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JHS18

Sports Car Racing Thread

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I agree - I spotted that - must be a cool thing to do. Well, they get to drive a racing car for a little space of time, which is more than we'll ever get! :P

Discovered this whilst browing the internet too:

http://originalgaijin.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/toyoday201103.jpg

Apparently that it is an Lexus LFA that, according to rumours, was designed to race in GT1 when GT1 cars existed before they started racing GT3 cars called GT1 cars in the FIA GT1 series...

Made me think of a question for this thread: what particular make/model of car would you like to see racing in sports cars?

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Simon was correct...Starworks took the 1-2. Dalziel/Luhr won. Bourdais/Popow second. Bourdais was 1.5 seconds per lap quicker than everyone, but Starworks used team orders on the final restart to keep Bourdais behind Dalziel for championship reasons. Not exciting, but understandable.

They race again next weekend in Montréal. Luhr will be running at Road America in ALMS that day, so I think the lineups will go Dalziel/Tagliani and Bourdais/Popow assuming Bourdais is free. He's in a class of his own in DP.

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Also, a little off-topic in parts, but:

DeltaWing still exists. Élan Technologies have submitted a bid to INDYCAR (the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights Series, Star Mazda Championship, and U.S. Formula 2000 Championship) to have DeltaWing be the new Indy Lights car for 2014. It would obviously be very different from the LMP, which was very different from the IndyCar proposal. I do not expect them to choose DeltaWing, for three reasons:

1. The selection process is extremely in-bred. Dallara will always be picked for everything. They only really solicit other options to steal ideas. I know that's "oh Eric you're so cynical" but it's not untrue. They build Dallaras in Speedway, IN with a huge tax thing going on. They will be building more Dallaras.

2. DeltaWing is too different from the IndyCar. Support series usually try to reflect the series they support.

3. Élan Technologies (Panoz) have...maybe two or three employees. DeltaWing is a great project, but how on Earth are they going to have a DeltaWing spec car supplied in bulk (Indy Lights fields are small, but with spares and all, you do need quite a few).

The on-topic part?

Élan still plan to run the DeltaWing LMP at Petit Le Mans.

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Two sports car races this weekend, both on Saturday, with the American Le Mans Series at Road America (live on alms.com at 20:15 GMT) and the Rolex Sports Car Series at Montréal (not live on U.S. TV and not streamed officially). Both races will be available in full on alms.com and grand-am.com respectively some time a few days after their completion.

37 cars entered for the ALMS race. The usual 7 in LMP1 and LMP2, with the only change being a three driver lineup at Dyson for the four hour race (Tony Burgess joins Lux and Marsal). 8 in LMPC with the return of Performance Tech, and 13 in GT as usual. One difference there? Joey Hand has been replaced by Jonathan Summerton in the 56 RLL BMW as Hand is running the DTM race this weekend. GTC field sees the largest expansion, increasing to 9 cars for this race with some old teams returning, and a new team (TruSpeed) joining the field with Alex Figge as the lead driver.

Last year's Road America race was the closest finish in ALMS history overall, and the 2010 event featured a last lap pass for the overall win.

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I'll try to watch the ALMS race this weekend then - I meant to watch the last two but only tuned in in time for the checkered flag stupidly.

And I'm sure I don't have to remind you that it is nealy WEC at Silverstone time - a bunch of friends and others that I know are going, so I'm still trying to sort tickets out.

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Does Silverstone start at noon your time? I couldn't really find a start time anywhere, just a cached page on Google that said it was noon local. I'm planning to watch some of it (admittedly there is no way I could sit here for six hours watching a stream, and I admire the people who watch all 24 hours of a 24 hour race because I'm good for maybe 90 minutes on, a few hours off, 90 minutes on, a few hours off, etc. when it comes to watching anything) so I just wanted to make sure I had the times right.

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According to the event timetable on the Silverstone site, yep, it does start at 12 noon.

A 6 hour race at the circuit is great, because it allows you the time to pace yourself, go around the circuit and watch from lots of different areas. When I went in 2007 to the 6 hour LMS race there, we managed to walk pretty much the entire circuit in that time, and at a pretty relaxed pace too.

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Liuzzi's in the Kodewa/Lotus #32 LMP2.

Hope you have a good time there. I'm hoping to make my sports car attendance debut next year at Lime Rock for the ALMS race.

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JMW means another car in the GTE-Pro field for Silverstone:

http://www.endurance...ance-12530.html

Not totally sure if I'll be there as yet - a site I write for wants me to cover BTCC at Knockhill, as a bunch of guys are going down to the WEC/busy.

Edited by JHS18

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Jimmy's first big-time career decision, and the first big decision of the twentieth year of his life...Super K's all grown up now...

Well, I hope whatever you end up doing next weekend gives you great satisfaction. I'm not used to have sports car races on Sundays, but I look forward to seeing it (if the live streaming is anything like Le Mans, I'll be seeing it exclusively through an Audi R18's on-board :P).

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Super K's all grown up now...

I wouldn't go that far! :P

Thanks - on the basis Knockhill is fair distance from where I live, if I end up covering it, it'll simply be writing stuff for the site. Hopefully that way I can keep track of what is going on in the WEC between BTCC races.

Hope you do get to go to ALMS next year though, thought you said you didn't think you'd be going to a race again for a while?

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Last race I went to was July 2010...Lime Rock's July 2013...long enough time. :P

We'll see. Long way away, but it did come up.

Speaking of Lime Rock, the Grand-Am race at Lime Rock is the same day as the World Endurance Championship race in Bahrain. Ryan Dalziel races in both series, and is in the title hunt in both, so I asked Peter Baron, the owner of Starworks, about the situation.

Peter told me that Dalziel will be in Lime Rock that day, and Sébastien Bourdais will co-drive the #2 with Alex Popow for Grand-Am's final two races (YES!). He is also planning to field the third car, the #7, for Alex Tagliani and one other co-driver.

Tagliani, by the way, is running both the #2 and the #8 in tomorrow's Grand-Am race, and then starting from pole in the Nationwide race. That's a long day with few breaks for the hometown driver.

What it means for WEC? I assume Sarrazin, Potolicchio, and Kimber-Smith will race for Starworks at Bahrain, but I can't confirm that.

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What an incredible finish to the ALMS race. 0.083 seconds split Guy Smith and Lucas Luhr. Amazing.

Hope someone uploads that to YouTube ASAP. tongue.png

Edited by JHS18

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We just got to see the race in the U.S. this afternoon, gutted into 90 minutes (I have no problems with highlights, but I wish they'd produce it as highlights, where they cut out parts with no action, give a recap, and rejoin the race however many minutes ahead. There was no continuity to this butchered broadcast, which got further butchered by starting late due to a Little League World Series game).

WHAT A FINISH!!! I'm in disbelief of how close that was.

Guy Smith did a hell of a job holding Lucas Luhr off, but then c*cked it up twice on the last lap. Feeling the pressure big time, but he's lucky it happened on the last corner since that 4-cylinder Mazda turbo just flies up the hill. What an awesome, awesome way to end a race. The last three years at Road America have seen a last-lap pass for the win in 2010, that great battle in 2011, and now this pass and re-pass in the final corner/run to the line.

So, so, so cool. This is why you spec racing sucks. The different strengths and weaknesses of the HPD to the Lola/Mazda made this race so incredible, because where the HPD was better, the Lola/Mazda could counter in other parts of the track. That's racing.

Incredible job by Pickett Racing to come from laps down to get there, too. Absolutely awesome. The way racing should be. ALMS has a lot to figure out, but the on-track product isn't it. Brilliant final 15 minutes or so. I can't believe Smith held him off that long...glad for Dyson to get the win, and glad for my favorite LMP engine in the world to be the deciding factor!

That makes Silverstone next, and I bet their live stream will actually work. :P

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By the way, .083 seconds is the record for closest overall finish in ALMS history. Road America 2011's margin of .112 seconds is the second closest. Something about this track...

I have to say, with the HPD having so many reliability issues at Sebring, Lime Rock, a bit at Mosport, a bit at Mid-Ohio, and now again at Road America, Petit Le Mans is shaping up to be crazy. With extra LMP2s, we could see an LMP2 win overall. I do hope they can sort the HPD out a bit more and run Le Mans next year as planned. They were right on pace with the third Audi at Sebring and I think they'd have a great fight with Rebellion for best of the rest...if the car could last. I think the LMP1 title this year comes down to Petit, with it being extra points (25 to win instead of 20 for a shorter race and 23 for a mid-range race like Road America). If Dyson can get the class win, they might do it for them, since Sebring was huge.

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That makes Silverstone next, and I bet their live stream will actually work. tongue.png

Maybe, but I guarantee you that thanks to Audi the finish in LMP1 at least won't be as close as that! Forget the American Le Mans history for a moment, was that the closest finish of any "Le Mans" moniker event? That'd obviously require a bit of research...

First ALMS race I've tuned into for a while. The last two as I mentioned before, I tuned in right at the end. One was when they ended under caution which was no fun, and the other was when they were conducting the post race interviews. Shame the world stream was down - meant I used a stream on a site you've probably heard of before, which unsuprisingly, wasn't of the best of quality. Left the action until final twenty minutes and saw that there was a close finish in prospect...but even I couldn't of imagined that! Amazing racing.

A slight criticism of the broadcast though. Would it not be possible in future to cover the classes in split screen, especially when multiple classes are headed for a close finish? I mean, I think the director was right to stay with the battle for the lead in LMP1, but there was plenty of action going on in the GT field that we unfortunately didn't get to see. I think it is a bit stupid for them to be only able to focus on one out of the five classes and hope that you won't miss anything good elsewhere. I guess if they did start using split screen, the commentators would have a hard job knowing what to talk about, but it is just a thought.

Replay of some of the GT carnage:

https://www.youtube....h?v=p403p7YuyN8

Edited by JHS18

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Thanks for that, James...they didn't show that at all during the ESPN2 broadcast here.

I really like Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, so I support the #4 Corvette. However, that's really questionable, especially because they are racing the #56 for the championship. I don't like that, and it's not the first time.

And sure enough, another team I support in ALMS, in fact, the one I support most, is Extreme Speed! So of course they have to be involved in the other thing. Yikes. :P

Well, on the plus side, it got my other GT team, Paul Miller Racing, a fifth place! :lol:

Also got points for the Viper.

Would have been nice to show the GT stuff...consider that the U.S. broadcast was shown a day late. So they could have edited it to show the LMP1 battle in full, and right after the finish cut to GT, going back in time a little to get it, given that it was a highlights package already.

The GT battle is just crazy, and the drivers really aren't afraid of doing stuff like that, which is controversial but fun, I suppose.

Speaking of controversy, Martin Plowman is really upset with Level 5 Motorsports. They parked the 95 car so the 055 car (the one Scott Tucker nominates for points) could gain the third spot behind Conquest and Dempsey. He says it took them out of the title hunt and considers it dirty. I've always hated drivers entering in multiple cars in one race, always, but it's within the rules, sadly.

So you had one team, in LMP2, parking a car to beat their championship rival. You had one team, in GT, wrecking a car to beat their championship rival. And you had one team, in LMP1, flat out beating their championship rival fairly, on-track, in a tremendous battle. Go figure. :P

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Oliver Gavin was very apologetic about the incident with the BMW, and he and Dirk Müller shook hands after the race. Gavin felt terrible about what happened. Seems it was totally unintentional. Awful it had to be the two points leaders in class, as that will always cast more doubt over it.

I guess the 56 had been passed by a ton of cars in the final few laps and was off the pace, so that may have taken Gavin by surprise a little. It looked like Müller braked extremely early into the corner while Gavin was ducking in to get the draft.

The incident with the 01 Ferrari and 3 Corvette is impossible to tell from that one angle, but recall it van Overbeek hip-checked Magnussen at Mosport for the win, so they have a history.

Some rumors:

Penske will field two Porsche LMP1s in ALMS in 2014, but will not run WEC or Le Mans. So Porsche would need a different team to run a factory effort. Apparently, most of the 2014 LMP1s will be available to customers in the first year, and the Lotus T128 LMP2 debuting next year will be upgraded to 2014 LMP1 spec.

Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will have a second HPD next year in ALMS LMP1. It's the final year for the car's legality, so I'd expect that.

Still no word on Dyson's situation, as they are running a Lola chassis and are losing Mazda after this year.

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Penske annoys me.

In the days of the RS Spyder they said that they wouldn't do Le Mans because they wanted to compete for an overall win, which is absolutely fine, if something you don't hear said very often.

Then comes along an LMP1 Porsche, which logic would dictate SHOULD be capable of winning Le Mans out right, and they still don't want to do it? What is that about? I'm guessing the fact that the Indy 500 always falls quite close to Le Mans, and that being their main focus, may have something to do with it.

Or quite rightly, they don't believe that the Porsche will be ready to win at Le Mans in its first year, and want to take a year close to home getting to know the car etc.

But you know what the best preparation for winning Le Mans is? Racing there anyway. Ask Toyota. Originally they were only going to run the one car there this year, but stepped up their effort to two cars quite late on.

Edited by JHS18

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Well, it's just a rumor at this point, so we'll have to wait for confirmation.

But...

1. I don't think Penske was ever in the running to be the Porsche works team. The Porsche LMP1 will be at Le Mans and in the WEC in 2014. It will just be fielded by a different team. Any Penske cars in ALMS would be customer cars supported by North American Porsche.

1a. If they are customer cars, competing for the overall win against the factory effort becomes less likely.

1b. North American Porsche fund the GTC class, and pay for ALMS races to be shown on TV. With GTC disappearing after 2013, they may want to do an LMP1 program here, and are choosing Penske completely independently of the WEC deal.

2. Penske is very hands-on. He likes to be the race strategist/engineer on a car he owns. He currently does that for Ryan Briscoe's IndyCar, and did it for the #7 Porsche in ALMS. Given he has so many racing teams in the U.S., taking the time to go to Le Mans or do the full WEC would screw up his ability to also be race strategist on the IndyCar and be a spotter for his NASCAR team. It's a lot easier to manage an open-wheel, stock car, and sports car team if they're all racing in the same general area.

(Basically, what you said about the Indy 500).

3. Even if Roger Penske wants to compete for the overall win, it's not his choice. It's Porsche's first, as to who they want to field their LMP1, and Tim Cindric's second. Tim Cindric runs Penske Racing. Obviously Roger makes decisions but it's Cindric's team, and Cindric will eventually own it when that time comes (Roger didn't trust his own sons to handle it, and rightfully so, given what happened last week).

4. Penske scheduled his race, the Belle Isle Grand Prix (IndyCar and Grand-Am) during Le Mans test days. I think that says a lot about his ambitions to be involved in Le Mans. :P

We'll see how the scenario actually plays out, of course. They could announce Penske is doing a full WEC program in 2014 for all we know. They could also never announce anything because Penske won't be fielding any sports cars in any series. Or something in between that.

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I just found it odd on the basis that it is fair to say the majority of sports car teams around the world probably have aspirations to race at Le Mans at some stage, and the easiest way to get an entry at Le Mans is to race in something like ALMS, WEC or ELMS (when it existed).

I am looking forward to seeing the new Porsche anyway. I thought it was a bit of a shame that the 2014 rules state that LMP1s have to be coupes, because for me, one of the best areas about sports cars is the diversity. Look at the Road America finish - even someone who knows nothing about racing could relate to it in a small way, because hey, one has a roof, the other one doesn't. I wouldn't say an open car looks better than a coupe or vice versa, just that it is nice to have a mix of both. But still I think the Porsche will look great, and if Penske do run it in ALMS, that is fantastic for the series, particularly if they run it in the DHL yellow and red like they did with the RS Spyders. The RS Spyder remains one of my favourite more modern sports cars, and particularly in the Penske colours, it looked brilliant.

It'll be cool as well, especially if the talk of Toyota doing something in ALMS next year is true. Ideally, we need Audi and Toyota doing both ALMS and WEC next season, but as it is, that probably won't happen.

Also whilst I remember, and this is probably more for my benefit than anyone else's on the basis we're the only two who post in here, Autosport is featuring a thirty year tribute to Group C in this week's magazine. It comes out on Thursday and will have a 30 page piece on the days of Group C, which, rather ironically, is more than they've covered on modern day sports cars all year. This F1 break does have its benefits you know?... :P

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Penske will run Le Mans when they sell the track to him. :P

(I'm kidding, but I'm also not. Penske does so much behind the scenes to advance his team politically. He has a lot more pull here than he would there).

DHL ceased U.S. operations years ago, so I have a feeling they won't be in the ALMS (I realize DHL are on Ryan Hunter-Reay's IndyCar, but that's not a sponsorship. Basically, Andretti sponsor AirTran has a partnership with DHL, so DHL is featured on the car in Canada and Brazil and has a smaller decal at U.S. races). WEC, maybe. It was a Porsche sponsorship, and not a Penske one, so the factory Porsche in WEC could get that branding.

Toyota and Audi won't be in the ALMS next year, and Sebring won't be on the WEC calendar. I can't confirm either but I can say them with confidence.

It will be Pickett and Dyson in LMP1 exclusively. Just how many Picketts and how many Dysons is all there is to speculate on, as well as which chassis/engine combination Dyson brings. LMP2 has some potential for 2013 with CORE Autosport looking to move up. That class largely depends on Dempsey (choosing ALMS or WEC) and Level 5 (if the legal troubles catch up to the racing operation).

The big stuff will still be GT and the new GT-Am, though. Team Falken Tire are bringing a second car in 2013, and Black Swan confirmed a GT-Am. With many Porsche teams upgrading to the Porsche 991 GT3 RSR next year from the Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, those 997s can be purchased by prospective GT-Am teams, and likely will be from what I understand. I figure you'll get close to 17-20 cars from GT and GT-Am alone next year.

What I expect, hidden by a spoiler because it takes up a lot of space:

LMP1

#5 HPD ARX-03a Honda (Muscle Milk Pickett Racing)

#6 HPD ARX-03a Honda (Muscle Milk Pickett Racing)

#16 Lola B12/60 AER (Dyson Racing)

LMP2

#27 Lotus T128 LMP2 or Bailey LMP Mazda (Dempsey Racing)

#37 Morgan LMP2 Nissan (Conquest Endurance)

#95 HPD ARX-03b Honda (Level 5 Motorsports)

#05 ??? (CORE Autosport)

#055 HPD ARX-03b Honda (Level 5 Motorsports)

LMPC

#7 Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet (Merchant Services Racing)

#8 Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet (Merchant Services Racing)

#9 Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet (Rocketsports Racing)

#52 Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet (PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports)

#06 Oreca FLM09 Chevrolet (CORE Autosport)

GT

#3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R (Corvette Racing)

#4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R (Corvette Racing)

#17 Porsche 991 GT3 RSR (Team Falken Tire)

#23 Lotus Evora GTE (Lotus/Alex Job Racing) (could be GT-Am, but I think Lotus will want to stay pro)

#45 Porsche 991 GT3 RSR (Flying Lizard Motorsports)

#48 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (Paul Miller Racing)

#55 BMW Z4 GT3 (BMW Team RLL)

#56 BMW Z4 GT3 (BMW Team RLL)

#91 SRT Viper GTS-R (SRT Motorsports)

#93 SRT Viper GTS-R (SRT Motorsports)

#01 Ferrari F458 Italia (Extreme Speed Motorsports)

#02 Ferrari F458 Italia (Extreme Speed Motorsports) (could be the GT-Am car)

#X Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (Team Falken Tire)

GT-Am

#22 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (Alex Job Racing)

#44 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (Flying Lizard Motorsports)

#54 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R (Black Swan Racing)

#66 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (TRG)

#03 Ferrari F458 Italia (Extreme Speed Motorsports) (won't run if the 02 is GT-Am)

GTC

#11 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (JDX Racing)

#32 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (GMG Racing)

#33 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Green Hornet Racing)

#34 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Green Hornet Racing)

That's around 35 regular (not necessarily full-time, just more than one-off) entries.

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Luxury Racing have withdrawn from the WEC event at Silverstone.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/le-mans-jmw-added-luxury-withdraws-from-wec-silverstone

Always good to see Jonny Cocker driving anything, though. He was so impressive with Drayson in ALMS. It's my hope that Dempsey will field two LMP2s next year so they can have Cocker, Ben Devlin, and Dane Cameron racing for them in addition to Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey. I think it'd be best for Mazda's Skyactiv-D, too, to have a second car with a more competitive lineup.

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The WEC did a bit of promotion ahead of Silverstone today. Had a few cars on display, and a number of drivers were there as well. The location? In front of the London Eye.

431068_458893140811755_1442076040_n.jpg

422415_458893037478432_2112608451_n.jpg

Edit: Oops - Eric posted that just before!

Edited by JHS18

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