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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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Seems the last race of this year's GT1 Championship, and quite possibly the last race ever, descended into a farce.

The race was stopped after one lap following this crash:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KhsSlF9X5A

Both drivers okay, but extensive repairs were needed to the tyre barrier.

Still, the race restarted, but not long later, the title contending Mercedes SLS driven by Marcus Winkelhock and BMW Z4 driven by Yelmer Buurman made contact at pretty much the exact same place. Buurman made HARD rear contact with the barrier, and appeared to be knocked out.

Thankfully, both drivers escaped injuries, but unsurprisingly perhaps, Buurman's dad was not happy. He apparently attacked Winkelhock in the medical centre.

A sad way for this championship to bow out if that is what indeed happens.

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Petit's entry list is out. 43 cars. Note that the ELMS LMP2s are classified separately, so the entry list listing them together is kind of silly.

http://www.alms.com/sites/default/files/races/entry_lists/Petit%20Le%20Mans%20Entry_0.pdf

Hoping for a good end to the season...by good I mean one where live streaming works and the TV highlights actually show something... :P

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Lola Cars couldn't be sold.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/103257

The new sanctioning body in American sports car racing is called ISCAR (International Sports Car Auto Racing, an irony in that they've made it clear they're focused on the U.S. and the U.S. only. I guess if they go to Canada and Texas it will count as visiting three countries).

They are meeting with manufacturers, the FIA, and the ACO in New York to finalize technical regulations. It has degraded into trying to protect their own former series, rather than moving forward with something new.

Jim France will do anything to protect the Daytona Prototype.

It sounds like the top class is going to be a monstrosity of DP, LMP2, and DeltaWing all somehow equalized in performance (DeltaWing seems impossible in that regard because of its huge fuel consumption and tire wear advantage...will they limit it to like 12 horsepower?). They have not addressed equalizing the costs of running these different types of cars. The P2 may actually be cheaper to run. They want this class to use spec tires. I don't know how you could fit spec tires to a DeltaWing, though...

Each series' GT class remains in some form.

Really sounds like a garbage series to me, personally. Think I'll just get on the WEC bandwagon while I can. :P

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Here's something cool: an all-new VDS GT 001-R GT3 that will run Dubai and Spa's 24 hour races. The goal is to go to Le Mans, but that's obviously going to take some time.

I like it a lot because I like weird cars. It's kind of like a Mustang and a Panoz and all sorts of stuff thrown together. Cool.

http://www.endurance-info.com/version2/actualite-endurance-13722.html

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Engage panic mode: it looks like there may be 0 cars in LMP2 next year for the ALMS. Has everything to do with the sale of the ALMS to NASCAR.

Basically, the fact that the rules are unknown has made it tough for Conquest. Conquest started the team to distribute the Morgan LMP2 chassis in the U.S.; they lost their potential customer as there is really no indication of what will be legal in the new series. Thus, the team can't stay afloat.

Dempsey Racing have Lola issues, but it's expected Mazda will take them to the WEC.

That leaves Level 5, who do not race against themselves (they didn't in 2011 and instead did the WEC) and seem to be iffy about Grand-Am.

Yikes.

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Greg Pickett is looking at IndyCar for 2014, with a 2013 Indy 500 program to get started.

DON'T DO IT GREG THE WEC NEEDS LMP1s.

Also sounds like Strakka might do 2 LMP1s next year in the WEC to compete with Rebellion. Cool.

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Porsche's 2014 LMP1 wasn't going to run in the WEC. Porsche were going to do the full ALMS with Le Mans as to not compete with Audi for the season championships.

But there is no ALMS in 2014, so now what?

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YES YES YES YES!

DELTAWING WILL BE A CLASSIFIED, POINTS-SCORING, CHAMPIONSHIP-CONTENDING ENTRY IN THE 2013 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES! IT'S A REAL LMP NOW! DELTAWING IS ALL GROWN UP! YES YES YES!!!!!

This could make for some incredibly tense battles where the DeltaWing's fuel consumption and tire efficiency give it a big advantage, but the Muscle Milk HPD is cutting down the margin quickly in the final stint...oh man I love this news!

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And Starworks are LMP2 champions in the WEC!!!!

Toyota wins Fuji from the no. 1 Audi

Edited by The Shadow

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Very happy for Starworks. I like Peter Baron and his team a lot, I like HPDs, and I liked Potolicchio's stand against the officiating in Grand-Am.

I can't wait for the hour highlights or so to get up on the FIA WEC's page. I saw the first hour of the race before going to bed and it was awesome! Audi on Audi action...Lotterer on McNish through lapped traffic was incredible, loved it. The LMP2 battle for the class lead with ADR-Delta, Lotus, Starworks, PeCom, and Signatech all there and going off the track and three-wide and just everything...that was incredible, too. And then you had the GTE-Pro getting tight with AF Corse and Felbermayr, which is great because Ferrari vs. Porsche's always exciting...so much good stuff happening. I would have loved to have seen it all. Fuji's a nice track and the WEC seems to be getting better and better each race. Le Mans next year...wow...that's going to be good!

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Some testing times from Road Atlanta; not many teams out there yet. Fastest the SRT Viper has ever looked in relation to other GT cars. Shame about Paul Miller having a small budget and being on Dunlop tires, because Maassen/Lietz/Miller is a great lineup (and Paul Miller's car dealerships were in my neck of the woods...)

http://www.alms.com/...y Session 2.pdf

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Muscle Milk on top as 27 cars go out. They did a 1:10. Dysons and Level 5 in the 1:12s. DeltaWing was fifth overall at 1:13, ahead of the other three LMP2s. Note that Rebellion aren't testing yet, though.

Awesome for DeltaWing.

Also, check out ESM's new Ferrari...most gorgeous car at Petit Le Mans? Probably. Wow! And I thought the black and green was nice...

SRT looking better. The Porsche looking slow on Dunlops and Falkens but fine on Michelins. Corvette/BMW battle looming...

Results:

http://www.alms.com/sites/default/files/race_result_files/Road%20Atlanta%20Test%20Day%20Session%204.pdf

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So the ELMS returns in 2013 with a five-race calendar that includes a shared weekend at Silverstone with the WEC (in April of all months) and a round at the Red Bull Ring (formerly A1) in Austria that has some potential.

One really does wonder how the ELMS, a model which has failed twice (once under IMSA and once under the ACO), will work this time...

Grand-Am confirmed the rules for its new class, GX. Prep2 cars are tube-frame chassis, meaning they can be built as racing-only chassis and have a huge advantage, while Prep1 cars are more aligned with GT cars. Basically, the allowance of tube-frame chassis is to allow things that should be touring cars to compete with things that are more like little GT cars. It's a very ugly-looking class, in my opinion, and would be better as a support series. The tube-frame cars have made Grand-Am's GT class a mess, too, with some really heavy-handed performance "balancing" on the tube-frame RX-8s and Camaros (note that the Camaro's tube-frame chassis was originally under a Pontiac GTO, then a Pontiac G6, and can easily become a Corvette).

http://www.grand-am.com/Portals/0/Images/PDF/list%20of%20cars_gx.pdf

Dome will look at a 2014 LMP1 and 2013 LMP2, while also returning to Le Mans in 2013 with the S102.5.

http://www.mulsannescorner.com/newssept12.html

John Hindhaugh hinted that Ganassi could field an HPD LMP2 next year. I suppose with the potential P2 inclusion to Grand-Am from 2014, Ganassi may want to experiment with one, given how he was upset with his DP's performance relative to the DPs with Corvette bodywork. There may be another from CORE Autosport. It would be nice for ALMS to have a good field in 2013 for its final year.

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Great explanation of the DeltaWing. Required viewing for sports car fans, I think.

This car is just so cool. I feel like some hipster kid who discovered an underground indie band before everyone else, for having supported DeltaWing as an LMP from day one while others took longer to warm up to it. tongue.png

If this car has any legacy, I hope it's a willingness to try the untested again. Things are so perfected that reinventing the LMP seems like a pointless exercise, but maybe, just maybe, they can gain some kind of advantage that wasn't apparent. Maybe, just maybe, they can gain so much in marketing exposure that other manufacturers see this as worthwhile. I don't know. I don't want it to die as a novelty, or to have contributed nothing but clever aero techniques to help spec series and junior formula have better overtaking.

I loved the comparison to a parachute opening on front of the car rather than behind it on a traditional car's braking...very, very interesting...

I'm absolutely amazed by this car...straight line rocket, too...DeltaWing is offering something no car has offered in a very, very long time. Is what it's offering the future of racing? I don't know; it's hard to say it is. For now, at least, it's offering an excitement about a car, not about a driver or about a race or a headline or whatever it is, and that's something I, as a younger fan, wish I could have more. You get little reminders every once in a while that auto racing isn't dead.

Thanks, Ben Bowlby, for that.

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The ELMS return is far from certain.

A couple of teams, notably Sebastien Loeb Racing, have said they're more likely to do WEC over ELMS. So LMP2 won't be expanding. GTE? Unlikely to see more cars in that. LMPC cars? They struggled with that this year. GTC? Well, GT3 cars are allowed, however Blancpain is one again looking at a massive entry list and is likely to be many team's focus. And Cup/Challenge Porsches and Ferraris are not eligible. So where are the new entries coming from?

Sadly, I'm not sure that the ELMS really works, which is sad. Had some fantastic racing in LMP2 last year, but that it split off from the WEC at the end of ILMC to do its own thing doesn't appear to have worked.

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With that in mind, is it too early to consider an entry list for WEC? GTE Pro isn't looking too good given the Porsche RSR issues, but LMP2 could once again be the largest class.

Thinking aloud:

LMP1

x2 Audis +1 extra for Le Mans. According to RLM may drop four wheel drive concept.

x2 Toyotas +1 extra for Le Mans.

X2 Rebellions, depending on what chassis they choose given Lola's probably not an option now.

x2 Strakka HPDs given talk of expansion to second car.

x1 JRM HPD.

x1 OAK Pescarolo.

x1 Greg Pickett Racing HPD?

LMP2

x1 Starworks HPD

X1 ADR-Delta

x1 Sebastien Loeb Racing

x2 Oak Racing Morgan

x2 Signatech Nissan

x1 Murphy Prototype

x2 "Lotus" Lolas

x1 HVM

X1 Pecom Racing

x2 Greaves Motorsport

x1 Thiriet

x1 Boutsen Energy

x1 Status Grand Prix

x1 Jota

x1 Dempsey Racing

x2 Level 5?

No doubt not all of those will happen though...

Edited by JHS18

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Good list. Based on what I've read, mostly from Dagys, a few things to consider:

With that in mind, is it too early to consider an entry list for WEC? GTE Pro isn't looking too good given the Porsche RSR issues, but LMP2 could once again be the largest class.

Thinking aloud:

LMP1

x2 Audis +1 extra for Le Mans. According to RLM may drop four wheel drive concept.

x2 Toyotas +1 extra for Le Mans. The second and third Toyotas are still in the works. Not there yet, so 1+2 for now. Dagys hinted that ORECA could run a semi-works Toyota to ease that burden.

X2 Rebellions, depending on what chassis they choose given Lola's probably not an option now. Multimatic and Carl Haas bought Lola Cars and will continue to supply. Lola is still an option for existing teams, and with new LMP1s in 2014, I don't see Rebellion switching. It's also likely they'll adopt Flybrid KERS, as Dyson did with the same chassis at the end of 2012.

x2 Strakka HPDs given talk of expansion to second car. The second Strakka isn't happening, apparently.

x1 JRM HPD.

x1 OAK Pescarolo.

x1 Greg Pickett Racing HPD? No chance outside of Le Mans. He's doing an LMP1 and an LMP2 in ALMS and nothing more.

LMP2

x1 Starworks HPD Correct, though they want to run a second car as well if funding happens.

X1 ADR-Delta

x1 Sebastien Loeb Racing

x2 Oak Racing Morgan I heard it will be 1 LMP1 and 1 LMP2 for the WEC, could be wrong.

x2 Signatech Nissan

x1 Murphy Prototype They are leaning toward ALMS over WEC and ELMS according to Dagys.

x2 "Lotus" Lolas They are running the new Lotus T128 LMP2s, so not Lolas.

x1 HVM Funding's not in place yet, but they do plan it.

X1 Pecom Racing

x2 Greaves Motorsport

x1 Thiriet

x1 Boutsen Energy

x1 Status Grand Prix Just wanted to add a note that they might be the Mazda Skyactiv-D team.

x1 Jota

x1 Dempsey Racing Not happening at this point, just Le Mans. Staying in ALMS.

x2 Level 5? Not yet, but more possible than Dempsey.

x1 Potolicchio HPD, confirmed that Enzo will start his own team and debut at Sebring.

x1 RML, possible, not confirmed by any means, but might replace Signatech as the Nissan guys.

No doubt not all of those will happen though...

Still, there's potential for a huge field and Dagys hinted at a lot of mysterious extra P2s but wouldn't elaborate. His article is below and includes GTE information, as well as some other P2 teams not mentioned in the list.

http://auto-racing.s...ason-heating-up

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Over in the ALMS, it sounds like:

LMP1

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing back with the HPD ARX-03a Honda.

Dyson Racing back with one Lola B12/60 AER, seeking an engine badge and using a more powerful KERS. Car still doesn't turn very well.

Rebellion Racing for Sebring and perhaps a few others (but not Petit) with a Lola B12/60 Toyota.

Audi Sport North America with one and only one car at Sebring and Sebring only. JRM could also run Sebring.

LMP2

Highcroft Racing with a homologated, classified Nissan DeltaWing.

Dempsey Racing with either a Lola B12/87 Mazda or Lotus T128 Mazda.

Level 5 Motorsports with a pair of HPD ARX-03b Hondas assuming they have someone to race against.

Conquest Endurance with the Morgan LMP2 Nissan, but this is still up in the air.

Possibilities of CORE Autosport and Pickett Racing adding LMP2 programs, and Murphy Prototypes moving to the ALMS.

Potolicchio's team will debut at Sebring before departing to the WEC. Starworks will likely run, as well.

GT

The same field as last year, with the only question being Flying Lizard right now. I assume they will still run Porsches, but I don't know.

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Thanks for the updates, nevertheless, looks like it'll be a strong entry list. I wonder if the FIA would consider increasing the number of full season entries? I guess in some cases they're limited by the number of garages some tracks have though.

Oh, and this is relevant, updates to driver's licenses.

Rui Aguas: Silver -> Gold

Michael Waltrip: Platinum -> Gold

Brian Vickers: Platinum -> Gold

Martin Brundle: Platinum -> Gold

Alex Brundle: Silver -> Gold

Lucas Ordonez: Silver -> Gold

Michele Rugolo: Silver -> Gold

Spencer Pumpelly: Silver -> Gold

Ricardo Gonzalez: Silver -> Gold

Jon Bennett: Bronze -> Silver

David Heinemeier Hansson: Bronze -> Silver

Greg Pickett: Gold -> Silver

Stefan Johansson: Gold -> Silver

Fabien Giroix: Gold -> Silver

John Martin: Gold -> Platinum

Mathias Beche: Gold -> Platinum

Pierre Ragues: Gold -> Silver

Olivier Lombard: Gold -> Silver

Love to know if that is based on your recent performances, how often you driver, or a bit of both.

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I know guys like Ricardo González are very upset, because being upgraded to a "pro" driver ruins his chances of getting a ride. He is currently appealing his rating.

Interestingly enough, the IMSA/ALMS ratings seem to be independent of the ACO's. In 2012, Olivier Lombard was already rated "Silver" in the ALMS, but was Gold in the WEC. Odd.

I don't know if the rating criteria is the same, but this is the one IMSA/ALMS use:

bWXVS.png

You can obviously see how "weird" things happen when a lot of "discretion" is left.

(From the ALMS rulebook, which you can read here. I happen to like the provision in the IMSA Code, 6.24, which allows for the ALMS to run oval races). :lol:

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That's interesting, thanks.

I do find it odd how many single seater drivers are rated as platinum when there's many horrendous single seater drivers who could easily fulfil being in the top ten in the championship in GP2 particularly in a year like this year when the series arguably had its worst line-up ever.

I also found it quite odd how Waltrip and Vickers was rated as platinum this year before that downgrade.

It does seem unfair on those, I was listening to Midweek Motorsport where they were making the point as you do in your post that some drivers will now find it hard getting riders. Alex Brundle and Lucas Ordonez are just two examples - sure, they're good LMP2 drivers, but they'll probably find it tough getting a drive in LMP1. Maybe it is time the ACO and FIA looked at working out a fairer system.

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Likewise, it's odd that they don't even follow their own rules.

ALMS had Phil Giebler (age 33) rated as Silver in 2012.

Yet Phil Giebler's racing résumé includes second place (with 3 wins) in French Formula Renault, a championship in Formula Palmer Audi, P2 in French Formula 3's B class, P6 with some podium finishes in Spanish F3, a win in Indy Lights, and a podium in A1GP.

Spanish F3 is a national single-seater category. P6 is top six. We're done here. Giebler's rated Gold (and you could get there other ways...pretty sure Renault organized French Formula Renault, so that would count there, and he's "race competitively" in karting and in international single-seaters and is under the age of 35, etc, etc).

Giebler is not an amateur driver, and Giebler meets zero of the Silver criteria.

Giebler also brings no money, so as a Silver driver, he would never be hired because Silver/Bronze drivers traditionally bring funding. As a Gold driver, could he have been? Who knows?

It's silly to right rules and then not even try to follow them.

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Dunlop pulled out of the ALMS today. They will continue to support teams in the WEC etc. This year's Dunlop teams:

Dyson Racing (LMP1)

Level 5 Motorsports (LMP2)

Conquest Endurance (LMP2)

BMW Team RLL (GT)

Paul Miller Racing (GT)

Though believed to be an inferior tire, losing suppliers is never a good sign, especially as talks about 2014 were going on today. I've seen some speculate that Dunlop has found out that the prototypes will be on spec tires in 2014, and that BMW won't be in the ALMS in 2013, and saw no real value in sticking around when only Paul Miller Racing would use those tires after 2013.

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