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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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On the subject of zero-emission, why isn't a Hydrogen Fuel Cell racing car not considered as a Le Mans entrant? Should be a reliable and easily replenishable fuel source, plus a good marketing strategy for the automaker that deploys it.

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

I suspect the car will have a lot to do with the one they are running in V8 Supercars this year.

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I suspect the car will have a lot to do with the one they are running in V8 Supercars this year.

Nah...it's noisey as, bro...noise emmissions up the wazoo...

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According to Darren Cox, the Nissan Garage 56 project is a step forward to a return to LMP1 at some stage. Apparently there is a time frame for that, but it hasn't been disclosed.

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Is GreenGT not running, then?

Other notes:

ESM withdrew from Le Mans. AMR will have a fifth car now.

Libra plan to run their Roush-Yates Ford-powered Radical SR9 in five ALMS races this year, including Sebring. We'll see.

Or you'll see. I canceled SPEED Channel. They confirmed that Sebring will be aired with two hours missing, and the final hours shown on tape delay from 10:30 PM to 1:00 PM (the race actually ends at 10:45 PM). So, there's no point in watching Sebring, since I'd never see the finish. Petit Le Mans will just be a big advertisement for "The Future," so it's better for my blood pressure that I miss it. Only real loss is Le Mans, as SPEED usually covers 15 of the 24 hours, but the economics of paying for the channel just to see parts of that race wouldn't make sense, so I will just have to live without the big endurance races this year as I do not like to break the law and get computer viruses to watch races.

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I've got something to add to this thread that is actually an addition!!!

Brendan Hartley is racing GrandAm.

OK....you two carry on, and I'll go back to reading...

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GreenGT's for this year, and as far as I know (but haven't heard anything from it in ages) it will still race. Nismo's plans are for next year and beyond.

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Anyone else see the new DeltaWing livery? Bit shiny if you ask me but most of the teams were complaining about it last year cos it was too black (racist b******s). Should be interesting to see it just in front of the JDX Porsche going by the grandstands, maybe blind a spectator or 2 :P

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ALMS & Grand-Am merger series name to be announced next week. Bit sceptical about it though as they're getting rid of P1 & balancing P2 to make them as quick as the DP cars, ie a lot slower than they are now. So basically there's gonna be very little in the way of variety which means that the hardcore ALMS fans will be driven away by this effectively spec series. The only thing to look forward to is the GT battles but thats the problem. Only one of five classes is worth watching!

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Wish we got coverage of Brendan Hartly coming from 28th to first (and then crashing) at Texas. He's pretty good in them there prototypical vehicles.

And looks like young Richie Stanaway is going to race in the fifth Aston Martin at Le Mans (they've moved the car into the Pro class). So not only has he secured a Porshce SuperCup ride, but also looks likely a Le Mans seat too. Not bad for a kid that damn near broke his back last year.

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Tweet from John Hindhaugh (@specutainment):

Finally it's out, Renault return to Le Mans '14 with Alpine brand as LMP2 engine supplier, ahead of LMP1 effort with road car partner Caterham.

http://www.racecar-e...urn-to-le-mans/

Holy crap. After all that doom and gloom that seemed to surround LMP1 for a while, there's definitely things to look forward to. Potentially* then, at some stage, we'll see Audi, Toyota, Porsche, Renault and Nissan all in LMP1 going for the victory. Wow.

*-I say potentially, because I know there's always the risk that one could pull out, but hopefully not.

Edited by JHS18

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Cool. I hope these are all full WEC efforts, selfishly, because I can watch the WEC on their website, but have no way to watch the Le Mans race on TV or online.

It is good to see interest in LMP1 and LMP2.

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My other main thought with all these developments is just how cruelly ironic it is for America to give up on LMP1 just as it appears to bloom again.

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I'm glad they did, though. They have put me out of the misery of being an ALMS fan, and I'm thankful for that. :P

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I miss your controversial posts. ;)

:P

Graham Goodwin now tweets that there's "at least" one more manufacturer waiting to announce an LMP1 project. Honda would be my guess...but we'll have to wait and see.

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Good for him that he went to places other than Japan or America, like most famous Japanese drivers after a formula 1 career. Good opportunity to see if the same amount of banzai can be achieved in a GT car

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The ALMS & Grand-Am merger has been announced today as United Sports Car Racing launching in 2014. The name I think is rather fitting for an American-based series as well as the fact that it's uniting two sports car series.

Class structures: Protoytpe (combining current Grand-Am DP with ALMS P2 & DeltaWing) & Prototype Challenge (LMPC). The Proto class I can see becoming borderline spec class to go with the PC class but I could be wrong.

GT: GTLM (GT2/GTE ALMS card) - GTD (combining current Grand-Am GT & ALMS GTC) & GX (current Grand-Am GX class for more basic GT racing)

The GT classes I'm excited about. They haven't joined all of them together & have kept things separate.

Also the USCR logo is a helmet.

What do you guys think of the new name/logo/class structure?? Will it work/not work?? Does it need more P1??

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Not interested in it, to be honest. Right now, there are six members on the board of directors. Four come from Grand-Am, a series with horrible BoP, horrible officiating, team subsidization, and little fan interest. Two come from ALMS, a series with horrible BoP, a history of upsetting series partners, a miserable TV deal, and little fan interest. Zero bring any new ideas.

I'm fine with the idea of having the American series be different from the WEC and ELMS. That's great for me, as a fan, because it gives you more variety, and I do think that LMP just isn't healthy enough in the U.S. to really be viable here. However, they need a new philosophy toward racing, because both Grand-Am and ALMS have gotten lost in a lot of areas. No one running this brings that, so it doesn't give me much confidence.

That said, we'll have to see what they do in 2016. They will have an all-new class structure then. I'll give that a chance; maybe they surprise me. Given their histories, I'm not sure I'll be satisfied. Besides, I don't get the TV channel the races are on, anyway. :P

One thing you might be interested in, Danny, is that on smaller tracks, like Lime Rock or Belle Isle, they will go back to the IMSA GT days and split the races. Prototype and PC would run a race separate from the three GT classes. So, GTLM would get top billing and therefore the focus of the TV coverage. I think those races might be the most exciting, though traffic's obviously an important thing, too.

Overall, is this best for the health of the sport? Probably. There are positives, even if I gloss over them. Things are more stable, and that's big for the teams and people involved. So, that's good. But I watch for the racing, not for the health, and I'm just having a hard time being enthused about what they're putting out there.

One more interesting note: the LMPC cars are faster this year than last year. They were already faster than or as fast as a Daytona Prototype. So, that really does confirm DPs will be sped up. I assume P2s will be slowed down a little, too, but the bulk of the burden seems to be on DP, which seems right to me.

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The combined DTM and GT500 formula will be coming to the United States. An announcement from Grand-Am soon.

There had been plans for DTM America years ago, but Grand-Am turned their attention to other things. I guess it will run alongside the "United SportsCar Racing" series (Sports Car...two words...), which is slightly odd, as the DTM and GT500 cars are, at present, faster than a DP, the lead class of USCR.

I'd like it to do well, of course. The GT500 cars are so impressive and to have them in North America would be nice.

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Seems there's cracks appearing already. Graham Goodwin talks about a breakaway series on Twitter.

Breakaway US sportscar series rumoured with LMP1 as lead class - Sebring paddock sources have confirmed potential rival 2014 series to USCR

Later, when responding to someone else directly, he says: "A number of very credible names appear to be involved."

Interesting...

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Heard a lot of complaints about Sebring's officiating. The guy calling the shots is Grand-Am's race director, so it's a NASCAR influence now. I assume there are quite a few unpleased.

I know that Rebellion, Dyson, and Muscle Milk Pickett Racing all want to be racing LMP1s, and the latter two were very vocal about their concerns. Penske was going to field customer Porsche LMP1s in 2014, as well, though I would never see Penske going against NASCAR like that.

We'll see. I'd love a breakaway series.

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Three other thoughts:

1. Posturing. That's the first one that needs to be addressed, and probably the last one. I'm sure there's something else these "big names" really want, and it's not the headache of running a new series.

2. If there is a series with LMP1 as the top class, then what? LMP2, LMPC, GTE, and GTC are all absorbed into USCR. Would you have GT3 support it?

3. If there is a series with LMP1 as the top class, you're bringing your own ball, but you're still in NASCAR's court. It's impossible to race in the U.S. and bypass NASCAR. NASCAR owns Sebring, Road Atlanta, and Watkins Glen. NASCAR has Indianapolis, Mosport, Mid-Ohio, Road America, and Sonoma on its calendars. Indy, Mosport, and Sonoma are strongly in their control. They could offer concessions to a place like Road America, i.e. a Cup race. NASCAR's just huge. It's not a monopoly, but it's close. Remember this: the IRL and CART. CART had the big names, big teams, and, arguably, the product. The IRL, however, had power, by virtue of owning the big event and the big stage. A breakaway series would be playing that same game to NASCAR, and no one ever wins when they go up against them. Plus, NASCAR and ACO are being cordial. Same with NASCAR and IMSA. So, who do you go with? The SCCA? Build LMP1 around World Challenge somehow?

It can't be serious, if you think about it. They'd be stupid if it were serious.

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I agree at this stage that USCR appears to hold all the aces - one of my first thoughts was about the calendar. If USCR has Daytona, Sebring and Petit...well...they're pretty well set up with just those three races alone. It'd be hard for a breakaway series to compete against that, let alone all the other factors involved.

But I guess it depends what the demand to race LMP1s is like. If it is just Rebellion, Dyson and Pickett...a series with three to four P1 cars and not much else isn't going to last very long. But there's been the suggestion that LMP1 may be coming back with talk of Nissan, Renault, possibly Honda, and of course Porsche all being around, plus you'd assume Audi and Toyota will continue to be too. Some of those might want to race in America instead of the WEC. But then if USCR has ACO blessings...I'm not sure how that works.

I found it very interesting when Wolfgang Ullrich was asked by one of the pit lane reporters yesterday if the R18 would be back to race at Sebring in the future. He was very non-committal about it and sort of skirted around the question. I was expecting a straight "no, it's unlikely" but that isn't really what he said.

You're probably right that it is a load of posturing and not much else. But from the DSC guys were saying though, it sounds pretty serious.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.

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