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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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Midweek Motorsport also made a very good point about GTE. They spoke about how cars, like the Vipers, are eligible despite not really complying to the regulations. They mentioned the Porsche that Manthey will be running next year, based either on the model that they haven't sold enough cars of the make it eligible, or one that currently isn't for sale to the public at all. Discussed the BMW in ALMS too, saying that it seems odd that they can have a V8 powered Z4, particularly when there has never been a V8 Z4 ever.

They were basically making the point that if the ACO don't get a firm grip with the regulations, GTE will kill itself off by allowing cars to race that don't meet the rules. But then I guess on the flip side of that is that if they did get strict on what was and wasn't allowed, we'd end up with a load of Ferraris and not a lot beyond that.

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Sort of the same issue you get with the DeltaWing becoming an LMP2. It's now the only LMP2 in the ALMS...

Meanwhile, Black Swan confirmed their Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 entry into the Pirelli World Challenge. GT3 racing has come to America!

I still find it bizarre that Black Falcon and Black Swan have such similar team names, both field Mercedes SLS AMG GT3s, and both employ Jeroen Bleekemolen and Bret Curtis as drivers.

Tim Pappas, the team owner, will drive the car in World Challenge. I think the SCCA are so, so, so smart for allowing GT3 cars. There's a small following in the U.S. amongst sports car diehards, and adding GT3 to an already exciting battle between Volvo and Cadillac is a real power move in trying to win over some ALMS fans who will have extra free-time on weekends in "The Future."

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Dempsey Racing lives on with help from a soccer player.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/alms-dempsey-del-piero-join-forces/

The Le Mans entry features Dempsey, Joe Foster, and Michael Avenatti as drivers. All three are gentleman drivers, so whatever class it is (P2 or GTE-Am, both of which they considered), it will not be very quick.

Not really sure what will come of this, but it's good news that the team survived, even if I don't see how they'll be competitive without a pro driver like Jonny c#cker (they also used Ben Devlin and Dane Cameron in 2012, but both of them are Mazda drivers, so they won't be back now that Mazda is out of the picture).

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Add another car to the 2013 ALMS grid...

CORE Autosport, LMPC champions, will field a GT starting at Laguna Seca (round three, I think).

It will be a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. Drivers? Patrick Long from the Porsche factory and Tom Kimber-Smith. I'm pretty impressed with that lineup. Not sure what Kimber-Smith's background with GT cars is, but in an LMP2, he is one of the fastest there is.

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In addition to the COREsche (I coined that one elsewhere; I hope it sticks so I can always feel proud), expect two more GT entries in ALMS in 2013:

A Ferrari from a TBD team.

A TBD car from Dempsey.

Of course, Dempsey may field a Ferrari, but Dempsey's apparently not the Ferrari team that the ALMS is alluding to in their website listing "Risi, ESM, and possibly more" as the Ferrari teams for 2013.

Good, good stuff.

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Bruno Senna has been confirmed as an Aston Martin works driver in the World Endurance championship. He'll drive alongside Frederic Makowiecki in the #99.

He'll complete the full season, including Le Mans, and with also contest the Spa 24 hours.

Edited by JHS18

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Frédéric Makowiecki is one hell of a co-driver to have. Such a fast driver.

Bruno Senna's done what any driver of his caliber could hope to do: get paid to drive racecars. At some point, chasing the impossible must give way to making a living, and Senna's in the position where he gets to combine both. Good for him.

A lot of stuff going on in the ALMS right now, but I'm not even bothering. I'm afraid everything being confirmed today will have dissolved by Sebring.

Speaking of things dissolving, and of Astons, the TRG Aston Martin ALMS program is a no-go for Sebring. I guess they'll try to debut in round two (Long Beach).

Have to say I don't believe them.

They delayed the Astons in Grand-Am, they delayed the Aston in ALMS (after canceling the second one), they canceled the World Challenge program, the ACO didn't find them impressive enough to make them a real entry for Le Mans...wouldn't be the first time things got a little shady over at TRG.

Speaking of Pirelli World Challenge, a second Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 has been confirmed. Green Hornet Racing, an ALMS GTC team and a close associate of Black Swan Racing (the other Mercedes team), will also have a car. I assume that's for Peter LeSaffre, the man who injured the DeltaWing in Road Atlanta practice. Boooooo....

...but really, good news, more GT3s in the U.S. Big, big move to be allowing these cars. It's good stuff for someone in the U.S. to realize, hey, this might work out for us, and you throw them in with cars the die-hard fans (all 12 of them) are already responding to (the Volvo and Cadillac) and you have a really nice program going on.

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DeltaWing lives...

Summary:

1. It is now an LMP1 in the ALMS.

2. It is being run by Panoz.

3. It will have a new 1.9L, twin-turbo, four-cylinder engine that is both lighter and less powerful than the original engine. This engine is based off of a Mazda and will be badged as Élan.

4. It will be open-top at Sebring and a coupé thereafter.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/alms-panoz-returning-with-new-deltawing-engines-chassis/P1

Brings the full-season ALMS LMP1 car count to 4. The Dyson team is close to making it 5; they have one confirmed and one soon-to-be.

Sebring's count will be 7-8 with Audi fielding a pair and Rebellion bring the extra car; 8 would be contingent on the second Dyson.

With DeltaWing as an LMP1, LMP2 has unofficially died in the United States. No entries as far as I know for the ALMS; Greaves will do Sebring and I think Murphy will, too. That's it.

Hindhaugh says the TRG Aston program is done and won't happen. There will be a works AMR at Sebring and Sebring only; that's Mücke, Turner, and Senna.

Too much info...this is why I said I wouldn't try to keep score... :P

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I need clarification.

You can't have two pro drivers in LMGTE-Am, correct?

So how did ESM get away with Cosmo, Sharp, and Brown in their Le Mans entry? Two Gold drivers (Cosmo and Sharp). Did the ACO demote Sharp?

Speaking of ESM, they will have Toni Vilander's services again at Sebring.

ALMS entry list has typo-ed "Dominik Farnbacher" as "Dimonik Farnbacher." Demonic may be the pronunciation, then. Speaking of Vipers and pronunciations, Ryan Dalziel (Dee-al) is their new third driver, replacing Ryan Hunter-Reay. ALMS and Le Mans duty.

Liking the lineup in the #8 LMPC: Kyle Marcelli, Chris Cumming, and Stefan Johansson.

Alex Job Racing will field a Ferrari F458 full-time in ALMS GT with Bell and Sweedler. Yokohama tires.

I think there will be two AMR entries at Sebring, but one will be an amateur rent-a-ride. Not sure on that. I doubt we see TRG fielding any Astons in anything this year.

ELMS has an entry list out now; it looks better than expected.

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Hey, Don, good luck with your DeltaWing.

Michelin pulled out. How are you getting 4" racing tires made in one month for Sebring?

Typical Don Panoz. Runs everyone away and ruins great ideas. Guy goes through racing-related projects like Taylor Swift goes through little boys. Maybe Don can write a song about it, and then lose interest in his music career as quickly as he loses interest in everything else.

No doubt he'll sell DeltaWing to NASCAR and it'll be Gen-7.

Michelin, Nissan, Ben Bowlby, Dan Gurney, Duncan Dayton, Ray Mallock...all in DeltaWing's corner. Now? No one. Just old Don playing around with his latest vaporware toy. Abruzzi? DP01? An algae-powered, front-engined LMP1? The ALMS itself?

Couldn't just passively fund DeltaWing, no no no no. Gotta take control of everything! Everything! And then shop the control around for five years trying to find someone to pick it up when you realize you overplayed your hand. Cool, Don. Cool.

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There will be a "surprise" entry at Sebring.

Rumors include:

Manthey's Porsche 991 GT3 RSR

Toyota's TS030H

Ganassi's Dinan-BMW/Riley DPG3

Here are some Sebring pictures. MMPR debuting the ARX-03c. Those BAR1 FLM09s are delightful. Driver Chapman Ducote was recently on TV with Kim Kardashian's sister's children's father.

http://dreycraft.smugmug.com/Auto-Racing/American-Le-Mans-Series/Winter-Testing-2013/27918857_DcWZtL#!i=2356310604&k=wHL7kp2

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Remember Kamui Kobayashi saying how he was "not interested in racing anything other than F1" a while ago? Turns out that may not actually be the truth.

He will test an AF Corse Ferrari F458 this week, along with Karun Chandhok and a few others. Will be interesting to see how he goes.

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/105532

I did find Kobayashi's comments earlier quite strange actually, considering I would've thought racing anything (even Indycar tongue.png) would be a more productive use of your year rather than sitting doing absolutely nothing. For that reasons, I don't see why anyone accepts a third driver role in F1 these days...but that's another issue. It's all very well saying he's aiming to get back into F1 in 2014, but I doubt that'll happen. In the last few years, unless you are a former champion (Schumacher/Raikkonen) or have proved yourself like Grosjean, there has been no way back into F1 when you've been out*. Why should there be? Times move on, new drivers come along, and if you've only had one podium finish in several years, then I hate to say it, but it is also time for you to move on. There's life outside F1 where you can get paid to drive instead of having to pay (now there's a radical thought) and racing in the WEC isn't a massive downgrade, considering it is still a World Championship, which, last time I looked, wasn't something Kobayashi had on his CV...

*-Yes, I'm ignoring the likes of Narain Karthikeyan and Sakon Yamamoto HRT managed to bring out of nowhere.

Edited by JHS18

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Fisichella was the slowest driver in the #51 team, so it's interesting that they're giving more F1 washouts a chance. I realize plenty have done well in GT cars; I'm just surprised this particular team would be so eager to try it again.

It's a shame Ferrari didn't hang on to Raphael Matos; they let him walk to Stock Car Brasil. He was supposed to have the Risi seat that went to Beretta that caused this opening. Matos really had it, but it was never meant to be.

Jani and Heidfeld are the drivers for Rebellion's ALMS program through Le Mans. The driver lineups may change after that (Heidfeld bolting for Porsche). Kind of interesting. Heidfeld was actually pretty slow in the LMP1 compared to his teammates. LMP1 is going to be really close; MMPR are even faster and they were right on Rebellion pace-wise at Road Atlanta (and faster at Sebring, but they may have been on slightly different regulations).

I think it will be excellent to have the factories go at it in WEC's LMP1, and the independents in ALMS' P1. A great way to have P1 racing without being redundant.

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There may be LMP2s in the ALMS. I know nothing about this at all, but it sounds like it would be from a team or team(s) in a different class. That could then draw Level 5 back.

SPEED will have coverage of the 12 Hours of Sebring in the United States...

...but it starts an hour after the race starts, is interrupted in the middle for NASCAR practice from Bristol, and returns an hour after the race has ended to show "the finish," whatever that means.

The stream for international viewers will still be available.

I'd rather just have the damn two-hour highlights package on ABC the next day at this rate. We didn't cancel SPEED because I wanted to see Sebring and Petit Le Mans. Naïve of me to think they'd actually air them.

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Wow, that sure is one weird way to show a race. I'd find it hard to even understand what the heck was even going on if I had to put up with that - adverts during the ITV era of F1 was bad enough. :P

It's good to see that the ALMS won't be the disaster that some were saying it may be with a few P1s entered (excited to see how Rebellion goes) and if that's correct, some P2s as well. Not to mention the stellar GT field too. Should be some good racing.

I find it funny. John Dagys basically wrote off the WEC, ELMS and ALMS, and (without wishing to tempt fate) it looks like things have turned out well.

Oh, and something from Midweek Motorsport today. Graham Goodwin (DSC editor) says that Neel Jani has a works drive for 2014. I can only assume that is for Porsche?

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I'm not going to put up with it. No point in watching a race when coverage ends at 8:30 PM, two hours before the finish...

As for Dagys, he takes a lot of crap, but I won't give him too much. He's the only guy bothering to cover this stuff in the United States, so you get what you warrant, which isn't a ton (since no one cares about this kind of racing here). The thing with Dagys is that he is both a journalist and a fan. The problem with that? As a fan, he got caught up in his own rumors and speculation, and then felt letdown that they didn't all come true. No one really believed there'd be as many cars as he speculated. Dagys got caught up in a lot of hype (think of people believing year after year that Kia and Volvo are joining the BTCC) and forgot for a moment that everything said to be true in sports car racing in October falls apart by November. Part of it is believing sketchy things, and part of it is just being too early to speculate. I'm sure a lot of things did fall apart, but you don't miss what you never had (unless you're paying it in estate taxes, but anyway), and Dagys believed, as did others, that we really did have these entries that were never there.

It's a rookie mistake in journalism. Over-exuberance. Be careful when you talk about rumors; report them for your reader, not for yourself.

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The rumor is that the LMP2 program would be from Extreme Speed Motorsports.

This would mean no F458s for them in GT. Not sure what it would do about the LMGTE-Am deal for Le Mans.

I have to wonder if this pertains to BoP. Now that Risi and AJR are running F458s, ESM's special waiver may have been taken off the table...

I'd rather ESM do the Ferrari program than P2, personally. I just want LMP1 and GT to stay strong and then I don't care at all about what happens after that. Selfishly, I just want to enjoy the two premier classes, and I love the ESM Ferraris. It's so nice to see a Ferrari in those colors. Risi, AJR, and AF Corse are too cliché with the liveries.

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Confirmed: two HPD ARX-03b entries from ESM.

Probably exciting if you're a Grand-Am fan, but if you're not in this for the long haul, it kind of sucks. Weakens GT, and even if Level 5 come out, P2 just becomes an HPD spec series. Oh, the thrill.

Sad to see my favorite GT team move on to time-wasting.

No idea what this means for Le Mans, but I assume they are still running.

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Toyota has revealed their revised car for this year:

zuptoyo5_0.jpg

Few differences in appearance, but no doubt that the devil is in the detail.

Also confirmed is that they have started work on their 2014. Hopefully that means we will get to see Audi, Porsche and Toyota all at Le Mans in '14. I think I may have to treat myself to some tickets as a post-graduation present if that turns out to be true. :P

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Senna!!!

No, no, wait...I agree with that, so need the anti-Senna....ummm...

Prost!!!

I think that a wee little trip to France would be very much worth it for you lad...and hang out on the coat tails of some journo's, buddy :)

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Radio Le Mans and DSC are talking about a big Nissan announcement later. RLM are in fact, covering the event live, and it will broadcast at 12:55am UK time.

It is widely expected it is sportscar related, and rumours suggest it may even be an LMP1...

Separately, there is also talk that Nissan will confirm an entry in DTM for 2014.

Edited by JHS18

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