Friday, July 12, 2013

In the dept of overlooked stories in the media: USRC GTC/Rolex GT unaddressed thus far in the media

 Be sure to catch International GT Open on YouTube this weekend. If you can't catch it live, give it about an hour and watch the reply. Its not Geo Blocked so anybody can watch it.

 DTM will be making their annual appearance at the Norisring street circuit. Its also live and unblocked on YouTube as well.

 Anyway I was unaware of this, but driver Mike Hedlund apparently has a blog on called Maximum Attack. He's made in my mind an insightful post about the "other" GT class in the upcoming merged series (USCR). It also appears on's web site.

 He supports moving the entire class to FIA spec GT3 cars.

 I also support this move, it makes sense, but of course as with lots of things in America today, it might not happen. 

 That is unless YOU the fan get involved.

 I have made it my personal mission to make USCR accept changing the Rolex GT/ALMS GTC class to FIA GT3 spec. It offers close racing via BoP and spec tire regulations. Some call these unregulated regulations are a cause of concern in media circles (Radio Le Mans) that I believe are largely unfounded.

 The base technological regulations are spec across the board. All the cars have mandated and restricted aero devices such as the size of splitters and rear wing dimensions. All the cars have ABS, Traction Control and Sequential/Paddle Shift.

 Balance of Performance which is controversial with some fans of Sports Car/Road Racing, it makes for close and competitive racing (the show) so I really don't have a problem with it as long as its fair.

 The results and popularity can not be argued.

 The only arguments against a change would be based on Grand Am's founding principals of close competitions and affordability. The results you see are a DP class slower than P2's in ACO spec at are the same price and a Rolex GT class slower than ACO GT and FIA GT3 yet cost no less.

 It will add the diversity that the ALMS fan base love. Some of these cars are already in the United States -

Black Swan (Tim Pappas) racing in SCCA World Challenge.

James Sofronas' of GMG also runs a GT3 spec Audi R8. I know these are not brand new cars (LMS Ultra) and seem to be 2009-2010 spec. The cars they run have open side windows like Grand Am Rolex GT spec cars.

 The real issue with having a Grand Am spec car is that technology that is allowed by rules in Europe are removed in a bid to reduce cost. But they don't reduce cost! These cars cost $450K + or the same prices as an FIA GT3 spec car. 

 It doesn't have to be this way, there are minor differences between FIA GT4 cars and Continental Tire Sports Car Championship. The biggest differences is fuel cell size since refueling is common in America, diameter of the rollcage (larger in America) and as of 2011 an FIA spec rear wing and splitter.

 I am unsure why Grand Am runs open side windows other than I think again to reduce cost, but again they don't. Audi had to use wind tunnel time to reposition the rear wing as the open side windows impacted the effectiveness of the rear wing. They run closed side window in FIA GT3 and I believe have air cond like ACO GT cars.

 Also removed from the Audi's especially are the front dive planes and the updated aero of the LMS Ultra.

 USRC is a reboot of two series merged, there is no reason to continue this foolish notion of cost savings for the sake of cost.

 This is our chance as fans to shape the series we pay to watch, please join me, Mike Hedlund and others who I know share this vision.

 Update: Elkins "
I think what we need to do is do things that are more inviting to manufacturers to come play with us and not things that hold them up,” Elkins said. “By building a car to a single specification, where it can only race in one place, puts us in a difficult path. 

“I'm not being critical on how things were done in the past but I think we need to be more open-minded on how we approach realizing that people are going to want to come and race with us because there's only one series. So we have to look at things differently."

 Ding Dong the witch is dead! Its only a matter of time (I'd say ONE season) for Prep 2 cars to be phased out completely and the entire paddock switching to GT3 for loads of reasons.

 First: It would allow an American based team to ship a car to Dubai to run a 24 race in preparation for the Daytona 24 about a month later.

 Second: It would allow an American team to run Blancpain, ADAC GT, British GT, FIA GT Series, Blancpain/Spa 24 or VLN/N24. No changes needed, put the car on a ship or a plane and run those events.

 Third: It would give GTD (Rolex GT, GX, GTC) some badly needed diversity

 Fourth: Teams and the new series would be getting out ahead of any potential merger between SRO/FIA GT3 regulations (or lack thereof in somes cases) and ACO/Le Mans GT (LMGT) regulations that are likely to happen by 2016 since the manufacturers are pushing this.

 John Dagys has the full interview here

 Update # 1

 SRT has just announced 2-Time Viper Club Champing Ben Keating is the first customer for the recently released Viper GT3 that's eligible for the various GT3 based championships including GTD in next year merged USRC series.

 Check out the story by John Dagys here



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