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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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Manufacturers won't be involved. They have way too much at stake to upset NASCAR like that. All those manufacturers you name, minus Renault, were part of the meetings with NASCAR and IMSA to determine "The Future." They all met in New York. If the manufacturers had said, "give us LMP1," it'd happen. But they didn't care. They said, "yeah, whatever." Audi looked at a DP program. McLaren's trying to get something (likely a GT) homologated. Nissan doesn't race in the U.S. The North American division of Nissan thinks racing is stupid, apparently. All Nissans racing are funded by Nissan Europe and Nissan Australia. Toyota's a big NASCAR backer. Renault isn't in the U.S. Porsche's already committed to the factory WEC effort.

What they report is correct: there is a rumor. But the rumor being spread is likely being spread by people posturing. It's the same with the reports last year of rumors that someone was going to buy IndyCar or the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was true that there were rumors, it was just that the rumors weren't true. It's true that there's a rumor here, but I don't think the rumor will ever be true.

Right now, it's just guys making noise. The ALMS has been for sale since 2007, and they've offered it to numerous parties many times since then. So, why didn't these people who love LMP1 so much and want to run a series buy it?

I'd love to see it, because I'm just not feeling this USCR stuff, but...eh. I hope DSC or Radio Le Mans or someone has more on the story soon, so we can see if there's anything to it.

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Jimmie Johnson in the C6.R from a few years back. They let him have a few laps at full speed, and a little something goes wrong... :P

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I've no idea how they remain so calm in such situations. I'd sh*t my pants if I was out of control at that speed in a racing car. I'd accept that it was pretty much game over. :P

Cool video, thanks for posting.

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Ah, didn't see Goodwin's other tweet: he's "convinced" this is "real."

That makes this even more interesting.

I guess it's also important to note that it's not really a "breakaway series" since LMP1 was never included to start with. You can't break from something that you were never part of. I don't blame guys who invested in LMP1 equipment for wanting to be able to still race it. Just not sure how you turn want into anything more.

I'd respect a movement to have a proper North American series, though. I don't know why people want to just hold each other's hands and accept mediocrity at this juncture. They're so desperate to be sold the lines of unification without thinking that being together isn't necessarily better for either series. Did the IndyCar merge really help the sport? Today's IndyCar races get the same TV ratings Champ Car did in the last years, and slightly worse TV ratings than the IRL got in the 2005-2007 era. Fan interest really didn't change at all. I'm not sure it's all as great as they say.

How sustainable was the ALMS? That's the big question, because that's what may or may not make it feasible to do this. Was the ALMS for sale for the last five years because it wasn't sustainable, or because Don Panoz was bored? Sometimes, I think it might be the latter.

This is an interesting story. We're also used to this kind of smoke being blown in the U.S.

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Pirelli World Challenge goes live this weekend in St. Petersburg. world-challengetv.com will have the stream for you.

41 cars are entered for the GT/GTS race. 16 in GT, 25 in GTS. It's going to be a fun one. Saturday at 5:00 PM local time and Sunday at 10:25 AM local time. It's UTC -5, but DST will be a difference maker, so don't just blindly add five if in the U.K. Races are an hour long each.

http://www.world-challenge.com/event/entrylist.php?ID=9156&event=13wc_stp

That's your entry list. Volvo time!

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It seems whatever is going on, Dyson isn't involved:

Just to be clear, I have no idea what this "breakaway series" is. 1st I heard of it was rumor yesterday morning. I am Not involved.

I'll stop now before this thread turns into a "who said what to who and in what context on Twitter" thing. :P

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I wouldn't read into his denial. He isn't going to say, "Yes, it's me! I hope NASCAR and IMSA suspend my license for the rest of 2013!"

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Will definitely try to watch Pirelli World Challenge this year.

Couple of things that caught my eye today - the Aussies are heading to Le Mans this year. Both Ryan Briscoe and Jason Bright (Ferrari 458 for the latter) will be on the grid. Also, keeping up with Le Mans news, unfortunately Sebastien Loeb Racing has withdrawn their entry through lack of funding.

Lastly, not sure if you follow Speedhunters or not - but their motorsport photography is always brilliant. Latest stuff from Sebring is no exception. The photo of the Level 5 car with its brake discs glowing is my new desktop background.

http://www.speedhunt...end-of-one-era/

Edited by JHS18

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Those are really nice. The Oreca FLM09 is really a beautiful car. DeltaWing looks cool in chrome. That awesome Falken Porsche, too.

If you had an unreasonable amount of free-time on Sunday, you could watch (all converted to your time zone):

Formula One at 8:00

World Challenge at 14:25

IndyCar at 16:40

NASCAR at 19:16

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Thanks for that - I'll definitely try to. What better way to spend my first weekend on Easter break? :P

It's interesting to me to see cars like Camaros and Mustangs on the same grid as GT3 machinery, albeit in different classes. Do you think those teams running GT3 cars will be competitive from the off, or will it take them a few rounds to learn the cars etc?

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One of the coolest videos I've seen in a long time. Man, I wish I was a racing driver. :P

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Ryan Dalziel was fastest in first practice in his Porsche 911. Alex Figge was second in the Volvo S60, with Mike Skeen's Corvette and the pair of Cadillac CTS-V entries rounding out the top five. Duncan Ende had the fastest Audi R8 in P7, and Black Swan's Tim Pappas had the fastest full-GT3-spec car, with his Mercedes SLS AMG in P9. Jack Baldwin and Peter Cunningham paced GTS. Baldwin drives a Porsche Cayman, while Cunningham is in his familiar Acura TSX.

Top eight in GT were within .250 seconds of each other, so the times were pretty close. Worth mentioning that Dalziel and Figge used to be teammates in Champ Car with Pacific Coast Motorsports.

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K-PAX has a turn at the top of the charts. Alex Figge puts the beautiful Volvo in first over a surprising second-placed James Sofronas. Sofronas is in the Audi R8 LMS (just an LMS, not an LMS ultra) for GMG, so that's promising. Mike Skeen, the Cadillacs, and Ryan Dalziel are still in the top six, with Pappas now seventh in the Mercedes. The gap from P6 to P7 is, however, quite large. Nevertheless, Black Swan is a very professional organization, having won the GTC title and competed in LMP2/GTE. Pappas is also one of the quicker gentleman drivers out there, so I figure that Mercedes will continue to improve. That's not to insult Peter LeSaffre and Green Hornet, fielding the other SLS AMG GT3, but I'm a little more confident in BSR/Pappas right now.

Reminder that the races are Saturday at 21:00 and Sunday 14:25 UTC. Each race is an hour in length and streamed live at world-challengetv.com. U.S. audiences can also catch them on NBCSN on April 7 at 12:30 PM Eastern if television is preferred to streaming.

I'm excited. It seems like there are some competitive cars in the GT class this year, and with the "rewards weight" program gone, World Challenge is ready to step up as a legitimate complement (or even alternative) to the other sports car racing in North America. I think the championship has really gotten serious for 2013 with that change and the allowance of GT3 cars in GT. Plus, it has Volvos.

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Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to following it this weekend.

Thought you might be interested in this - 26 cars for the first round of the FIA GT series next weekend. More to come for round two as well:

http://www.fiagtseries.com/news/details/fia-gt-series

Unfortunately, I'll be away that weekend and unable to see it, which is a shame. Got a feeling with that big a grid it'll definitely be worth watching. I just hope that the championship manages to keep most of those teams till the end of the season. The problem they've had in the last couple of years was the grid getting progressively smaller and smaller with every round. Hopefully this year is a fresh start and a change in fortunes - I genuinely believe that there's a market for a strong GT championship, and that GT racing is some of the best racing you're ever going to watch.

The other GT championship that starts on the Easter weekend, of course, is British GT. They kick off their season at Oulton Park. Still a heck of a lot of news surrounding that championship at the moment, so I'll refrain from posting an entry list as yet because the first one I find will almost certainly already be out of date.

Shaping up to be a very good year for sports car racing I think. Really enjoyed Sebring - the GT battles in that continue to be brilliant, and the prototype action is pretty good too despite the low numbers. Looking forward to following more of ALMS this year - as long as the online streaming works. :P

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I'm impressed with the early-season entry list, but I couldn't be more confused by the championship race being scheduled on Monday. There's probably a terrible joke about how people in France never work anyway, but in the interest of not being totally lame, I really have to ask why they thought putting a race on a Monday afternoon locally was a good idea. The other rounds appear to all be on Sundays with the qualifying race on Saturday. I must be missing something.

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I think it's to do with Easter Sunday/Monday. It is probably the same for British GT too - because it's the Easter weekend and a probably a Bank Holiday (never entirely sure when they are), there will be some racing on a Monday. Only time it ever happens. tongue.png

Edited by JHS18

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It never even crossed my mind that Monday might be a holiday elsewhere in the world. I guess the one U.S. viewer (me) will have to wait for round two of FIA GT to see how 2013 is looking.

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All-Volvo front row, with Dalziel's Porsche and Sofronas' Audi in row two. Alex Figge's pole time was 1:13.947, which is about one second off the GT2 pole from the last ALMS race at the track (in 2009). Further proof the S60 is more of a low-end GTE than anything (of course, if GTEs could have AWD, it'd be a different story. Still, wouldn't it be fun if the GTE rules allowed for less powerful cars with AWD to race against the big guys? For me, at least...I know a ton of people who would whine about a "sedan" or a "non-premium" brand. Oh, well. I love the Volvo, and I'm the one who once suggested a super-merger that would combine LMP2/GT500/DTM/DeltaWing as a class with DP/LMPC/GTE/GT3/GT300/WCGT below it, so I obviously have fantasies about real-life Gran Turismo 4 races).

I'll definitely catch this evening's race with GT and GTS sharing the track.

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Here is today's race, starting around 27:40:

http://world-challen...com/#/races/604

Tomorrow's race will be streamed live at 10:25 Eastern time (U.S.) and then archived like that (obviously, it will be races/605, but the stream is races/603).

My thoughts on the race are under the spoiler tag, in case anyone plans to watch the video or plans to watch April 7 on NBCSN. I typed these as I watched live and believe me, it was a thriller! You want to see this race.

Rolling start? Must not have seen that rule change.

Check this out: Lotus versus Camaro (the Camaro driver is 15 years old). Huge contrast. I love it.

119z8xt.png

The Radio Le Mans guys, during Dubai, wished to see the Pirelli World Challenge cars at Dubai in the A6 class. This is kind of what it might look like:

wthchc.png

These guys get into GTS traffic really quickly, and man does it get exciting.

O'Connell and Pobst had some really nice defensive maneuvers. Holding your position is just as artful as taking someone else's when done correctly. Just as an overtake is great, but spinning out the guy in front of you is silly, well-played tactics are beautiful even if blatant chop-blocking is ugly. People have gotten too used to the latter to remember how cool the former is. Some good stuff on display there.

Dalziel is fun to watch in this situation. Sprint race, not running for a championship, the guy just goes for it. Kimber-Smith and Sarrazin were the big stars at Starworks in WEC last year, but Dalziel's good. LMP2, DP, LMPC, the Viper, and now World Challenge.

I'd watch out for Sofronas and the Audi R8 LMS this year. The car is working.

Not to ignore GTS, the lead battle in-class starts to shape up. I'll have to learn more about the GTS class this year; seems interesting.

Multi-class racing is cool. You get battles converging. GTS lead battle and GT second place battle all going on in the very same place. You see that all the time in sports cars. Love it.

Dalziel: huge boost to Porsche. The Porsches are competitive with good drivers (Pat Long, for example), but can't quite contend with the Volvo and Cadillac otherwise. It's good to have that to balance this out and keep it competitive.

Of course, traffic, more than anything, keeps it competitive. GTS will not end silently!

I'd fault Greg Creamer for calling literally every car "beautiful," but gosh, they all are. :P

Fun to watch the smokey Camaro sliding around. Obviously, I'm pulling for the Porsche here, but still, this is fun.

Shame they had a late-race safety car. That GTS battle was getting really, really awesome.

OH MAN FIGGE! NOOOOOOO THE VOLVO!!! Wow, he screwed that one up. That's how not to defend...in hard, out slow. That's the Marco Andretti method of driving. Come on, Alex!

Watch that Volvo of Pobst blast out of the final corner to the inside of the Corvette of Mike Skeen! All wheel drive! Yeah! That's why I love AWD racing cars. That launch out of the corner is so much fun to see.

Late-race battle for GTS in the closing laps, Baldwin gets it, right after Figge tried to get the lead of GT back from Dalziel! Two classes, two battles for the lead, admittedly set up by a safety car more than anything, but still, this is exciting!

Dalziel, Figge, and Sofronas on the podium. Porsche 911, Volvo S60, and Audi R8. Awesome.

Baldwin took the lead in GTS with two laps to go and wins. Porsche Cayman versus Chevrolet Camaro; that's Andy Lee in second.

Boy, this is a fun series! This is good stuff.

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Best picture I've seen of the Black Swan Mercedes. It was hashtagged "The Other Reveal," mocking Grand-Am's name announcement. Tim Pappas has been pretty vocal about that, and I think he's happy to be in the World Challenge as opposed to over there. I'm not sure I blame him. Great racing, less politics.

BFxFg1xCYAAt3Ms.jpg

On another note, I'm getting caught up with driver lineups for the WEC and ELMS. I'm happy to see Tristan Gommendy in an LMP2! I was a fan of his in Champ Car and I think sports cars are exactly where he belongs. I am also pleased to see OAK Racing getting the two fastest gentleman drivers in the world: Ricardo González and David Heinemeier Hansson. That's a big advantage. I like that Liuzzi and Rossiter have returned at Lotus, and hope the T128 has a smooth debut because it's a pretty car. RAM Racing will field Gunnar Jeannette and Frank Montecalvo in an ELMS Ferrari, too, which is pleasant. Jeannette's a cool guy and he's driven the DeltaWing, so I have to like him. :P

Drivers are never the draw for me when it comes to sports cars, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have some cool names out there.

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Watched World Challenge - the online stream was a bit hit and miss to start with, but I saw the most of it. Some nice racing - had to watch it with the commentary muted as I was watching the BBC F1 highlights at the same time, but enjoyed what I saw, great to see such a diverse grid of cars, some I'm familiar with, others I'm not so familiar with. Very nice finish between Sofronas and Pobst too. Will definitely try and catch some more of it this year.

When is the next round?

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The World Challenge races again next month. April 20-21 on the streets of Long Beach, as part of the IndyCar/American Le Mans weekend.

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Thanks Eric. Hope to be around for that.

Okay, as promised, here is the entry list for Oulton Park this weekend. Some more late developments, including two JRM run Nissan GTRs.

34 cars (Oulton Park's track limit), 29 of which are GT3 cars. Phenomenal. They just need to sort out an online stream for the races now and it'd be perfect.

http://www.dailyspor...68B2A325A934DFF

Edited by JHS18

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So they've confirmed plans for an American DTM series at long last.

Utterly confused. Are manufacturers going to want to do it? What sense does it make in having a "support" race with manufacturer involvement?

DTM is one to watch over the next few years, what with sharing common regs with Super GT...but I don't really know what to make of this.

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