From the top, the ALMS despite being bought out by Grand Am/NASCAR which I thought was a possibility all the way back in 2007 has won the fan's hearts and minds. Grand Am supporters always want to look at the P1 and P2 class and say "its not successful".
What are you kidding me? So many ALMS fans are desperate to get Audi back into the fold, they are okay with them running a DP... So the rigidness of a few Grand Am teams (Spirit of Daytona, Action Express and Gainsco) *I should mention this is the FIRST AND LAST TIME you'll see me link these ridiculous Grand Am teams on my web site.* that are reluctant to upgrade their cars to match P2 pace in the new merged series is unfounded and not easily explained.
But I will attempt too! :)
There is a CLEAR conflict of interest in who is paying the bills and it seems pretty obvious to me. Notice that all three teams mentioned run the GM designed, Pratt-Miller built DP body panels. I know for a fact and its been mention by Peter Keane on Racing Insiders that they would not like to upgrade their DP because it defeats the purpose of DP's cost control measures in Grand Am.
Maybe that's because GM pays the bills? That has been confirmed by Starworks owner Peter Baron.
He makes the comment @ 1:30 into the interview.
That line of thinking is consistent with "The victor get all the spoils". But as the IRL paddock soon learned when it merged with CCWS (CART); ALMS has the fans Grand Am covets, but knows they alienated them with the first and second gen DP cars and yet some teams want to protect that which we (myself included) fans don't like at all?
I would say I can't believe my eyes/ears but I'm not surprised at all actually.
In the end, CCWS/CART fans got what they wanted, New Cars, Turbocharged Engines, Diversity and great racing;. The IRL brain trust had to yield.
Two of the poorest (relative term) teams in the DP paddock are in support of allowing more technology into DP's and it would actually save money. Ryan Dalziel explained on Radio Leman's Midweek Motorsports that for example moving to carbon fiber brakes on the cars would actually save money and this was taken directly from their experience in running a cost controlled program with a P2 car in WEC. In fact Ryan discussed at length the differences between the DP and P2 since Starworks owns both and recently tested them at Sebring in April (2013).
In the end the Grand Am brain trust and TEAMS will have to yield.
The fans want P1 if they can keep it (won't happen) but will pretty much get the rest of the ALMS untouched, while the Rolex GT field will get pared down by attrition. Attrition you say? Yes I said it, the question is who?
Right now if you cornered me, I would say Turner Motorsports is unlikely to continue in Rolex GT but may continue in Continental Tire. In fact I think all the Prep 2 tube frame cars will disappear, this includes the GX class Mazda 6's in a one and done for Mazda. I think that engine will be moved to Dyson's Lola LMP2 car, its always been an P2 car for those paying attention.
If that wasn't enough, now comes more news about DTM being licensed in America without any domestic involvement.
How can they push forward with this nonsense while trying to sort out Sports Car racing? I am not sure who believes this, but in some circles there is a belief that to capture the fan base that watches plays Gran Turismo (okay Forza too), Japanese Super GT and DTM online but actually goes to Drifting events will be interested in DTM America.
Really? Is there any proof????
Since DTM and Super GT regulations have merged, starting in 2014, except for the body panels and powertrains, the cars under the skin will be the same. Since GT500 in Super GT have a tire war, all things equal the GT500 cars will be faster over a lap.
Anyway, IMHO you can't have an American DTM series without involvement from at least one US manufacturer. It has to be a coupe body style, so that leaves out Chrysler/Fiat.
Ford should and I believe would have some interest since they spent very little money outside of NASCAR and NHRA. It also allows them to race the Mustang body shell without the limitations of its current suspension. Though mules of the new Mustang coming in 2015 have been seen with Independent Rear Suspension . They are also moving away from retro body styling which means they may be finally be able to race the car in ACO GT spec.
Without a clearly identified fan base and without any clear involvement from an American car company, I think correctly can hope for DTM races in the United States. But honestly if you're the type of racing fan I am, you knew this was coming anyway, especially since European car sales are slipping.
An update on the podcast -
It looks like August is the debut for the podcast and an update of blog visuals. It will also start using the domain name I purchased back in Feb.