtrack.com/what-does-it-cost-to-go-sports-car-racing/

Breakdown...

Cost to purchase:

HPD ARX-03a LMP1 ($2,500,000 or £1,576,460)

Lola B12/60 Mazda LMP1 ($1,100,000 or £693,620)

Ford/Riley Daytona Prototype ($1,075,000 or £677,870)

Cost to run:

HPD ARX-03a in WEC ($7,500,000 or £4,728,939)

HPD ARX-03a in ALMS ($4,500,000 or £2,837,437)

Lola B12/60 Mazda in ALMS ($3,500,000 or £2,206,910)

Ford/Riley in Grand-Am ($2,900,000 or £1,828,583)

So you want to run LMP1 in WEC? Your first year, it's about $10,000,000 (£6,305,632...I realize this isn't the total of the two conversions but I'm converting in real-time, so I just converted $10,000,000 separately rather than adding).

Also surprised at the cost of a Grand-Am car, given the whole series was about cost-cutting. If it weren't for NASCAR subsidizing the teams, I'd expect they'd all be doing ALMS LMP2, which is now less expensive. The Grand-Am calendar is longer than ALMS, so there's that to factor in, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two more things:

1. Most of the ex-Lola employees, including upper management, are now with Multimatic (Canadian company very involved in motor racing). Multimatic are providing official support to the Lola teams in WEC and ALMS. That's positive news, coming from John Dagys on Twitter.

2. Lucas di Grassi will drive for Audi in the WEC São Paulo round, joining McNish and Kristensen. I'm sure the home race connection has something to do with it, but looks like we have another candidate to replace Capello and anyone else (i.e. Dumas, Bernhard, or Duval, if the latter-most goes to Toyota). I'm already starting my Kobayashi to Toyota rumors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Live timing for practice sessions is available on the WEC site now - currently very close between the #1 Audi, #7 Toyota and #2 Audi - 0.361 cover them. JRM the next fastest car, 0.714 back.

Early stages, but hopefully a good sign of things to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No changes at the top by the end of the first session - the Toyota appears to be right amongst the Audis at this early stage.

Funny thing is, both teams are saying they don't know how fast the other one is capable of going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome. I'm glad it's so close. It sort of backs up my point that if you want to compete with the diesels, build a better car. tongue.png

But seriously, it sounds like it could be a really interesting race. I hope the Toyota can go problem-free over six hours. That's going to be the key. If they can get a win in year one, that would be huge, though I'm not sure how many races they're actually running for the rest of the year. It would make a huge statement, and it makes me excited for next year's Le Mans knowing there could be a straight-up fight to send this generation of LMP1 off.

Quick ALMS notes:

1. The calendar is staying at 10 races, but is getting 1-2 new dates, meaning 1-2 current tracks are gone. With rumors that IndyCar is going to do double-headers at all road and street races next year, that would eliminate ALMS Saturday races, which currently happen at three venues. They will be racing at Circuit of the Americas in Texas in May. Likely an endurance event (4-6 hours).

2. A lot of ALMS races are currently 2 hours and 45 minutes long for TV purposes. However, ESPN2 won't show more than 2 hours, so have a 2:45 race still cuts out more than an hour of racing. Therefore, times are going to be reviewed in the off-season. It's unclear if they're going to shorten races to fit them in the timeslot (like Long Beach does), or if they're going to say "well, if they're cutting stuff out anyway, let's just run endurance races" and make them longer.

Anyway, back to actual racing actually happening in the much nearer future...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the #7 will be entered into all the remaining WEC races actually. There was talk they'd perhaps enter two cars again for the Japanese round, but according to this week's Autosport, it is more likely that they'll just run with the single car entry for the remainder of the year.

Second practice begins in twenty minutes at 4pm local time - www.radiolemans.com has live commentary for the entire weekend as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Interesting. Audi #2 fastest, #1 second, #21 Strakka third, #7 Toyota fourth.

Wonder what is going on there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Toyota's pace from this morning (when they were faster) suggests they may have been concentrating on set-up rather than out right pace this afternoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Qualifying for WEC is live on a damp track. Should favour the E-Tron.

Live timing as well as streaming available here: http://live.fiawec.com/

As usual, www.radiolemans.com has the commentary.

I'll be reporting on BTCC qualifying, but I'll try and keep an eye on the times.

Edited by JHS18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A close qualifying session as the track dried up. Nevertheless, I was right with my prediction. Treluyer puts the E-Tron on pole by just 0.010 over team mate McNish in the Ultra. Toyota starts third, 0.7 back from the best time of Treluyer.

Still, a long race tomorrow, and confident for an exciting race, particularly if this typical bank holiday weather keeps up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Additionally - two other stories to come out of today.

ACO is to organise the European Le Mans Series for next year...not sure what the full deal is as I've used up my 50 free articles on AUTOSPORT for this month. First world problems. :(

Also, coming from John Dagys on Twitter concerning next year's WEC calendar.

Word in the paddock is that Brazil could kick off next year's schedule, which may see as many as 10 rounds, with the possible inclusions of Russia’s Moscow Raceway and Buddh International Circuit in India.

Lastly, something I forgot to post yesterday. After weeks of speculation about whether it'd go ahead or not, the WEC has reconfirmed that the Chinese round of the championship in Shangai WILL go ahead. The only slight change is that they'll be racing on Sunday 28th October, having originally planned for the race to take place on the 27th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0