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JHS18

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The Tourist Trophy (Silverstone 6 hours) is about to start.

At the same time, several F1 journos reporting that Webber has signed a five year contract with Porsche.

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An Audi 1-2 already. Some fantastic stuff between the two German cars and the two Toyotas, particularly in traffic.

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Interesting race today I thought. Great stuff by the Audis during the last stint - talk about no team orders!

Not too surprised by the result. Qualifying produced a strange result with it being the first time with those new rules. It was obvious from practice Audi was always going to be quicker than that.

Was reading in Autosport that Toyota didn't bring their '13 spec car to the race. It'll debut at Spa. Still, think we're in for a good season. Really looking forward to Le Mans even more now.

Really enjoyed the Blancpain Endurance Series race at Monza too. Some brilliant stuff in that. Once again, GT racing knows how to put on a show, particularly with a grid of 60 cars. There was just action and battles everywhere - overtaking galore. Good to see and a good battle for the win too.

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Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard confirmed as Porsche's first two drivers for the LMP1. Absolutely no surprises there, then.

Love seeing them hassle the Audi R10s in the little RS Spyder back in the day. Hope they can start annoying Audi again next year.

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The ALMS race is on U.S. TV tomorrow, so I won't follow it today.

Jani won pole for Rebellion by a huge margin over Dyson and MMPR (a surprisingly distant third). Farnbacher took the Viper to its first ever class pole in GT; now that it's successful, I expect more animosity over the fact that it's an 8.0L engine. We get the worst of both worlds, right? An illegal engine powerful enough to win pole, but still so restricted that it never revs enough for us to enjoy the sound. :lol::P

No, but really, good for SRT to be back in the mix. Anyone but Corvette, even if I'm all-Porsche this year with Falken and PMR, now that ESM's Ferraris are HPDs. Can't get too greedy and expect a team with experimental tires and a tiny team from New Jersey to win every race, so I'll take it.

Of course, qualifying is no race. Have to see how it goes tomorrow afternoon, which is really today's afternoon, which is really tomorrow in a lot of other time zones.

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He screwed up his career driving the way he did. :P

Have to recklessly, selfishly, and needlessly speculate the narcotics are related to that injury he suffered this winter.

Have to also recklessly, selfishly, and needlessly speculate that his career isn't over. Someone in sports car racing will take him. A ton of successful drivers had substance (and decision-making) problems. Many escaped being caught. Those who were caught (and survived) all came back...and some who came back were still using/abusing...and some who came back and were still suffering got caught again...from the outside, it's hard to tell who is struggling with something, because few present themselves as struggling. They don't realize it's struggling, or realize and deny. So, you never know. Those who get caught relative to the population as a whole would indicate there's a "lifestyle" with racing...

I'd offer that I hope he recovers and begins his life again, but racing drivers operate in a realm of reality so far removed from our own that I just assume he'll never overcome his problems while racing (or body-slamming, being Jaime :P) non-factory Ferraris around the world. Such is the way it goes for big-time drivers. I respect those who stay above it, sympathize with those who don't realize the consequences of their actions (and those who are impacted most by them), and set my expectations low.

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Interesting (and lengthy) comments by Peter Baron on USCR.

First - the 2014 season is around the corner - and the budgeting/planning needs to happen now. I need to know now if i am telling customers it is $1mm more ? $500k more? for a DP season. We need to get some input on this fast. I can not wait until October. I need to start receiving funds in October, not debating over what the budget is. I have one customer at large number for PC and i don't know if its a good number, or painfully shy. We need this information now.

Now for the meeting comments:

Classes need to be defined in a theoretical lap time/ speed ranking

1) LMP2/DP on top

2) PC

3) GTLM

4) GTD

5) GX - needs to be eliminated

GTLM I believe that GTLM has to remain constant and getting manufacturers to agree to a "5%" restrictor or any other changes will be impossible. Leave this class untouched as it ties to the ACO rules for LeMans. Manufactures (GM and BMW) put ten times into GTLM than what they do to DP. I think we all need to be realistic and digest that GTLM will not, and should not change. If all the DP teams think we should be the benchmark - all 4 others adjust, i think they are kidding themselves. The mob thought was "Majority Rules." But the GTLM mob is not to far off of the DP mob, and has significantly more factory support behind it.

PC must remain on top of GTLM..Class needs to be slowed down slightly so the DP/P2 class can easily be in front, but not slower than the GTLM. According to drivers ,the car feels massively underpowered. If you remove power - it will not be able to pass GTLM cars on a straight. To lower this class speed, I recommend taking away downforce and adding weight. Limit the cornering speeds, and give it a bit more straightaway speed. This will help its race-ability and keep it as the 2nd fastest class. Perhaps a harder compound tire than what they have this year?

GTD must be slowed down on the straightaways. They are far to fast & passing these cars in short chute sections with a DP is almost impossible. GTLM cars will never pass them on a straightaway. Throttle them back similar to how ALMS slowed the GTC to keep the straightaway speeds lower than the GTLM.

GX - find a way to get rid of this class. It looks to be there only to appease Mazda. Please get rid of it , and force this Mazda into GTD or GS. The speed differentials are horrifying and the class is more relevant to Conti racing in speed. A class for 3 cars needs to go.

Race Weekends:

Too many open variables and planning needs to happen now.

Paddock Space

the series needs to knock out the easy problems first.

pit rules...

Tires and fuel at the same time?

number of tire changers/helpers

I assume no booms for fuel?

paddock questions

amount of space per entry?

20' canopy per car? 26' for two? what is corvette and all going to do with the 2 car monstrosities? if so i want each car to have a 20' canopy..

set up days? should be minimal to keep travel costs down.

Split races

Need split races on tracks like Lime Rock, Mid Ohio, Kansas, Indy. Glen Short, 50+ cars on these tracks will be a disaster, especially will how close the gaps will be in speed.

Perhaps send Prototypes to Long Beach, and GT cars to Baltimore (like the pre-2007 Grand Am seasons)

Length

Race weekends should be defined as a standard calendar duration - "days at track"

6 hour or less events should be scheduled and routinely structured as 3 day event. who cares about television.. We often get pushed to the next day due to a rain delay for Nascar truck qualifying.

Day 1 - set up day that allows teams to come in based on flights that day - not have to stay the night before. ( perhaps exception - west coast teams to east coast races)

a new event - perhaps a late afternoon session for familiarization

Day 2 Practice and qualifying

Day 3 Warm up of 30 mins and race.

Warm ups really need to be 30 minutes and only 30 minutes

30 minutes allows times for cold mornings to get car and tires up to temps and let a pro ( from a pro am car) do a little set up - but not long enough so you feel compelled to put on a set of stickers like many teams for Road Atlanta warm up

To look professional, it should be mandatory to keep the team's paddock complete - and not torn down prior to the race. It looks a bit off with the fans walking around the paddock, and having them look at a loaded hauler and a race car sitting there alone - prior to the race. Races should be early enough so teams can finish the race, load the trailers, and get to major airport that night - avoiding anther day on road - reducing Hotel, Fly In day rate costs, per diems, and rental car fees.

Daytona 24 - It was an absolutely terrible idea to have a photo shoot 1st thing Wednesday morning, so we had to have a crew there Tuesday night - and not Weds Am,. ( cost about $3500 per car for this?)

Daytona, Sebring and Petite - Needs to be Set up Wednesday and run Thursday - race saturday. We can not afford the 7 days on the road at Sebring and Petite. Cutting out these days could potentially avoid adding at least $150,000 - $200,000 per car for 6 total test days on the road.

Eliminate the Roar before the 24.. Its sandbagging fest anyway. We are not planning on attending this event in 2014. Its a waste. We will learn more in 1day of private testing than the whole 3 days at the Roar.

Audi and other constructors.

This would be the best thing that could happen for the series. I have faith that the current management could keep "Audi" under control and have them build to the same rules as all the current manufacturers. But to be safe, a rule should be allowed that there is a price cap, and manufactures musth have capability to provide chassis and spares to all customers. One alternative... engine manufactures can not build chassises - only body kits. Since Dallara did most of the heavy lifting on the LMP1 Audi, i'm sure would partner with Dallara if they ever wanted a car. I would love the chance to compete against the biggest name in prototype racing on a level playing field.

The big subject.. the DP- the future and the speed

Everyone knows the LMP2 chassis has a limited life. At best the 4 existing HPD chassis will be good for another 2 season. Internationally LMP2 is a PRO AM class. -( Are you going to keep LMP2 requirements with a Silver Driver? ACO Minimum drive times? ) It is a nice thought opening up to European P2 teams, but we have enough cars in the US to make incredible racing. No one in the stands or on US TV even knows who OAK, Greaves, PeCom ADR Delta even are. You need to grandfather in the 4 running LMP2 cars ( and only these cars with their existing team) for 2 seasons and say going forward you need a DP. Put it out there in stone and people will commit to DPs. Ed Brown and Scott Tucker - if they are still in racing in two years, will need new cars. If new teams want to jump on board for 2014 and do not have a car - the message should be clear to get a DP. If Scott Tucker's and Ed Brown's private jets collide mid-air - the whole LMP2 debate is gone - and should be treated as such.

it is imperative that the DP is sped up + 3 to + 4 seconds to have proper series integration of the 4 series classes ( should be eliminating GTX!).

To speed up the DP - and integrate with the P2 car..

I am sure these are all things you know - but to try to arrive on similar Downforce to weigh ratios, and HP to weight ratios.

LPM2 car - runds with existing LeMans aero kit and add ride height & harder tires to drop lap times. Enough time should be put in to this as my daughter's 6th grade science fair project.

Remove Aero

Add ride height - weight if necessary

hard rides

repeat until slower than DP

Ed Brown/Parton have never been to LeMans, and Tucker only goes with 1 car, so why worry about keeping these cars to exact ACO rules.

I think the angry DP mob at the group discussion was a bit out of control... Show me a study saying its going to cost $40,000 to manufacture new pick-up points for carbon brakes, and ill get you a study showing how to make $35,000 designing pick up points. People are missing the point. Carbon Brakes is not going to magically make the tire more sticky so it can brake later. We are at the limit of tire adhesion. If anything - reducing the 12lbs per corner of rotating mass will take stress off the pick up points. When have you heard of a car failing from pick up points? Owners need to accept change and know that we can improve the show by opening up the wallets and improving the technology on the cars.

Overall, i think the series needs to come up with realistic plans testing parts prior to the end of year.

Back in 2003 - i believe these cars were about 2200lbs and had about 475 BHP. We are much over that now and reliability has only improved.

Simple ways to get the car faster.

50 BHP from motor manufacturers

search for an existing efficient dual element rear wing - that can be reproduced for reasonable costs.

Carbon Rotors - i believe of the course of a season - cost would be mildly different.

Carbon Clutch

More front aero. - In P2 they have the massive elephant ear dive planes. For sure there are frontal bolt on pieces that can add substantial aero without massive costs.

( 6 speed gearbox? dont think its much - but worth a try - we have a few 6 speed clusters and can test if asked)

No bodywork, spitter changes. Manufacturers might tell you there in more in a longer, wider splitter. But not aerodynamicists. They believe it is pretty maxed out and returns would be the smallest of any area.

If you do come out with something like a new splitter, make it spec - for all cars and cost capped at like $5000. I dont care if its plywood. The $20,000 splitters have to go! Look to develop cost capped parts when possible.

These are all pretty simple, but we need to get these items testing in cars now and quantify on track - not CFD and simulatior! I am happy to contribute services and 3rd car we have.

Tires - people are trying to compare p2 speeds at Sebring 2012 with confidential Dunlops to a 2013 P2 on a car on Customer Michelins that has traction control, weighs 300 LBS less and have 125 HP less. Then extrapolate that info against a LMPC car on customer Michelins in 2012 vs Contis in 2013..? , For starters.. the P2 fastest race lap was 1.5 seconds quicker in 2012 - and the race pace was significantly quicker ( at least 2 seconds a lap average?) - and our last stint at Sebring in 2012 was a triple stint.

But Compare apples to apples... The DP with 575HP ( was that the politically correct number? :-) ) 2325 lbs and no traction control - destroys tires.. this is where a quality tire shines through..

The pirelli of 2010 is still a far superior tire - in both speed and life.

Sorry for the following section Hoosier guys.. Just because i don't like your tires doesn't mean you are not good people!

In 2010 - the pirelli was great- we could do all of the practices and get by on weekend with the mandatory 5 sets- and we sometimes did it on 4 sets.. Now with the Pro Am 7 sets... I jump for joy when we get through the weekend on 6 sets thanks to rain! Thats so wrong - that the series increased the amount of tires by 2 sets, and shrunk the fuel cell 25% so the Conti could make it a stint! Make a worse tire, and make more money. I am quite confident - that all the owners would have gladly paid for customer michelins/pirellis and to pay for a support truck / mounting service to take car of us these last 3 years instead of using contis. The tire is one of the largest "black-eye" issues i have trying to attract customers. Almost all of the conversation with customers is related to " how bad is that tire?" Give us a proper tire so i can sell some seats to customer. Just as Jim Matthews.

And the 2 sets over 11 races for 2 cars over 2 season, roughly $193,000 to my budget ( 2 cars * 2 sets * 11 weekends* 2 years *$2200/set). That a lot of 2010 Pirelli tires that were still 1.5 seconds faster at the Glen 6 hour 2010 vs 2012 Conti I tire!! that hurts me, that hurts the customer, the sponsor and that fans in the crowd that are in the stands watching all the DPs parked because they have to save tires.

Just bring back a Pirelli spec tire and we have 1.5 - 2 seconds of the 6 seconds we are looking for!

People mention marbling? its going to happen no matter what.. GTLM will still have exotic tires. Unless you want to kick out Falken? We still have tremendous pick up problems with the continental tires. I don't think the lack of marbles is why Tim/Ganassi had such an easy Daytona! I'm the little guy in the field - and if we can suck it up, everyone else should be able to.

In conclusion!

When are the paddock / pit rules going to be decided?

1) 3 day - 2 night race weekends for sprint races

2) Weds noon unloads for 10 hour + weekends ( Petite will go the full 10 hours in 2014!)

3) DP speed improvements

Tire Tire Tire

Carbon Brakes

Carbon Rotors

50+ hp

dual element rear wing

better allowances for front bolt-on aero bits to balance dual element rear wing.

Thank you for your time, and reading this to the end!

Edited by JHS18

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Is there a source for this, or did he Tweet this to you in a DM? ;)

(Not putting it past him; Baron does communicate one-on-one with fans pretty well. Unfortunately, he's also totally nuts. When his Grand-Am team is losing, he threatens to quit the sport, and tells us that LMP2 is cheaper to run than DP. His LMP2 program falls apart, so he shouts that only 3 LMP2s are confirmed for the WEC in 2013, which was totally false, and goes on about how DP is far more cost-effective than LMP2, while denying he ever said LMP2 was cheaper, though he really did. He's all over the place in his opinions. Too much emotion. Not that I'm saying it's going on here because I'm not exactly a follower of USCR information at this time and just wanted to ***** you out for not citing a source. :lol:)

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Are you secretly Deggis on Ten Tenths? tongue.png

It was originally posted on the garra-fans.com forums. Happy now? wink.png

Oh, and according to Radio Le Mans, expect some big announcement about Rebellion Racing's future plans this weekend. There are a lot of rumours as to what they may be...

Edited by JHS18

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I have a serious dilemma next month.

Super GT comes to Sepang during the 15-16th June weekend. Tickets are quite cheap and attainable. The support races are awesome and I know of very few diverse, exciting and action packed races at SuperGT itself.

Trouble is, that is also the Le Mans weekend. The one race I keep vigil for every year. The one weekend in my house that is so sacred and I go so far as to make a list of food delivery services to handle the dietary needs for the duration. I've even found an online grocery supply shop to cater for emergency needs. I have full 24hrs+ of coverage courtesy of my tv subscription.

Watching a race live gets insane amounts of sensations coursing through the veins and also the missus likes it. On the other hand watching the full 24hrs of Le Mans on tv makes it easier to follow and it has a greater following among motorsport fans (compared to SuperGT which is more Asia-Pacific centric)

Advice? (btw the grandstand tix/pax costs around 10 quid of the Windsor type or approx 12.50euros)

What should I do?

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Go to the race so I don't have to be jealous of all the people who can watch Le Mans on TV. :P

I'm of the opinion that going to any race is always more fun than watching any race on TV, though I guess that would vary person to person. I think I'd choose to attend SuperGT, having not been able to attend a race of any kind since 2010.

That said, I'd offer two other things:

1. Do you have to travel (i.e. stay away from your home) to go to the race? If you are commuting to it from home, you'd at least get to see parts of Le Mans. I realize it's easy for me to say that just seeing parts is fine, because it's only been parts that were ever shown here. Had I been a part of the tradition of 24-hour viewing, I might see it differently.

2. How late can you decide? Will tickets sell out? I only ask because you might want to consider the weather. Some days are much better spent in front of the TV than at a track. ;)

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I agree with Eric too. I prefer attending a race in person to watching it on TV, even if it is nice to come home at the end of the day and watch it again to see bits you missed. :P

If you have an iPod/smart phone or whatever is the most popular thing like that these days, you could always try tuning in to Radio Le Mans whilst you're at the track. Then you can keep up with the basics of what is going on at Le Mans at the same time as enjoying some racing in person.

If you do go, try and take photos. Super GT is, like V8 Supercars, a type of racing I'd love to get into more and see more action, but due to the time differences and things, I never really get the chance to.

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The track is only about 30 miles from my place. Tickets won't really run out. It hasn't been that well attended over here.

Thanks about the Radio Le Mans thing. I think I'd probably go for the race and keep updated by that

Thanks guys

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From last year's race

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The Nurburgring 24 finished today. It was a bank holiday in Germany today, so bizarrely, the race started on a Sunday and ended on a Monday.

Unfortunately the weather (as ever at the Nurburgring) turned quite nasty. Torrential rain for several hours meant the race was red flagged for a long time, and in the end was more a 15 hour race than a 24 hour race.

Still amazing stuff though. I'm just in awe of those guys racing around that track. The skill that goes into just doing one lap on your own is incredible, add in 179 other cars, changeable weather at different parts of the circuit...just mind blowing. The footage is just so spectacular too, and as ever, a massive crowd. 210,000 people.

The race was epic. The Black Falcon SLS won (first time Mercedes has ever won the Nuburgring 24) with Bernd Schneider (first time he's ever finished the race in about 16 attempts), Sean Edwards, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Nicki Thiim the winning driver line up. Marc VDS second with the BMW Z4, absolutely trouncing the "works" Schubert cars. Maxime Martin was absolutely incredible today - at times he was a full 20 seconds faster than ANYONE else on the circuit and took second in the latter stages of the race. Reminds me of his heroics in the wet at the Spa 24 hours last year when he was equally dominant in those conditions. He's a wet weather genius.

ROWE Racing Mercedes SLS was third. But strong challenges from a fleet of Audis, Porsches and a sole works Aston Martin which all led parts of the race.

Notable mention to Augusto Farfus, Martin Tomczyk and Mike Rockenfeller too, who travelled directly from the DTM at Brands Hatch to compete in this. Great effort.

Know there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the circuit at the moment, (it is currently listed for sale, but there's talk the German manufacturers of Porsche/BMW/Audi/Mercedes will club together to save it) but I hope this race continues to happen for many years to come. Such a cool race and one of many I'd love to attend in future.

Edited by JHS18

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Oh, and I also forgot to mention that there is a massive 48 (!) cars entered for the Silverstone round of the British GT this weekend, for their longest race of the season. Happily, there will be TV coverage if anyone is interested in hunting down a stream from one of the usual sites.

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