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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

615 posts in this topic

#2 Audi starts second, #1 third.

Rebellion best of the privateers once again in fourth and sixth. Strakka splits them with fifth.

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I plan on missing both, as well, given that I'm getting older, and the older you get, the less time there is for auto racing. Which sucks because for all I know this is the penultimate ALMS race ever in the history of the entire world.

EDIT: Your posts came in after I submitted mine. Good for Toyota. I can't wait for Le Mans...

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Contrary to the news I read earlier, the '13 calendar will now NOT be released today.

Haha, what do you mean? I still waste enjoy plenty of time watching racing! :P

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Found a few minutes for WEC.

Toyota leading by one lap. This is huge.

Since 2000, I believe Audi's cars have contested 145 races and have won 107. Could Toyota issue Audi their 39th ever loss?

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Toyota won.

Factory Audis (either Audi Sport Team Joest, Audi Sport North America, and Audi Sport UK Veloqx) since 1999?

82 LMP1 class wins from 113 races.

Toyota joins the following teams as teams that have beaten Audi in LMP1:

BMW Motorsport

Champion Racing (fielding an Audi R8, however)

Intersport Racing

Oreca

Panoz Motor Sports

Team Peugeot

In short, this was factory Audi's thirty-first loss to just the seventh team that has ever beaten them.

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Great to hear of Toyota's success, and glad to be proven wrong too.

Huge result for the sport. It shows that Audi isn't going to have it all their own way from this moment on.

Although as Peugeot would say, winning these races is the easy bit. Peugeot dominated ILMC in their last year, and in fact, more often than not when Audi and Peugeot raced each other, Peugeot won. However, that's not counting the one that really matters, Le Mans, which they only won once, despite having the much faster car over a short distance.

Looks good for Le Mans next year though. Three cars from both Audi and Toyota could result in one heck of a race. Can't wait for Porsche either...

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Very exciting news for Petit Le Mans...the Nissan DeltaWing returns! Gunnar Jeannette and Lucas Ordoñez will drive. The car will be fielded by Highcroft and All-American Racers again, and funded by Don Panoz.

If they last all 1,000 miles, they could do really well. I believe there are 9 LMP2 entries and 4 LMP1 entries, so if they can beat any of those 13 cars, that's very impressive. I can't wait to see how round two goes for the DeltaWing.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/alms-nissan-deltawing-returns-for-petit-le-mans/

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Here is an interesting video from David Heinemeier-Hansson. He is using it to vent frustration toward Michael Marsal, a very inexperienced and completely untalented driver who is somehow in LMP1.

However, the interesting part, I think, is watching the differences of the P1 and P2 from an on-board you don't see often. Look how the Morgan LMP2 absolutely gains on the Dyson through tighter parts of this great circuit, but cannot keep up at all on the straights. I thought it was a great view of differentiation at work.

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Audi will use two E-Trons for the rest of the WEC instead of one E-Tron and one Ultra they've been using up to now.

Perhaps a reaction to being beaten by Toyota and needing to do something?

Also, the rest of the WEC should be interesting. Bahrain should suit Toyota, whereas Fuji should favour Audi.

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On Glickenhaus...

You may have seen that James Glickenhaus wants to build an LMP1 for 2014 based loosely on his one-of-a-kind Ferrari, the P4/5. Make no mistake, Ferrari will have no involvement in this project. Glickenhaus has spoken with McLaren and Pagani about it, however.

There's some concept art out there, and I find it very interesting. I'd love to know just how much reality played into this, and how much is pure fantasy. If the 2014 LMP1 regulations are producing cars similar to this, I'm happy. It has that sheer sleekness of a Group C or 90s prototype combined with the modernity of a present-day P1. This particular example has a bit of the Maserati MC12 GT1 (that wasn't a real homologated GT1, of course) in it, too. I like the styling so if it does have some reality in it, cool.

Ambitious project, but one I'm interested in. LMP1s are just awesome and the more we can have, the better. Check out the renders and details at the link. I think Mika Salo, Nicola Larini, and Fabrizio Giovanardi drove the P4/5, so they have some good drivers in their corner, too.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120919/CARNEWS/120919819

On GT cars...

So we know that in 2014, GTE will see two new cars: the Porsche 991 GT3 RSR (the delightful new 911) and the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R (the potentially outstanding new Corvette).

Let's add more fun, though. Williams and RML are competing to develop the Jaguar F-Type into a GT3 car, and that GT3 car could eventually be the basis of a future GTE.

Honda Performance Development (HPD) are working on making the 2014 Acura NSX into a race car. HPD, believe it or not, is an American company, not a Japanese one, and is vaguely independent from Honda (but closer to North American Honda). So there's a lot of talk it could be something for the new Grand-Am/ALMS series. Still, some say it will be a GTE, others a GT3, so we don't know.

Does four new GT cars in 2014 sound exciting? Well, you look to 2015 and you get a new Aston Martin of some sort, but you also get something else that looks like an Aston Martin: the 2015 Ford Mustang (that's an unofficial render, not something from Ford, but it will follow the current design language of the Aston-esque front and is based loosely on the Ford EVOS concept). Ford have made it clear: they want to make the Mustang a proper GT car. Like the F-Type, I believe they plan on going GT3 and modeling a GTE around the GT3. Ford are also looking to the U.S. series to try to incorporate the GT3 version there before taking on Chevrolet's Corvette and Chrysler's SRT Viper with the big guys.

I love GT racing so this is all very cool. I think the 911, F-Type, and Corvette have potential to be really nice cars styling-wise and I know both Porsche and Corvette will do a hell of a job bringing a competitive package. I'm a big Honda/HPD guy so while the NSX's styling is a bit much for me, I'm interested in all of HPD's projects.

On ALMS...

Aston Martin wanted to do the ALMS next year, but Radio Le Mans says that as soon as the merger was announced, they pulled out. Even though the ALMS GT class will remain, I think the general instability and worries do cause some concerns. A lot of current ALMS teams still have no idea what they're doing next year, even though the 2013 ALMS is confirmed. We're all hoping for some kind of announcements at Petit.

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It sounds more and more like Pickett Racing will join the WEC in 2014, as Greg Pickett has a desire to stay in LMP1.

At present, Muscle Milk is sold in North America and five European countries. However, CytoSport (the company behind it, which Pickett owns) continues to grow internationally and Pickett's had nothing but nice things to say about the WEC, while he's seemed really frustrated by the ALMS/Grand-Am stuff, lashing out against both DPs and "dumbed-down" LMPs.

So here's a theory...the extra money comes from HPD. As I said in the above post, HPD is an American company that's vaguely independent from Honda. It's my understanding that HPD and Wirth will make a 2014 LMP1, but that Honda isn't going to support a factory team, and HPD itself doesn't have the resources for that. Could HPD make Muscle Milk a works team?

Now, Pickett really wants a Porsche LMP1 in 2014, and the guy is absolutely loaded financially so it's not like he couldn't be the factory Porsche team (don't you think it's kind of curious that Romain Dumas is their third driver at Petit Le Mans?). But I don't know what Porsche plans to do. Will there be a true factory team? Will there be customers in the first year? I don't know. I think Pickett intended to run a Porsche LMP1 in the ALMS while another team ran the WEC operation, but obviously that can't happen.

So there are some options. If the WEC can promise me that they will get better at producing races and show the LMP2 and GT battles, I am more than happy to send Pickett to LMP1 and all of the ALMS GT teams that can afford it. Obviously, I'd love for Conquest and Dempsey to join LMP2 but the budget isn't there for Conquest and Dempsey was a big part of the merge announcement so I kind of figure he'll be part of the North American series. However, if the WEC TV director continues to only show Toyotas and Audis all race, I can only take so much frustration of Hindhaugh telling me about all these exciting battles, or seeing them on live timing, and never getting the corresponding pictures. :P

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By the way, my count has around 42 cars for Petit Le Mans. 35 from ALMS over five classes, 6 from ELMS over two classes, and 1 DeltaWing. There could be a few extra GTC cars or LMPC cars that I'm not sure about yet.

Kind of sad that a 1,000 mile race will be shown in a two hour infomercial package where:

40 minutes are advertisement breaks

20 minutes are devoted to explaining the ALMS rules/pre-race and showing pre-recorded features from Michelin, Corvette, Porsche, etc.

20 minutes are devoted to showing on-track racing

20 minutes are devoted to showing pit stops

10 minutes are devoted to showing safety car periods

10 minutes are devoted to interviewing Lucas Luhr, Patrick Long, and the class winners

Being an ALMS fan is so frustrating. The only reliable way to watch the races live and in full is to own an Xbox 360 and pay for an ESPN360 app. Do you know how messed up a series has to be when the best way to watch the races is on a video game console? I'm sad the ALMS is dying but I'm not surprised. It's just silly that it's easier for me to legally watch the WEC, Blancpain Endurance, FIA GT, World Series by Renault, and BTCC in the United States than it is to watch a domestic series and two of the biggest American sports car races, Sebring and Petit.

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Thanks for the continued updates in this thread as ever Eric.

Today Bentley announced their sports car, or rather GT, racing return with this. A GT3 version of the Continental GT.

http://www.bentleymedia.com/data/images/69203bm_2.jpg

Will race in Blancpain and quite possibly British GT next year. Shame then that the Continental in my opinion is one of the ugliest cars around, and that so many footballers own Bentleys these days to make their once great brand rather tarnished. :P

Possibly GTE in the future? It isn't clear.

On car I do look forward to seeing race though is the new Jaguar F Type that you've mentioned already. The road version has been officially unveiled at the Paris Motor show. Now that IS a good looking car.

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Was Bentley the news Radio Le Mans was going to break today? Just wanted to make sure I'm not missing any other story.

The ACO's going to be pressured into adopting GT3. Too much variety and future interest from Jaguar, Bentley, HPD, and Ford right now. I don't see how they can avoid it, other than the fact that certain GT3s are actually faster than GTEs. Still, I like Tim Pappas' (Black Swan Racing) idea: incorporate a pro-am GT3 class behind GTE as a replacement to GTE-Am. Same amateur format, just different cars. I think it'd be a good trade-off: yeah, it's a class for amateurs still, but at least the cars in it are totally different and exciting, and the amateur format does provide funding for some top drivers to be the pro guys in those cars (i.e. Lamy).

Alternatively, they need to make it very easy to upgrade a GT3 to a GTE.

Status GP have withdrawn their LMP2 from Petit Le Mans. Seven cars will be running for ELMS points with the four LMP2s from Greaves, Murphy, OAK, and Thiriet/TDS and the three LMGTE-Am entries from IMSA Performance, AF Corse, and Extreme Speed Motorsports (the #02).

Wait, ESM? But they're an ALMS team...

...an ALMS team that wants to go to Le Mans. Right now IMSA Performance leads with 43, while AF Corse has 34. This race will award a maximum of 51 points; 50 for winning and 1 for pole.

It's a huge long-shot, of course. The only way ESM can win the ELMS class championship is to win the race while the other two cars both retire (or fail to complete 70% of the class leaders' distance). If either IMSA performance or AF Corse score points (as there are only three cars, the minimum one could score is 30), ESM is mathematically eliminated.

I'd laugh really, really, really hard if ESM won and got the invite, though, because that's just such a hilarious move to try to steal it from the teams who were there for the whole year. And because I like that team a lot. :P

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Yes, it was.

The problem I see with GT3 and GTE is that they're too close in performance, such that they're doing damage to each other.

For a start, GT3 cars are if anything very similar in price and running costs as a GTE. And GTE cars are hardly any quicker. If ACO did suddenly start accepting GT3 cars at Le Mans, I can't see GTE lasting much longer.

Agree on the diversity though - it is fantastic. I've started to become quite interested in British GT this year over BTCC. It is an amazing recovery - only a couple of years ago it was struggling to get ten car grids. Now it is one of the strongest GT championships in Europe, and the Pro-Am line-up works really well. So along with the gentlemen drivers who bring the funding, there's also guys like Jonathan Adam, Nick Tandy, Richard Westbrook, Alvaro Parente and more racing. But on the grid in terms of cars this year are:

Aston Martin Vantage V12

Ginetta G55

Ferrari 430 Scuderia

Ferrari 458

Chevron G8

Nissan GTR

BMW Z4

Mercedes SLS

Porsche 997

Audi R8

McLaren MP4-12c

Along with the cars you mention - GT3 does look incredibly strong going into the next few years.

Also, on an unrelated note, it is worth mentioning that the six hours of Bahrain is this weekend. Live timing, streaming and commentary will be available on all the usual links, which I'll post again nearer the weekend.

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I think I just read that 2013 will be a development year for a McLaren MP4-12C GTE.

I'm hoping to watch some of the Bahrain race. Saturday shouldn't be horribly busy for me. The Toyota was nearly a second up on the fastest Audi in first practice. It looks like the team have something really figured out aerodynamically at the rear of their car.

That said, Rob Kauffman and Brian Vickers are back this weekend, so there goes at least one of the LMP1s. :rolleyes:

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Rebellion cracked the tub on the #13. Jeopardizing Petit Le Mans plans.

Audi took the top two spots in qualifying, with Toyota four tenths off pole in third despite being super fast in practice. Interesting. Starworks got the LMP2 pole, so I'm happy there, while Ferrari struggled in LMGTE-Pro leaving the Aston Martin on class pole. In LMGTE-Am, the AF-Waltrip car got a surprising (to me, at least) pole.

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Also, the provisional 2013 WEC calendar:

http://www.lemans.or...ndar-_8884.html

Silverstone (April 14)

Spa (May 4)

Le Mans (June 22-23)

São Paulo (August 24)

Austin (September 22)

Fuji (October 20)

Shanghai (November 10)

Bahrain (November 30)

All six our races outside of Le Mans. Austin and Shanghai subject to confirmation.

SPEED says Silverstone will be a shared weekend with the ELMS (not a shared race; two separate races) and Austin will be a shared weekend with the ALMS (again, two separate races).

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/le-mans-2013-wec-schedule-released/

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Kind of surprised to see Lotus leading LMP2. Pierre Kaffer just put PeCom in third over Starworks, and the director showed it! :thbup:

Rui Águas is getting incredible fuel mileage in the AF-Waltrip LMGTE-Am car. He hasn't pitted so he's ahead of all the Pro cars right now. Weird.

Toyota leading overall.

ADR-Delta having a front suspension rebuild. I guess that explains Lotus in first.

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Aston just took the lead from AF Corse's Ferrari on the front stretch. Vilander tried to fight back on the outside in turn one but has yielded to the faster Aston Martin. Cool stuff!

Got FIA GT1 on in another tab. Good day if you like sports cars.

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Jacques Nicolet (OAK) closing in on Enzo Potolicchio (Starworks) for second in LMP2.

Toyota's 30 second lead is growing. Fastest race lap from Lapierre.

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Fourth through sixth in the GT1 race is incredible. The Z4 fighting the two Mercedes big-time.

The #1 McLaren MP4-12C gets the lead from an Audi R8 in the pits with 26 minutes to go at Donington.

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Q83Og.png

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Peter Kox was driving the hell out of the Lamborghini to trying to pass the Audi. They made contact twice in two separate tries. Safety car came out before Kox could get ahead.

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