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Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Earth, Sep 1, 2012.
have no fear the merger wouldn't happen until 2014.
I believe the ride heights are too low? I mean, how much can 500 hp do, with all of that downforce?
Which means that I'd be done after 2012. I don't, you know, enjoy watching people die; why would I watch the Rolex series die, because of some loosely spec'd budget competition?
This. People keep having this impression that Grand-Am is gonna completely obliterate all that when there has been multiple signs that they themselves want to go global. Hell, they've been seen conversing with the president of the FIA for goodness sake (though interestingly, he came to them first and then all the talking began).
Trust me, there is interest. Its not always publically posted on official sites (this is where trying to find reliable sources comes handy), but there is interest.
You say that but then there's this interesting part, made way before all this merger mess in Grand-Am's recent article:
I'd say if of all people, Grand-Am representatives were repeatidly approached by competitors from the WEC, then I think the interest IS there. It also further reenforces Grand-Am's push to go global.
Actually 550hp purebreed racing engines with a 200hp Hybrid boost out of every corner. Let alone Audi diesels with 900- 1000nm torque. Yes. They do work on these straightaways
DP engines are based off of stock blocks. LMP engines have much better power delivery and performance. Looking at horsepower numbers on a sheet of paper doesn't do the talking. LMP's are doing 205mph down the straights at Le Mans and that is with many many lbs more downforce than a DP car at daytona.
But, it's still the same speed as the DPs are going at Daytona. The fact of the matter is, that the LMPs aren't actually that much faster in the straights. All of that downforce, and the lower ride height IS what gets them banned from Daytona, by the sanctioning bodies. DP's are scraping their bottom plates in Turn 1 at Daytona. What makes you think that an Audi R18 will make it through?
If it was that simple they would just raise the minimum ride height limits. But yes a LMP driver would have his rear scraping the ground by the time he finished the banking. Now if you raise the LMP car you go even faster down the straight lol. Conundrum...And they won't use restrictor plates any time soon lol I hope not!.
Again, cars with low ride heights.
LMP1 prototypes race 215mph over French roads
They wont be able to handle a freshly repaved Daytona? What if they had to run a street course like Baltimore with rail road tracks? Just raise the ride height. I mean these cars race at Sebring for crying out loud.
LMP1 can run Daytona if they wanted to. Any safety problems can be fixed. Top speed too high? Add a wicker or handford device to the rear wing to increase drag. Maybe make the backstretch chicane tighter and slower.
This is BEFORE Daytona repaved the oval. And these cars are just as low and just as fast as the very best LMP1 prototypes
It's alright saying that but french roads don't have 30 degree banking; if you misjudge a gap in traffic or get out of shape on there you're quickly going to lose control and go flying into a car or the outside wall at 215mph and it's hard to argue that that will ever end well. It's just inherently dangerous to run cars as quick as the P1's at that track.
It's alright saying that but french roads don't have 30 degree banking; if you misjudge a gap in traffic or get out of shape on there you're quickly going to lose control and go flying into a car or the outside wall at 215mph and it's hard to see that that ever ending in anything other than a horrific accident. It's just inherently dangerous to run cars as quick as the P1's at that track.
Why do you think NASCAR run restrictor plates there? I know that's the oval but because of the acceleration of the P1 cars and the speed they'd reach in the banked turns it's a valid point.
Daytona Prototypes already reach 195 mph at the Daytona 24hr, so I'm going to assume they consider that a safe top speed for the fastest cars.
The fastest speed set at Le Mans this year was 208 mph by the Toyota TS030 on one of the mile long straights. That's not much faster then the Daytona prototypes. Adding an aerodynamic device to the rear wing like the hanford device the Indycars use to use would increase drag and slow them down. How about just simply turning the power down? Indycars race with 150 less horsepower when they are on the ovals.
Turn the power on the P1s down from 550 to around 500 and add a hanford device to the rear wing. They'd struggle to reach 200 after all that.
Also Daytona has installed the safer barrier around the oval, so impacts that would have really hurt a driver 10 years ago wouldn't happen today. And NASCAR runs restrictor plates because they'd go around 230mph+ without them. The plates slow them down to around 190mph, which NASCAR sees as a safe speed for pack racing.
200 mph is a "safe" speed at Daytona and can be achived with small restrictions to P1 cars
Yes, but then the P1, P2, and DP cars would all be around the same speed, and I doubt that's what sanctioning bodies want. Also, it's not the speed that's the issue, it's navigating traffic that's the issue.
Hmmm, I just realized something. They may only merge track use. They keep each series as is (largely) and only share weekends, but not the racing itself. For all purposes, I think that would be the best call they could make. DP's at noon and GTE's in the evening, or vice versa.
In addition to a name change for Alms, I would be ok with that.
Compared to sports cars, F1 isn't even close as far as close exciting racing goes, I haven't watched an F1 race in years that's kept me on the edge of my seat like just about any Grand-Am, ALMS, or any other sports car racing..
I guess going forward lets hope this is not as bad as it seems. Maybe there is some good.
Or maybe France will fine himself for "Actions Detrimental to Sportscar Racing."
This would be very exciting. The question is who would be the governing body of the whole thing?
If its Correct that Grand-Am bought out the ALMS then Grand-Am gains control of all Don Panoz series assets.
Fixed. Brian France is too busy with fans punishing him for "Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing" at the moment.
The health of prototypes - Grand Am DP's have only been getting around 12 per race at most regular events this year I believe. Add to this that ALMS has NEVER had a strong prototype field - its used to be around 2004 two outdated Dyson Lola's against the Champion Racing Audi R8, then when Porsche came in they effectively merged classes to give Audi some competition. Highcroft gave some competition when they came in, but was that not with a P2 car? Was it not a P2 car that De Ferran won the ALMS in? The prototypes have never been in good health, to be honest most of ALMS has never been in good health.
GT? Well GTS / GT1 was always a dying category and around 2004 was just Corvette vs the ACEMCO Saleen S7R, with Aston Martin's DBR9 chipping in sometime in the years afterwards. GTE (aka GT2) had been the best class and done well, with BMW, Porsche, Corvette, Aston Martin, Lotus, and now Dodge.
Point is the ALMS has always struggled, and the merger is good as Grand Am in all honesty has struggled a little in the Prototype respect.
What are you smoking? Prototype has had some great seasons. The Audi vs Porsche season was amazing. There were some privateer P1 teams that also gave the factory guys a run for their money. GT has been amazing 99% of the time as well. Aston vs Vette in the past. Then Ferrari vs Vette vs Porsche. Then Vette vs BMW vs Porsche now. I will admit, this season has been pretty lack luster... but that does not make the previous seasons somehow worse. People tend to have short memories.
Smoking pure statistics. I am not denying that there was great competition between Audi vs Porsche, Aston and Corvette, Dyson and Audi, but there was not enough depth, not enough numbers. It only takes two good cars for a race, but if something happens to them it falls apart. GT now has great great racing, but it has the numbers as well. Thats the key. Re-read my post and you will see my point.
Far enough. I guess I just did not with the single statement that ALMS never had a strong prototype field. I distinctly remember a couple of season where P1 and P2 were fighting each other an it made for an overall prototype viewing experience.
Ok folks, I think its safe to say this merger will happen in 2014. Recall that the ALMS renewed its contract with the ACO so 2013 will be the final year for it as they have to honor that contract. They've said this merger will happen "likely" in 2014, but the contract agreement leaves me to believe that its pretty much set.
Also 2013 is a little close to sort regulations out for. 2014 makes sense.
Found this, featuring the very guy that broke the story early saturday:
Fast forward to 6:39
Interestingly, it mentions representatives of the ALMS were also at the WEC event.
Beat me to it..
After watching the video provided by RACECAR, these are my final thoughts on how I think it will play out
P1 is definitely gone. I'm 95% confident P2 and LMPC are gone as well.
Daytona Prototypes will be the premier class. With the new turbos and perhaps other rule changes look for them to be 2-3 seconds a lap quicker.
The ALMS GTE class will be brought over. They will run according to ACO rules, perhaps slowed just a little. This is where the manufacturers spend the big money and the class will help the series keep a connection to Le Mans and the WEC
The Grand Am GT class will combine with the ALMS GTC class, forming a GT3 class of some sort. Here the gentlemen drivers will race and the cars will be slower and most cost effective.
So your looking at 3 classes, two of which comply to ACO regulations, with a solid field of 40-50 cars every race.
DP (10-12 cars per race)
GTE (10-12 cars per race)
GT3 (20-25 cars per race)
Sadly, I believe the Daytona 24 hour will not attract the WEC or LMP prototypes. The race will consist of the 3 classes mentioned above.
The tricky point is does the ACO take Sebring off the 2014 WEC calendar. I dont see why they should. It would be great for both series to share the same race. More airtime for both. I think it would be a mistake to drop Sebring for a generic 6 hour race at the Circuit of the Americas. Theres no way that race would gather as much media and fan interest as the Sebring 12 hours.
I've come to accept this is probably how things will look. Prototype racing is as dead in America as it is in Europe. The ELMS has no P1 cars and the ALMS had what, 3? And we're suppose to break down in tears over the loss of those cars? Both Europe and America will get WEC rounds. The top P1 cars will still come to both continents. Prototype racing will still live on, just not at a regional level.
Taking out the Le Mans prototype for DPs is pretty much making it Grand-Am.
Prototypes > DPs
Grand Am with "Le Mans" GT cars.. We'll have to wait and see.