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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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ESPN2 has changed their schedule. As with Lime Rock, they will not air the first hour of Mosport or Mid-Ohio, depsite originally scheduling to air those races live in their entirety.

The coverage has been really horrid. The commentators are the worst I've ever heard in any sport.

Brian Till: It's a bullring, there's nowhere to hide! There are five classes racing at once! Lime Rock is a bullring, and it will bite you. We call it a bullring, it's so tight.

Johnny O'Connell: And and and you know, I agree.

Brian Till: On this bullring, anything can happen.

Johnny O'Connell: And and and look at the Corvette with the orange banner!

Brian Till: Corvette in GT, one of five classes racing today at Lime Rock.

Johnny O'Connell: And and and you know Corvette, the one with the orange banner, they want to win today.

Brian Till: Corvette looking to win on this bullring, and you see on-board how tight it is with five classes racing at the same time on this bullring.

I'm not sure if that exact exchange actually happened, but I'd believe you if it did.

To boot, they missed Dyson having a puncture and making an extra pit stop a few minutes into their coverage, which allowed Lucas Luhr to get within one lap of them. They never showed it or mentioned it. It was the biggest thing that happened all race. They also missed Graf passing Smith's Dyson for the P1 lead; they did show him take the overall lead from Tucker in the Level 5 car, though.

But I have a personal rule with TV coverage, and its one I said to the people complaining about BBC/Sky...these things are dictated by the interest of the people and the cost to produce. The bigger issue is that no one watches these races. When no one watches, they have little incentive to put on a good broadcast, and to stick to their original schedule.

So complaining will do me no good. The coverage is what it is, and and and you know it's bad enough for me to say see you next year, ALMS.

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On a different sports car note, Tommy Kendall is confirmed as a full-time SRT Viper driver.

Kendall won something like four Trans-Am titles. He also won two Camel GT titles in one of the classes while still getting his economics degree. Nearly won a NASCAR race, but his tire went down with two laps left.

Kendall has a bit of a cult following for his personality and his work on TV as a commentator for Champ Car, Grand-Am, Le Mans, and this year, IndyCar.

He's been retired for years, but he won a six-driver shootout in the SRT Viper, hence he got the drive. No idea who he beat.

Drivers are Farnbacher/Goossens and Wittmer/Kendall as far as I know, but those pairings could switch around. Hunter-Reay will run Petit Le Mans 2012 and Sebring 2013.

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Good news:

alms.com uploads the full races (with the RLM commentary, which is a lot better than ESPN) a little while after they happen. Looks like I'll watch Mosport that way and just try to avoid spoilers.

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So today I took an Oreca Viper out to La Sarthe...

...in Gran Turismo 4 on PS2, fine...

...but how do these guys do this in real life? Every lap there is just pure courage. You're absolutely flying and those corners come out of nowhere and you have to get slowed down so much and make it stick and you have slower traffic and amateurs and all sorts of nonsense going on. What a track, what a track...they don't capture that speed and the blindness on TV too well, and other than on-boards at night, I never got a real feel for it, but I think playing GT4 actually helped (as a footnote, I am so sad I don't own my 403 horsepower 2005 Honda Civic Si hatchback with racing slicks in real life tongue.png) me see this track and just be like, damn, those guys running Le Mans, they're something even more special than I imagine. I get so nervous running there, and I'm playing a game with no damage and a "Start" button to hit "Retry." laugh.png

Basically, a useless anecdote to say what you already knew which is Le Mans is super cool and the drivers are awesome and oh man I can't wait for Silverstone now because that isn't exactly a tame track itself...

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Kirby on Dyson/Lola/Mazda/ALMS:

http://gordonkirby.c...t_is_no344.html

Dyson is very committed to ALMS, even though Lola has their situation, and they will lose Mazda after this year. The Dysons essentially own AER, and with Mazda doing Skyactiv-D, they won't be doing their AER engine anymore. Despite uncertainty, these guys are still in love with ALMS.

I do hope they'll run the same AER engine, hopefully with another badge for their sake or just as a generic. I know they need to do what they have to do but my big resons for always supporting Dyson has been a real love for that little 4-cylinder, isobutanol-powered motor mixing it up with the big guys. My second favorite racing engine out there right now, with the other also being a Mazda...the one in the RX-8s in Grand-Am...that noise. THAT NOISE. So nice.

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That's a shame, though I am glad the ACO are going to pay travel expenses to get those cars to Petit Le Mans. That will be a fun race. Will any of the WEC teams be there? I know it's right in the middle of the Japanese and Chinese rounds (assuming the latter is on), so I would doubt it, but just curious. If not, I wouldn't consider it outside the realm of possibility for an LMP2 to win overall. The HPD's weakness has always been endurance races, and the second Dyson car doesn't have the funding secured yet to run Petit (but they are trying). So, in theory, if Dyson's 16 ran into some trouble, it could happen. Even at Sebring, Starworks were third overall, so I wouldn't consider it too surprising if Level 5's ARX-03b or one of the ELMS front-runners (not too familiar with their field but I assume there's an Oreca 03 Nissan or two...why we can't have one of those in the U.S. is beyond me :P) had a shot at winning outright.

If not, it would be a good battle between Dyson and Muscle Milk, who are more evenly matched now.

And if the big guys show up, well, that's cool too.

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Tomorrow, noon GMT -5, on alms.com will be the Mosport race. Pickett Raicng on pole by a good distance. P2 looks interesting, so does GT. 2:45 race.

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F1 race ended in the U.S. at 1:50 PM, so I switched over to the final hour or so of the ALMS. Commentary was so horrible that I just laughed and laughed rather than getting angry, but this time, the production was good and they showed the right stuff, so I'll forgive them. :P

From what I saw during ad breaks in F1 and after, the P2 battle was incredible. David Heinemeier Hansson and Scott Tucker, the two am drivers on their teams, made contact battling for the P2 lead (well, there were only two P2 cars, so obviously it was for the lead ;)), really aggressive, great stuff from two guys who aren't professionals. At the end, Martin Plowman and Christophe Bouchut were close, and a late-race safety car bunched it all up such that Plowman and Bouchut had a great battle. Bouchut was going off in the grass to get looks at Plowman, lost him in traffic, and then got right up to him...but was penalized for going over the yellow line (pit exit) on the final restart, negating a great battle that featured some really close, side-by-side, big-time testosterone maneuvering.

So that battle didn't quite work out, but good job to Plowman/DHH/Conquest on their win in the Morgan Nissan.

The GT battle? Boy oh boy! Jörg Bergmeister's Porsche leading Jan Magnussen's Corvette leading Johannes van Overbeek's Ferrari in the final few laps, and damn, they were all nose-to-tail to use an awful cliché.

Final lap, Magnussen looked out on Bergmeister to go for the class win, but van Overbeek slammed his way through up the inside, hip-checking Magnussen to take second. That let Jörg pull out a little, but in the final corners, the Ferrari started to reel in the Porsche...but not enough time and the three crossed the line all in a line with Bergmeister and Flying Lizard winning a thrilled over Extreme Speed and Corvette Racing. Awesome!

Another P1/overall win for Klaus Graf, Lucas Luhr, and Pickett Racing, despite a 20 second penalty for too many men. Dyson just couldn't keep up this time, and in fact the P2s were pretty quick in comparison to the two Dyson Lolas. Not a good year for them so far.

PC? Kyle Marcelli, in traffic, made contact with Leh Keen's GTC car and wrecked from the LMPC lead with maybe ten or fifteen minutes left (hence the late-race safety car). This allowed Bruno Junqueira, Tomy Drissi, and Rocketsports to win their first race. A class win...big improvement over last year with the Jaguars, and I love it for Junqueira. Brutal for Marcelli who was dominant today, and in his home race.

GTC...no idea, didn't pay any attention. :P

So, ALMS, you win me back, that was a lot of fun to watch...what a day, F1 followed by sports cars, cool cool cool.

ALMS continues August 4 at Mid-Ohio.

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And because I have to...Johnny O'Connell quotes of the week...

In third place...telling us what we didn't know after Bouchut served his penalty...

He comes back on the track and for all intents and purposes, that battle is over.

In second place...when Tucker and Heinemeier Hansson were battling...

Look at him getting the side draft (voice cracks) THIS IS LIKE NASCAR HA HA!

In first place...when Bouchut was penalized...

Now they told them at the drivers' meeting, but Bouchut's French so maybe he didn't undestand, HA!

If someone said JOC was the worst auto racing commentator of all time, I would have to say "and and and y'know, I agree."

Until next time, I rest my picking apart of TV broadcasts. I'm just embarrassed that this dork has ever won big-time sports car races. ;)

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But for anyone who accidentally ventures into this thread, if you need something to watch during F1's five-week break...

ALMS Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge on August 4, streaming on alms.com

ALMS Road Race Showcase (Road America) on August 18, streaming on alms.com

WEC 6 Hours of Silvestone on August 26, streaming on fiawec.com

Another note: the North American Endurance Championship concludes Friday at Indianapolis. Don't ask me how a 2.5 hour race is an "endurance" race, or how the score the NAEC, because I don't know (they awarded points based on where cars were running like, every couple of hours at the Rolex 24...so if you were leading at hour whatever, you got first place points at that time...too confusing for me).

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So the Silverstone Classic weekend was brilliant.

I know, I know, this strictly isn't the topic to discuss it. But there were two Group C races and a World Sports Car Masters race for slightly older Le Mans cars.

The second Group C race was incredible.

Gareth Evans and Herve Regout were swapping places for the lead in a Sauber Mercedes C9 and Jagermeister sponsor Porsche 962 virtually every second lap. It went down to the last lap when Regout got baulked in traffic so badly that Nic Minassian (yes, THAT Nic Minassian) was able to capitalise in a car he'd never driven in anger before - a Lancia LC2, resplendent in Martini livery, and move into second. That Lancia is a strong candidate for one of the most beautiful racing cars ever built, and three were racing. The top three cars were covered by just over three seconds at the line.

Minassian was originally intending to drive a Peugeot 905 (one of the most dominant Group C cars ever built) but for reasons I've not quite gotten to the bottom of, it qualified on the front row but didn't take place in either race.

The WSCM race wasn't bad either and again went down to the last lap. In a grid of 50 cars, it was between the #14 Lola T70 and #18 Ferrari 312PB for the win, with the two trading positions in the final laps, the Lola winning by 0.7 seconds.

Great to see such magnificent cars raced so hard. My only regret is that I wasn't alive to see them race in their heyday, but this weekend was close enough. tongue.png

Edited by JHS18

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Turns out Johannes van Overbeek's last-lap pass on the Corvette was for the class win, as Flying Lizard have been disqualified for failing the stall test!

YES YES YES YES! EXTREME SPEED WIN! YES! INCREDIBLE. :)

Glad you had a good day, Jim. Nice to see historics being really raced hard. I've been to historic races, and they were cool to see the cars, but they were all too afraid to damage them and no one raced at all. More of a parade showcasing historic stock cars than anything, which was fine, but cool to know some of these guys are still willing to push a little in really rare, expensive cars that aren't as safe as today's. Group C cars are awesome...I bet you can guess my favorite one...

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Group C cars are awesome...I bet you can guess my favorite one...

An American one? :P

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Incorrect. It never even raced in the U.S. until someone started campaigning one in historic races here.

You must have forgotten my two favorite modern sports cars...the Mazda RX-8 of Grand-Am and the Dyson Lola B11/86 Mazda (now called B11/66 while running as the #20...I'm not as in love with the B12/60, since it hasn't been a winner tongue.png)...that should make it a little easier for you to figure it out. wink.png

Just love the engine noise a lot from the 787B, same with the RX-8. Plus a family member worked with Felix Wankel for a time.

My beloved RX-8 screaming:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vham5aer6GU

And the 787B...best part is 0:51 through 0:57 in my opinion:

The RX-8s don't have much longer before they're retired, and I doubt we'll see another rotary engine for a long while, which makes me sad (not that I won't still support Mazda, since the engine in the Dyson isn't rotary (turbocharged I4 powered by isobutanol; I like it because a 4 cylinder engine with a little-used fuel source is too quirky for me to not like).

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Mazda 787B - beautiful car. I remember back in the day I used to drive one of those on the limit. On GT4.

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I love suckering George into a reply to these threads, because he automatically subscribes to every thread he posts in. I have no idea how he gets notifications, but I really hope he gets a text message with a very loud and embarrassing alert tone in a public place every time anyone makes a post here.

Grand-Am stuff, which isn't historic racing but the chassis use pretty historic technology from what I remember :P

This is the Lotus Evora GX, which will run in Grand-Am's new third class for 2013 (GX). X stands for Experimental, which starts with an E, but calling it GE would probably not be the most legal thing ever. One Lotus will be fielded by McMahon Raceworks/Condor Motorsport. I'm not sure if that's the same Condor Motorsport that used to be Condor Motorsports and fielded an Atlantic Championship team, but I know McMahon works with Lotus and, in fact, announced with Condor that he would be fielded a Lotus Evora GTC in Grand-Am a few years ago, but it never hit the track. So there's that to worry about.

http://www.grand-am.com/News/GA_News/tabid/141/Article/50528/lotus-evora-gx-fires-up-for-grand-am-rolex-series-debut.aspx

The other confirmed GX competitor will be SpeedSource, who field the #70 RX-8 in GT right now. SpeedSource are the developers of the Skyactiv-D engine that you will be seeing in LMP2 next year, and they have purchased a Lola B12/80 LMP2 car to do the testing in, while also working with DAMS. That same LMP2 engine will be in SpeedSource's GX Mazda for 2013, but it remains unknown which Mazda model will be contesting GX (some said Mazda3, but that seems a bit odd against a Lotus Evora).

The only rule for GX so far is that you need to run an alternative fuel source (diesel counts, obviously). Could be interesting.

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So the North American Endurance Championship ends on Friday with the Brickyard Grand Prix. That's 4:00 PM GMT -5. The race is three hours long, so it will end a little after 7:00 PM GMT -5. I know a place that might stream it if anyone cares.

Though part of an "endurance" championship, the race won't even be the longest one of the weekend, since NASCAR is also at Indianapolis this weekend.

11 Daytona Prototypes and 23 GT cars.

http://www.grand-am.com/scheduleResults/entrylist/1/EntryListDetail.aspx?eid=3444&sid=1

DP highlights:

Sébastien Bourdais returns to Grand-Am, this time in the #2 entry for Starworks with Alex Popow. The #8 features LMP2 class winners from Le Mans and Sebring Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio.

Corvette factory drivers Richard Westbrook and Antonio García will be in the #90 Spirit of Daytona car.

NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will share Ganassi's #02.

Engine breakdown:

Chevrolet (Earnhardt-Childress): 5

Ford (Roush-Yates): 4

BMW (Dinan): 2

Chassis breakdown:

Riley: 6 (one with Corvette bodywork)

Coyote: 3 (three with Corvette bodywork)

Dallara: 2 (one with Corvette bodywork)

GT highlights:

Patrick Dempsey is back in his own #40.

Rob Kauffman...well, that's a lowlight, actually.

Porsche factory driver Jörg Bergmeister with TRG, Corvette factory driver Jordan Taylor alongside former NASCAR driver Bill Lester in a Camaro, and BMW factory driver Bill Auberlen in Turner's entry. Porsche young driver Martin Ragginger is also entered.

Grant Racing/901 Shop, a team I've never heard of, with a lineup of four drivers for a three hour race...how...what...why...

Vehicular breakdown:

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: 7

Mazda RX-8: 5

Chevrolet Camaro GT.R: 3 (note that the Camaro is actually a Pontiac GTO.R from the mid-2000s, which then got Pontiac G6.R bodywork for a while, before the Camaro GT.R bodywork in 2010)

Ferrari F458 Challenge: 2

Chevrolet Corvette: 2

Audi R8 Grand-Am: 1

BMW M3: 1

Ford Mustang Boss 302R: 1

Dodge Viper Competition Coupe: 1 (this is one hell of an old Viper; Dodge doesn't even make the Viper anymore)

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It's funny you mention that Mazda, I've read plenty of amusing comments from people who were at Le Mans the years that it raced. Apparently the year it won was torture, because it was so loud that you could basically hear it wherever it was on the circuit.

Then the less amusing side of it, but still unusual - it actually gave one of the guys who drove it tinnitus because you are in the car for so long at a place like Le Mans.

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Update on the entry list for the WEC race at Silverstone:

37 cars at the moment. 7 in P1, 16 in P2, 5 in GTE Pro and 9 in GTE Am.

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Add Scott Dixon to the Grand-Am entry list. He'll join Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya in the #02. With it being a three-hour race, having three drivers is excessive, but it's a good lineup. McMurray's obviously the least experienced road racer on that team, but he looked really competitive in the Rolex 24 this year, and was running wheel-to-wheel with his teammate, Memo Rojas, so he isn't too far off JPM and Dixon. Grand-Am cars are certainly closer to stock cars than a lot of things are.

I think it could be a fun race.

RE: Mazda being loud...that's why I love rotary engines. They're so loud. The RX-8 is vicious in person, I hear. Sure sounds it on TV, compared to the other GT cars.

RE: WEC numbers...16 P2s? Whoa. I'd love to see a breakdown on the different chassis/engines/GT cars entered to see the variety, if you happen to have one. Looks like they have really healthy fields...I hope the stream works well. I plan to watch it, since it's F1's summer break and sports cars are cool.

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Extreme Speed will be back next year. Two cars. Could be two in GT, or one in GT and one in GT-Am depending on how they want to move drivers. It's possible Ed Brown, their gentleman driver, could run for ESM in Grand-Am next year, allowing for the two ALMS cars to stay in the professional GT class.

Good to see the Ferrari team committing for the future, now with a win, too!

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RE: WEC numbers...16 P2s? Whoa. I'd love to see a breakdown on the different chassis/engines/GT cars entered to see the variety, if you happen to have one. Looks like they have really healthy fields...I hope the stream works well. I plan to watch it, since it's F1's summer break and sports cars are cool.

http://www.lemans.org/wpphpFichiers/1/1/ressources/Pdf/2012/wec/epreuves/6-hours-of-silverstone/2012_entry-list_fiawec-6-hours-of-silverstone.pdf

Good mixture in LMP1 - two Audis, one Toyota, two Rebellions and two HPDs.

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