Saturday, June 4, 2011

Every Once In A While...

I have to knock back ridiculous thoughts about Sports Car Racing in America and the fantasy land people seem to live in.

I originally posted this on Murphy's blog but I thought I would share it with you -

(1) Philip Peter who runs the LMS series for the ACO has stated that due to low turnout of LMP1/2 cars at the opening round of the LMS in France and the impact of ILMC on his series that he is considering going without LMP1/2 cars next season.

(2) As Murphy stated Prototypes are hardly more popular in Europe. You just have better quality privateers see RML and Strakka. Henri won’t go anywhere without support from a manufacturer like those that support RML and Strakka (Honda) or Rebellion (Toyota). You can’t keep dumbing down the competition to the level of those that are hardly paupers to start with but just don’t have the cubic dollars/euro/yen of the larger teams.

(3) The quality of privateers in America are generally terrible. The only team worthy of praise over the years is Dyson. But even their roots are in GT cars, how come they can’t go back? Chris is a good enough driver to buy two cars, a brand new GT2(e) and a year old GT2(ProAm) car to run with at the ILMC rounds. He would still score points under that system if he’s a season competitor and its more affordable to take a GT car over to Europe than to bring a Prototype with massive odds against you doing well. A GT car will at least give you a chance to win, look at Tracy Krohn… Wouldn’t you say Chris Dyson is a better driver than Tracy Krohn?

(4) When the economy can support Prototypes they are fine. Clearly with world wide austerity, flat car sales and high unemployment you clearly see the rich did no suffer in the economic downturn but the FAN did. I don’t know how you can link what happen between the IRL and CART. IRL was idea of a Rich Man with too much money to spend. But once the family took away his wallet there was no more IRL. For CART a series of bad moves and a jingoistic culture doomed CART from the split onwards. Its fortunes really went down after key teams like Ganassi and Penske left for the IRL just because they wanted to be at Indy.

Sports Car Racing in America doesn’t have that. Don’t bring up Sebring. Sebring just happens to be around the same time of Spring Break and unlike much of Florida who don’t like College Co-ed’s invading their town Sebring seemingly doesn’t mind and benefits from it several ways, especially in the coffers. A majority of those fans are not regular followers of the ALMS or ILMC. There just happens to be a convergence of heavy beer drinking, general party environment and a good race (not always a good race…).

That said Autocon and Intersport are TERRIBLE teams. They are not poor so don’t give m that tripe that they are some fellas running this out of their garage. Even if that were true, have you seen RJ Valentine’s Garage? Its featured on the Lista web page –

That still doesn’t diminish the fact that they are reluctant to spend money. Compare this with Highcroft’s approach which has often been talked about – you’ll quickly understand why Robert Clark picked Highcroft and not one of the other teams in the paddock…

(5) Specialty manufacturers like Lola and Riley do keep Sports Car Racing afloat but I wouldn’t call that high quality racing. How many times has Lola been the Giant Killer? It seems to me only a quality outfit like Dyson was able to pull that off. How many of those types of teams exist? Not many, I’m still puzzled by Toyota’s decision to support Rebellion when they haven’t proven anything as Rebellion or as Speedy Sabah. They have won the occasional GT race and class victory (LMP2) but that’s it. Dyson has defeated Audi fair and square, only Panoz has been able to accomplish that. But these are teams run by people who aren’t concerned about what it cost to win, within reason.

The ALMS is designed to be a manufacturer friendly series and wants to stay that way. If that’s the case you go where the money is and for now and the foreseeable future the choice for national series will be to go with GT cars. Those ambition to take the fight to companies like Audi can battle it out on the world stage where its not cheap to start with and should be the least of your concerns if you want to beat them.

(6) I propose that the ALMS go with GT-e, GT3 and LMPC for 2012 to 2014 and reevaluate at the end of 2014.

LMPC cars are generally faster anyway, you can put them back to 2010 specs where they are equally as fast as current LMP2 cars. Its spec racing Fox but that didn’t seem to bother you watching Champ Car and IRL.. They are prototypes. Maybe in 2014 you can start considering other brands of engine say from Ford or Chrysler.

GT-e as Hindy is often fond of saying is PERFECT AND DON’T TOUCH IT. The only thing I might add in the future is ABS. Why not they already have Traction Control. It won’t make the racing any worst…

GT3 is where you’ll see the explosion and biggest expansion in the ALMS. There will still be some Porsche as there some loyalist already in the paddock such as Alex Job and TRG, they’ll just buy GT3R versions of the 911. But outside of that you’ll have mouth watering prospects from BMW, Benz, Ferrari and Audi. Not to mention Lotus and McLaren.

I like Prototypes too but not to the detriment of the series. Having uninteresting, poorly funded efforts that even Dyson can’t dominate because of a history of reliably problems does not and should not excite the fan base. Because of Muscle Milk AMR’s DNF at Sebring, Dyson only has to keep finishing races to win the Championship and even they are capable of screwing that up some how, but that’s no way to handicap a series…

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Comments