Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rolex 24 Predictions (Updated!)

 Busy last night so here's a quick and dirty -

 In Prototype I am going to go with Extreme Speed #1 Fuel Economy is going to play a role and these are the safest pair of hands in the field.

 In GTLM, I am going with Risi. Despite my concerns with Fisichella they are going to be depending mostly on Mauchelli and Bruni to carry the water in the overnight.

 In PC, its hard to bet against one of the RSR cars since they have the strongest lineups, but I think I will. Colin Braun has been in the zone since last season in this PC cars and Mark Wilkins is very underrated.

 Finally in GTD, its a complete toss up. The Ferrari's have the strongest driver line ups, so.... Give me the AF Corse or should I say Spirit of the Race #51. Jack Gerber is the difference here.

 Enjoy the race I know I will.... 

 Quick Post Race Analysis -

  Don't care about Chevy's podium sweep, that advantage will go away at Sebring and beyond so they better enjoy it.

 As I said above CORE coming through was hard to bet against and I was right. They are going to be a tough team to beat the entire season.

 Congrats to CORE/PCNA for winning their first time out. Bruni started at the tail end of the field and was 2nd/3rd by the 2nd hour. That horrible accident is a setback for Risi and it looks like Mauchelli will be okay for Sebring, it was fellow California resident Memo Gidley who took the grunt of that accident, speedy recovery to him.

 Totally disappointed with the end of a great final lap GTD fight. Despite my reservations on how Scott Tucker funds his operation and that its only a matter of time before he's indicted and the whole thing comes crashing down (see John Field), his Level 5 operation is first class.

 The #555 should have won, no reason to flag Pier Guidi for non-existent "avoidable contact"; there was NONE! The only thing I can think of was not the 2nd or 3rd time Winkelhock tried to pass him, but the first contact that happen with two laps to go at the bus stop.

 If Pier Guidi didn't make a mistake going into the bus stop on the very next lap, allowing Winkelhock to pass him (he got him back on the banking) and was able to gap him by a second or two, no penalty would have come down.

 This is the very reason why emotional responses should be tossed to the side. We saw this a few years back when a bunch of Brits and Nationalistic Americans tried to toss (still try too) Gimmi Bruni under the bus for wrecking Joe Hand at the end of Sebring when the ILMC joined the ALMS there.

 Video evidence is conclusive, Bruni didn't touch Hand, its really close, but HD cameras show there was no contact.

 Yet Blind Anglo Saxon jingoism keeps Bruni in the doghouse in many fan's minds. Yes I have stooped to name calling because constructive debate in Western Culture does not work; at least not with sports fans who toss intelligence to the wind and run on pure emotion.

 Overall the race was okay. It was disappointing that none of the P2's factored into the final results. Oak was fast and could have factored into the race for the podium if it wasn't for niggling problems.

 Oh well, a full month to recover and reboot, then off to Sebring where I think the tables will be turned on the DP's who have little test mileage there and HP isn't nearly the factor handling and fuel economy is.

 Quickly another reason why Risi and the Level 5 cars should have won is fuel economy, there would have been no final stop for Risi or Level 5 and Level 5 didn't stop....

 Update #2

 It looks like IMSA has reserved its decision post race and reinstated Level 5 as the GTD winners. There is only a Twitter response and I haven't quite figured out how to screen cap Twitter. If you follow IMSA on twitter you will see the updated tweet about the incident. 


Monday, January 13, 2014

Tudor Series continuing taking shape

Rolex 24

 As predicted (by me :) ) Nissan will field at least one JRM built Nissan GTR-GT3 modified to ridiculous GT-D rules by mid-season. It is rumored Pickett Racing will be fielding the car. This make perfect sense to me because there are no other teams with links to Nissan in the United States with prototype or international GT experience. Yes Doran is one of those team with tenuous links at best but its likely going to be Pickett to simplify operations.

 Its expected current US GT Academy winners will drive the car. You can read more about this "exclusive" (read: official announcement) here

 Thanks to John Dagys of Sportscar365 @johndagys on Twitter.

 Risi has also announced its Rolex 24 line up. It will be Malucelli from last season plus WEC regulars and current champion Gimmi Bruni and Fisichella. 

 I expect soon the second regular season driver to pair with Malucelli will be Ferrari factory newcomer Davide Rigon or maybe Bruno Senna. Senna said publically that he would like to join the newly merged championship last season at the WEC/ALMS double-header at COTA.

 With some of the recent announcements with the single AMR entry for the Rolex race and possible driving lineups for the upcoming WEC season, it seem Senna has been excluded from those plans further fueling speculation on my part about his next move.

  This would also be a perfect place to get in-line for the very possible Ferrari LMP-1 La Ferrari seat that has been seen testing in Spain recently.

 Stay tuned for that development.

Dakar Week 2

 Robby Gordon continues to struggle with his brand new Gordini HST based on one of his SST chassis. He's regularly passed 20+ cars when forced to start down the order. His best finish thus far was 3rd when he started 16th on Stage 4. However he missed a waypoint, so after the time penalty he was bumped down to 6th place.

 Again be sure to follow the rally on Robby's website. Live Timing and Scoring can be followed on

 If things go as planned later this year (Summer of 2014) its very possible I could be on-site for next year's Dakar.

 There some core things I need to do in order to make this possible, so please be patient. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Robby Gordon starts the Dakar with minor problems but cost him over 2 hours to the Stage Winners and Other Stuff (Updated)

Dakar 2014

 Crowd favorite Robby Gordon had problems right from the start with vapor locking issues. Not just the coolant but other fluids which likely include transmission, diff and power steering as well.

 They were towed that last few miles to the finish (133rd). He said that the problems will be sorted out overnight.

 If you wanna keep track go to Robby page - and set your DVR to record the 30 min highlight show on NBC-SN (NBC Sports Network). They are roughly 12 hours behind, so if you don't want to spoil it for yourself sort of ignore the internet racing sites.

 Okay I just got the email from Planet Robby and he had to stop again today, he's currently 28th overall though, so he made some progress, however he's 1 hour 33 min behind now. I hope he solves his reliability issues for one of the longer stages tomorrow.

 Roar @ 24

  I was surprised to see Risi pull out of the test but they released a statement saying they had all the data they needed. With the only other GTLM being the Krohn Aviation Ferrari who had the best time of which is over 2 seconds off the times set by the factory Porsche, Corvette and Viper Teams, I hope Risi puts together a solid driver lineup. 

 More changes upcoming

 Sometime, the next installment of my series "How To Fix Auto Racing" will be ready in a few days.

 Let me know anything else you wanna see here.

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