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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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Merged the USCR thread with this, since we had the potential of discussing the American DTM in three threads (USCR, sports car, and European touring car).

Weird to have a support series where the DTM and Super GT500 cars would be faster than DPs in current spec.

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Good move. Did wonder why USCR needed its own separate thread, but kept quiet to avoid upsetting anyone.

There's still the confusion of whether to post this in the touring car thread or here though...ah what the heck.

Nice video from the announcement of the American DTM series. Actually really interested to see how this progresses. There's a hell of a lot of things they need to work out (kinda like USCR actually) but I hope it comes off.

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Personally, I'd rather see DTM and GT500 be part of the top class of the USCR. Why not? Muscle Milk HSV-010. Penske Audi A5 DTM. The various LMP2s, plus Dyson at LMP2 spec with the Lola B12/60, and the DeltaWing. You'd also have all the DPs running at P2 speed. It'd almost be compelling... ;)

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That's what they talked about on Midweek Motorsport last night, discussing whether this could be part of something bigger, like eventually being the top class.

I'd love to see a revival of a Trans-Am series with this kind of concept, but the costs are so out of wack in DTM/GT500 that you have to think that this will be far too expensive for any American manufacturers to even bother looking at it.

What I'd really love to see though, is just an official NASCAR road course racing series to fill that gap in the market. Surely they have the ingredients to make that a reality, and it'd probably be a lot damn cheaper than American DTM (or ATM as some people have already called it...that name suits it when you think about it).

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I just hope it doesn't have the curse of the "American Remake" written all over it like the sitcoms.

It deserves to do well. If the networks can market it well then I guess we'll be on our way to another great sporting event

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That's what they talked about on Midweek Motorsport last night, discussing whether this could be part of something bigger, like eventually being the top class.

I'd love to see a revival of a Trans-Am series with this kind of concept, but the costs are so out of wack in DTM/GT500 that you have to think that this will be far too expensive for any American manufacturers to even bother looking at it.

What I'd really love to see though, is just an official NASCAR road course racing series to fill that gap in the market. Surely they have the ingredients to make that a reality, and it'd probably be a lot damn cheaper than American DTM (or ATM as some people have already called it...that name suits it when you think about it).

I think the real reason they aren't part of the top class is that Daytona is a 24-hour race, and I don't think these cars (DTM in particular) are really made to do that. It's a great fantasy on paper, though, and it doesn't hurt to experiment. In 2016, they will have a new top class, so that will be around the same time this is coming over. I think that indicates it won't be part of the USCR structure, though maybe there will be ideas drawn from it.

Trans-Am still exists. It's an SCCA property, so it won't ever be part of this fold. You can check out some images of what they're running these days here (Camaro, Mustang, and Corvette seem to be popular):

http://www.gotransam.com/2013-image-gallery/trans-am-at-sebring/

It's under the SCCA Pro Racing banner, but it's obviously closer to club racing at this point.

I'm not sure NASCAR road racing could be a reality, though it'd be interesting to see. USCR might be in a better position to compete with itself for entries simply because the fields are theoretically so huge they'll need to run separate prototype and GT races at certain tracks. NASCAR is not really in that situation. I think NASCAR might try to incorporate more road racing into their existing three national series, but I don't see them doing a separate series. It would come at the expense of both NASCAR and USCR, so there's a lot to lose doing it.

I just hope it doesn't have the curse of the "American Remake" written all over it like the sitcoms.

It deserves to do well. If the networks can market it well then I guess we'll be on our way to another great sporting event

:lol: Yeah, that's valid.

I think they key is figuring out how you differentiate it from the other road racing going on here. USCR is the big player, and since USCR is running this series, that shouldn't be too bad. You also have the SCCA World Challenge, which can be aesthetically similar in the top class (the Cadillac, the Volvo) to DTM for those who may not really pay as close attention to the rules (now that I think about it, the Cadillac CTS-V would look cool in DTM spec, and they are meeting with the U.S. manufacturers...hmm...). Add to that open-wheel road racing (IndyCar and a Grand Prix or two), NASCAR's road racing rounds (totaling six across three series, with more apparently on the way), a V8 Supercars race, and some other stuff down the ladder, and you have a pretty congested market.

I'm interested to see what happens, though. I love the Super GT cars, and have been watching some races on YouTube. The HSV-010 and GT-R quickly moved toward the top of my favorite race cars list (which doesn't exist, but still, I like them a lot). To have the new regulations come over here is pretty exciting. I assume they'd also get to be a support race for NASCAR events on road courses, which might be interesting to see fan reaction.

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The Lotus T128 LMP2 Praga (I want to say that's just a rebadged Judd) and the Porsche 991 have finally been unveiled in the past few days. Nice to see new cars. The Porsche looks awesome.

Here's the Lotus. Vague Audi cues, though not quite to the R18 as the Riley LMP2 proposal was to the Peugeot 908, for those who remember that.

http://assets.speedtv.com/images/article_assets/112/1126847/1126847_article_img_large2.jpg

http://www.endurance-info.com/version2/images/news/2013_WEC_LotusLMP2_test.jpg

http://cdn-1.motorsport.com/static/img/amp/400000/430000/433000/433200/433281/s1_17600.jpg

It's really cool to finally see a new LMP2 constructor out there after years of things like the aforementioned Riley, or the Bailey LMP, or whatever else has been tossed around (I think a Dome LMP2 this last winter...shame there won't be any Dome participation this year...Domes are cool, so I like them).

Here's a gallery of the gorgeous 991 GT3 RSR.

http://www.topspeed.com/cars/porsche/2013-porsche-911-gt3-rsr-ar138072/picture499730.html

Talk about a flawless racecar, looks-wise (the livery's kind of odd, but the car itself). Definitely backing Manthey in LMGTE Pro this year as they battle with the F458s and Vantages (as well as the Corvettes and Vipers at Le Mans). My favorites in ALMS GT, PMR and Team Falken, happen to be Porsche teams, too, though they still have the 997s in America.

Another thing, speaking of Vantages, AMR driver Frédéric Makowiecki is racing in Super GT this year in an HSV-010 GT! That's pretty neat.

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I thought Trans-Am was still around in some form...but couldn't be completely sure.

I think they're going to have difficulty getting the idea going for a few reasons. When BMW, Audi and Mercedes spend around £90m (a figure used by Midweek Motorsport, it may vary slightly between the three) I just think that it is going to be very, very difficult to get GM, Ford or whoever to commit that to a series that may not work, and if you're right, only be part of a "support" programme for USCR. It doesn't make sense to me to try and get manufacturers to enter what would be a very, very expensive "support" series instead of USCR - because I doubt that with that kind of expenditure, few, if any, would be willing or able to do both.

The other thing I want to mention is, again, going back to it being a "support" for USCR instead of being the top class or whatever. If that's the case, are the fans really going to connect with it? You'll probably know better than me, but I guess I'm right in assuming that the crowd interest in the support events for something like Sebring would have been lower than for the main event - the 12 hours. Additionally, I can't see Audi, Mercedes and BMW and whoever else being happy being seen as a support series, where in Germany, it is the main attraction. Again, what is the point of investing somewhere around £90m on a racing series that doesn't get top billing?

Of course, they could try and get USCR and this series to have "equal status" over the weekend - both are the two big races, and everything else is a support...but from what I've seen in the past, like for example, when BTCC and British GT were part of the same events, that didn't really work out in the long run. One is always going to get preferential treatment in some way or another.

It's interesting. I hope it does work out as I've said already, but at this stage I'm yet to be convinced. But say what you want about DTM - but in many ways, with all these off track developments, it is probably one of the most rapidly expanding form of motorsport at the moment, what with the Super GT tie-up for next year, this new American series. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if at some stage DTM became a World Championship and the de-facto leading touring car championship instead of the WTCC. But I guess that's a discussion to be had in another topic...

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I'm about to do some post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy for you:

American DTM plans were killed in June 2012.

USCR was formed in September 2012.

USCR had meetings with manufacturers in New York. These took place in October 2012.

Audi and BMW were present.

American DTM was subsequently revived.

You see where I'm going, and there's no reason for me to go there. I am well aware that things aren't caused by everything preceding them; I was a star student (the kind who corrects the professor, but that's just the kind of annoying little kid I've always been...) in my 100-level logic class, you know. wink.png

Still, someone had to ask for this to be brought back from the dead, because everyone in the U.S. sports car media (everyone being Dagys) reported that the plans were scrapped in June of 2012.

Who, exactly, asked? Did those DTM highlights packages with Andrew Marriott they dump on SPEED in the winter draw better ratings than live Grand-Am/ALMS races? (Well, probably).

I like the idea because I like auto racing (Super GT and DTM have cool cars) and could see this as the kind of series where weird people from your past (like P.J. Jones) show up. I don't like the idea because I could see this as the kind of series where no one shows up at all.

I'm just so confused by it all, as I guess others are. GM has "Corvettes" so redundant they're racing in three of the five classes in USCR (P, GTLM, and GTD). The Corvette engine is also in the LMPC, so there's a fourth. The "Camaros" run in GTD, as well, so round it up to five. tongue.png

My point is, I don't see where GM would fit. Ford? Mmmmrmmmm. I don't know. What about that other American manufacturer? Dallara, the one who builds tubs in Speedway, Indiana. Say, who makes the common tub for DTM...hmm...Dallara!

But it's obviously not them, because USCR isn't based in Speedway. Only IndyCar gets creative to get more sales for the big D.

So, is this a fishing expedition? Are we being Bucklered? A vaporware series to wine and dine GM, Ford, and Chrysler about the real DTM that will quietly disappear when they politely decline? Count the Aston Martins on the track and divide by all those diesel Mazda LMP2s. Then ask yourself, is zero over zero zero, or is it infinity? And while you wonder about that (I think the answer's still zero, personally), before you reach your conclusion, somehow, someway, American DTM disappeared. Is that all this is?

Maybe we'll see USCR on Hoarders: Buried Alive with all this stuff they're picking up and trying to fit into a series that may have been best-served by just being GTLM and a semi-pro GT class of some other variety below it. Everything attractive about the ALMS demographic flows from the GT category; the demographic works because these people buy cars, and the cars they're buying aren't Lola B12/60s (sadly...we could use more...). GT's almost like NASCAR before NASCAR became NASCAR. Just substitute the tobacco for Patrón (former backer of Kevin Lepage in a top ten Daytona 500 run, one should add, so I will add it. They realized the mismatch pretty quickly, only to find that IndyCar has the same demographics, just in lesser numbers. Okay, I actually just made that up, based on my experiences on IndyCar forums. That's dishonest. IndyCar's demographic is probably even older. I'm kidding. I think). Jan Magnussen smokes cigarettes and has committed so many bump-and-runs in his career. The guy is exactly what America has always wanted. Give it top billing already!

My post is losing its purpose faster than I can find one for American DTM, so I should stop here. I won't, though.

What happens when you give DTM the support race, and they qualify faster than the USCR prototypes? That's either a weird oversight, or an indication that DP is getting a serious boost here. Then again, I've seen IndyCar support Craftsman Truck (and heard Mike King's blustery destruction of Ryan Hackett's career to prove it, his frustration seeping into his mind and turning him into Shaggy from Scooby-Doo as his voice does that weird thing it does, consuming his entire thought process such that he thinks J.R. Hildebrand is an Indianapolis 500 champion), and Grand-Am support Sprint Cup. So, obviously, that's not a concern to NASCAR fans. But is it a concern to sports car fans? Do they care about speed, or are they buying the "hey, it's an auto race, here's some slow motion replays of a pass, making it seem totally mundane as opposed to extremely brave and skillful" thing we're being sold?

Then again, do enough people buy this DTM deal to even get to the point where we have to ask ourselves that? Who is fielding a team here?

What if this is a way to throw something at the tracks they have to dump to preserve the legendary Kansas Speedway roval and casino as a Grand-Am staple? "Hey, VIR, have this instead!" Well, that's nice of them. Could it function as anything other than a support series? Maybe, but then you're just running two shows against each other. Gosh, that sounds like 2013, where they own both the ALMS and Grand-Am and run them separately.

I think it's a big shame no one will ever read this post, because I'm pretty proud of how little content I've created in so many words. Now, let's see what content USCR can create. Does it include DTM? I think I hope it does, though I'm not sure.

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Good post. I'm now even more confused about it than I was before though...

There's an interesting article in Autosport this week talking about it. A few points they made:

  • Few Japanese manufacturers likely to commit to it. Toyota probably won't, because they race in NASCAR and want to be perceived by the fans as "American", and they wouldn't be doing that if they chose to race in a European import series.
  • Nissan the most likely - but then again, Darren Cox says it isn't a priority right now as they continue to focus more on sports cars and USCR.
  • Few American manufacturers likely - GM motorsport boss Mark Kent says that with the large footprint of programmes they already have, there would have to be a "good rationale" to enter it.
  • Ford and Chrysler have made positive noises about it, but privately admit that a DTM project would be unlikely in the next few years.

Autosport essentially concludes that if this series does ever start in '15-'16, it'd be more likely than not just be Audi, BMW and Mercedes on the grid.

If that's the case, you have to wonder what really is the point in it. Surely they'd save a lot of money and trouble by just having an American round of the DTM as a possible "support" or whatever to a round of the USCR? But then again, I don't suspect the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft would really create a whole lot of interest with the majority of American fans. But maybe I'm wrong...

Edited by JHS18

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I just don't think it will ever happen. Even Grand-Am's CEO is saying things like "if it becomes a reality" etc. I'm sticking with the fishing expedition explanation; they'll try to hook a new manufacturer for the DTM/Super GT combined rules era with this, and if no one bites, they won't do it. See you for the Grand Prix of Oklahoma City, where Project Libra's Radical is starting first in class. ;)

ELMS and WEC next weekend, followed by ALMS the subsequent one. That's cool. I'm excited for the Silverstone races in particular, though round four of Rebellion v. MMPR in the ALMS will be fun, too.

Entry list highlights for the ELMS:

Chris Dyson and Michael Marsal join Greaves for the race. Sort of a surprise, and perhaps indicative of Marsal being part of the second Dyson LMP1 set for later in the ALMS season.

Cars include Oreca 03 Nissan (4, including the Alpine), Zytek Z11SN Nissan (2), Oreca 03 Judd (1), Morgan LMP2 Judd (1), and Lola B11/40 Judd (1). Decent variety for nine entries in the top class.

LMPC has three entries from the same team (I think they're just rent-a-rides week-to-week). Surprised to see Soheil Ayari appear in one as the pro, though.

LMGTE is occupied exclusively by Ferrari and Porsche. RAM Racing has two F458s, with Mowlem/Griffin and Jeannette/Montecalvo as the lineups. They debuted in the 24 Hours of Dubai. AF Corse has opted to use three drivers for the race, which I believe is just three hours, while JMW has no drivers confirmed. That brings us to the Porsche teams, including IMSA Performance with Wolf Henzler, Prospeed with Emmanuel Collard, and Proton with Nick Tandy.

GTC combines GTE and GT3 cars, I think. An Audi R8 LMS and a BMW E89 Z4 GT3 join the more standard Ferrari and Porsche entries. Jeroen "Personal Jesus" Bleekemolen (get it, Your Own Personal Jesus) is partnered with Emilio di Guida in one of the Porsches, so he's someone to watch there.

Full list here. 25 cars over four classes.

http://www.europeanlemansseries.com/en/s52_circuits/s52p06_engages.php?circuit=6

Audi and Toyota headline the WEC, with all but the #7 Toyota using full, three-driver lineups. Loïc Duval begins his time as a full-time Audi driver, which is good, because he's one of the fastest guys they have.

Rebellion has two cars for now (back to one after Le Mans), including the #13, which is being driven by five drivers: Andrea Belicchi, Mathias Beche, Cong Fu Cheng, Cheng Cong Fu, and Frankie Cheng.

LMP2 finds itself with ten cars. HVM Status GP has withdrawn from the WEC entirely, while Starworks doesn't have a car.

OAK has three cars out there, and the 24 and 35 have superstar gentleman drivers David Heinemeier Hansson and Ricardo González. Big advantage there.

ADR-Delta moves new Platinum driver John Martin to the 26 G-Drive entry they inherited from Signatech, partnering Roman Rusinov and IndyCar's Mike Conway. The 25 now has former F1 driver Antônio "Option I" Pizzonia.

The Lotus T128 LMP2 is debuting! Where's James Rossiter, though? Christophe Bouchut is in his place. I hope they run reliably.

Martin Plowman is now the German Martin Plowmann.

Chris Dyson and Michael Marsal will also run this race with Greaves, joined now by the lightning-quick Tom Kimber-Smith, winner of the last two Le Mans races in the LMP2 class (and the leading driver on both teams).

PeCom offers another contender, while KCMG of China debuts.

The LMGTE-Pro class offers Ferrari vs. Porsche vs. Aston Martin, with two factory entries from each. AMR switched the lineups around a little. Bruno Senna moves to the 97 with Turner and Mücke, while the 99 inherits Pedro Lamy and gentleman driver Paul Dalla Lana to join Frédéric Makowiecki.

Eight cars in LMGTE-Am, but only one umlaut. Nic Jönsson holds it for Kröhn.

Full list of 31 cars here:

http://www.fiawec.com/courses/6-heures-de-silverstone/entry_list.html

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Was hoping to be at Silverstone this weekend for it, but circumstances mean that I now won't be able to, sadly.

Still hope to be able to watch the race online on Sunday though. It is going to be absolutely fascinating to see how Toyota and Audi shape-up against each other as they enter their second year of battle. You'd have to say that Toyota began to have the upper-hand towards the back end of last year, so it is going to be great to see what the racing will be like. Can't imagine they'll want to show all their cards before Le Mans, but we'll have to wait and see I guess.

Should be good fun.

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For those interested, short highlights from the two FIA GT races last weekend. Pity I missed it, looked like there was some brilliant racing. Massively impressed with Loeb already. Looked like he helped bring in a very sizeable crowd too, which is perhaps no surprise given over half a million people lined the stages at last year's French round of the WRC. Also the place he wrapped up his ninth title. He's a class act.

There's also the ability to watch both races in full on the championship's YouTube account. Good stuff: https://www.youtube.com/user/gt1world?feature=watch

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I'd assume we see (or Porsche wants to see) something along the lines of Dumas/Bernhard/Rockenfeller and Webber/Jani/Heidfeld, though I'd assume Webber would be the least certain of the six as he will have many options should he choose to not return to Red Bull.

Might see another new LMP1 in 2014 from Rebellion: http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/le-mans-rebellion-to-build-lmp1-chassis-in-2014/

That would be interesting. The Multimatic link would tie them right back to Lola, so it'd almost be like a specialized Lola (think Aston Martin DBR1-2) if I'm interpreting correctly. I do believe Lola had planned a B14/xx LMP1, though the ALMS stuff may have changed that (with Multimatic and Carl Haas, the owners, being North American-based. Not that such a thing would preclude involvement in a P1). This might be a way to stay involved in P1 without committing fully to a new chassis for Lola, while Rebellion would get the benefit of a car built exclusively for their needs and not to be one-size-fits-all (with everything from the AER/Mazda Dyson engine, proposed to be used in Indy Lights, to the Toyota in the Rebellion, which originated as an IndyCar and Formula Nippon engine).

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Rebellion is my favourite team in the WEC, so I'd like to see that...

...But it does seem to go against what the likes of Graham Goodwin say. He believes that the '14 regulations will price the last few remaining LMP1 privateers out of the game, and they may be forced to do LMP2 or GT or whatever. But the ACO believes differently, so I'm not sure.

Rebellion are arguably the best team if you ignore the manufacturers, and in many ways I'd prefer them to go down the route of using proven machinery. The problem when you do everything in-house is that quite easily, you can end up with an absolute dog of a car, like Pescarolo did. It'd be cool to see Rebellion team up with Dome or something, because I know they are building a 2014 P1 car as well.

But I guess you don't win too many races by being conservative.

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Someone didn't click the link... ;)

At the same time, though, he’s mindful of not taking on too much under Rebellion’s roof, and is open to the possibility of working with existing partners, such as the newly formed Multimatic-Haas alliance, in order to make a potential new LMP1 car a success.

It wouldn't be fully in-house. It would be with Lola (owned by Canadian Multimatic and U.S. American Haas). It's basically just running the next generation Lola B14/xx, but doing it with enough control that it can be specialized to Rebellion only. As I said in my post, think Lola-Aston Martin DBR1-2.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/le-mans-rebellion-to-build-lmp1-chassis-in-2014/

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Sorry, skimmed it before having to dash off to university. :P

On a Rebellion note, they'll run rear aero at Silverstone like Audi and Toyota already have. The extended wheel arch things.

Latest rumour is that there is talk that David Richards wants Aston Martin to return to LMP1. No real detail on that, but if they're going to design a car as bad as the AMR-One was again, I don't think they should bother. :P

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Good lead battle between Murphy (Hartley) and the other car (the other guy).

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It was exciting.

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Hartley pulled out to an incredible 11-second lead over Morand's Morgan...

...and is now in the gravel trap.

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New second-place Panciatici (Alpine) has spun, too. Mailleux in the Morand is the overall leader at this time. Nick Tandy's Porsche leading GTE with Montecalvo and the RAM Ferrari second; the other RAM car is third in that class.

Looks like Hartley spun on his own. Yikes.

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Speculation from RLM that Tandy has a puncture. Slow lap, in the pits now. The big thing to note is that the Porsche will need to finish the race with amateur drivers, as Tandy is the pro, while the RAM Ferrari ends with Jeannette, the Gold driver (and a very fast one at that).

Chris Dyson goes off with Greaves.

I wish all AF Corse cars looked this good (red is so boring):

QjgF3qL.png

Tandy is still in the Porsche, but third.

Thiriet goes to P2 overall ahead of Alpine, with Turvey right there in P4 about to go through.

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Turvey tried...

29j0pog.png

...and when that didn't work, he tried a huge outside move and barely made it stick. Jota to P3.

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Mailleux, the leader, spins in the wet line trying to pass Tandy's GTE and hits the barriers. The Morand car is wrecked. Both leaders in LMP2 have now lost it. Oh, man.

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