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ALMS & Grand Am have discussed a merger


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#1 Locai

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:59

I forgot to post this earlier this week.

While Dave DeSpain had the guy from DMG on WindTunnel, he mentioned a rumor he had heard "from an extremely reliable source" that Grand Am and ALMS had held discussions about merging the two series. The guy he had on his show also happens to be in charge of the Grand Am series.

The guy (and I don't remember his name) confirmed that he had held a discussion with Scott Atherton from ALMS. However, there are no plans to merge the two series at this time. (Sorry, no link)

What would everybody like to see from a combined series? I'm not sure what Grand Am has that ALMS would want, other than the 24 Hours at Daytona and, possibly, a date at Watkins Glen. I can't imagine that ALMS would see any value in adding the DP cars as another class. And the Grand Am GT cars are so similar to the ALMS GT2 cars that they often crossover for select events (with only minor modifications).

I can't see the Grand Am series pulling a "ChampCar" and just giving up unless the France family just decided to pull the plug (not likely to happen). And I can't see the ALMS series veering very far off from the rules set forth by the ACO for LeMans.

I guess we could end up seeing the DP cars added as a separate class, but even that doesn't seem to make much sense (5 classes racing at once?).

Thoughts?

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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 13:06

They are on such massive ends of the sportscar scale, how would you meet in the middle? Unless they want combined weekends?

#3 shaggy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 13:48

I have become a fan of the two, so a combined weekend would be greatly welcomed by me. It would be great to see them both at RA, Sebring and Mexico City.
It would at least push the number of people in the stands into the double digits.

shaggy

#4 jaisli

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 15:02

The ALMS gains credibility and arguably notoriety because it follows the ACO rules. Well, for the most part. Although it's not officially part of the series, many of the ALMS teams go to Le Mans. A merger with Grand Am would surely involve a change of direction. And one I wouldn't particularly enjoy.

The ALMS has had trouble fielding enough cars in each of it's individual 4 categories to make for interesting racing. Right now GT1 in particular is suffering. But the series in general is pretty healthy. And the current action in LMP2 makes up for it.

There may be merger talk. But I think that's all it is.

#5 ensign14

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 15:19

Could be like Group C and C2. The Grand Am cars remind me of the old Ceekars and Nykjaers of this world.

#6 Option1

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 15:19

I see zero reason for the ALMS to want the Daytona Prototypes: They're incredibly ugly and they're slower than ALMS GT1 (seriously).

However, I do see some reason for wanting the Daytona 24hr. Yes, it's a shitty, boring course, but it's "known" to the great unwashed masses.

Neil

#7 F575 GTC

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 16:08

Originally posted by jaisli
The ALMS has had trouble fielding enough cars in each of it's individual 4 categories to make for interesting racing. Right now GT1 in particular is suffering. But the series in general is pretty healthy. And the current action in LMP2 makes up for it.


That's how it is this side of the pond too, minus the fact that the LMS is slightly healthier in the LMP1 catagory. GT1 is dying everywhere it seemes - with exception to the FIA GT's but that's only because it's the main class.

Personally i think they should wait to see about the new World GT Championship Ratel wants to bring out in 2010, new rules & classes with it (changing GT1 for a start) might change some aspects of the championships.

I'm hoping for a GT1-GT2-GT3-GT4 series, but you live in hope! :lol:

#8 aportinga

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 16:47

Originally posted by shaggy
I have become a fan of the two, so a combined weekend would be greatly welcomed by me. It would be great to see them both at RA, Sebring and Mexico City.
It would at least push the number of people in the stands into the double digits.

shaggy


You're the target... Why would NASCAR merge with another series if it was not to take away from OW? They'll start off with the existing fans on both sides - then people like you who are disenchanted from the OW merger - myself included. Next will be all the road racing fans of the IRL.

Think of this what you will but I think the timing is highly suspect.... And we know that NASCAR has done no favors for the IRL in the past.

I confess however - Like shaggy I welcome this enormously and will gladly place all hope of OW getting better on the back burner for a ALMS GA merger :up:

#9 John B

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 16:54

Agree with much already posted so far. The key perks a merger holds for me are getting the top personnel from both series on the same track and lengthening the schedule. Ideally it would be slanted towards the ALMS version of things -- in the process of desparately seeking a series that (mostly) races on real road courses without ugly spec cars I've become an increased fan of them.

#10 Locai

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 17:31

Originally posted by Option1
I see zero reason for the ALMS to want the Daytona Prototypes: They're incredibly ugly and they're slower than ALMS GT1 (seriously).

However, I do see some reason for wanting the Daytona 24hr. Yes, it's a shitty, boring course, but it's "known" to the great unwashed masses.

Neil


Daytona may be a boring course, but it also attracts a stellar field of drivers and is the only Grand Am race with any kind of recognition.

#11 Bob Riebe

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 19:15

Originally posted by Option1
I see zero reason for the ALMS to want the Daytona Prototypes: They're incredibly ugly and they're slower than ALMS GT1 (seriously).

However, I do see some reason for wanting the Daytona 24hr. Yes, it's a shitty, boring course, but it's "known" to the great unwashed masses.

Neil

Remember, unlike racing was up to the early nineties, the cars, IN EITHER SERIES, are only as fast as the specs. peculiar to each series allow.
If one wants more speed all they have to do is remove some of the restrictions.
Bob

#12 Option1

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 20:53

Okay, let me point it more bluntly. The ALMS LMP 1 & 2 cars are sportscars. The DTP cars are 1952 Volkswagens without the aerodynamics or power or handling or je ne sais quoi!

I love ALMS.

I occasionally watch Grand Am, (but don't inhale).

Besides given what the NASCAR-in-disguise is proposing to do by way of screwing over the AMA, I think there's every reason to keep them the **** well away from ALMS!

For those who haven't guessed, I'm most definitely NOT a fan of this idea. Will mean it will probably happen anyway. :down: :down: :down:

Neil

#13 shaggy

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 00:52

Originally posted by aportinga


You're the target... Why would NASCAR merge with another series if it was not to take away from OW? They'll start off with the existing fans on both sides - then people like you who are disenchanted from the OW merger - myself included. Next will be all the road racing fans of the IRL.

Think of this what you will but I think the timing is highly suspect.... And we know that NASCAR has done no favors for the IRL in the past.

I confess however - Like shaggy I welcome this enormously and will gladly place all hope of OW getting better on the back burner for a ALMS GA merger :up:

I am through with OW in the US.
If ALMS remains in charge, I'd be happier. If Nascar is the one that takes over, then I'd be more worried.
I am quite happy this year following these 2 series. Racing there has been rather exciting.

shaggy

#14 aportinga

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 01:11

Originally posted by shaggy

I am through with OW in the US.
If ALMS remains in charge, I'd be happier. If Nascar is the one that takes over, then I'd be more worried.
I am quite happy this year following these 2 series. Racing there has been rather exciting.

shaggy


Right on!

We're both exactly what they are looking for - plenty more out there just dis-enchanted with it all and merger or no merger I think they'll eventually get us... Only difference with a meger is it would be quicker.

#15 red stick

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 02:47

I wonder if it isn't a shot at Audi, who threatens every fall (at least, sometimes more often) to pick up their ball and go home. Say what you will about Grand-Am, but they have full fields. The ALMS GT1 issues have been well-discussed here, and it's frankly embarrassing (and boring) to see another year of Team Corvette racing itself, but the P1 situation is little better. Audi has no competition, and every ALMS attempt to remedy this by effectively merging P1 and P2 is met by foot-stomping from Audi.

Ah, but speak of merger with Grand-Am and what do you get? A longer schedule. Racing at Daytona, Sebring, Road America, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, etc. Those twenty-some DP cars racing in your series at every track. And leverage to tell Audi, do what you will; we'll survive.

#16 pingu666

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 03:11

would be nice to see "proper" GT cars for the daytona 24... got a poster on the back of my door from 98 i guess, ferrari in victory lane...

grand am just needs a new bodykit, its cheap isnt it? alms isnt :(

#17 red stick

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 17:51

I don't know that a bodykit would help. Grand-Am rules require a good-sized cage around the driver. They're safe, and that's a good thing, but the size of the resulting "cab" makes for some ungainly proportions.

#18 Option1

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 18:26

Originally posted by red stick
I don't know that a bodykit would help. Grand-Am rules require a good-sized cage around the driver. They're safe, and that's a good thing, but the size of the resulting "cab" makes for some ungainly proportions.

Doesn't matter really. You can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it's still a pig!

Neil

#19 red stick

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 00:08

The Dorans were attractive, IMO. Shame the Rileys were quicker, because they are, uh, aesthetically challenged.