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ALMS and Grand-Am to merge in 2014


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#51 racinggeek

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:57

LMP2 are faster than DP...


And by quite a lot, too, which would make whatever "equalization" of the two types of cars most interesting. Given the new masters, my suspicion would be that the ALMS P2s would be dumbed down to a Daytona Protobrick level of performance. Same for the ALMS GT cars vis-a-vis Grand-Am GT.

If you want numbers, ALMS and GA have raced twice at the same track this year. at Mid-Ohio and Road America. At Mid-Ohio, the top GA Protobricks were around five seconds a lap slower than the ALMS P2 leaders -- and little more than a second a lap quicker than the ALMS GT leaders. At Road America, the difference between DP and P2 was more like 8-9 seconds, and the top ALMS GTs were less than a second off the DP leaders.

Earlier, someone posted that the DPs appear to have about the same cornering speed as the P2s. I can only guess that person was either watching on TV or in a hairpin corner, because I've stood at several different corners at Road America, and I can see the difference in speed. Even without the factory Audi/Porsche/Acura prototypes any more, the current ALMS P1s and P2s are viscerally exciting to watch up close (when driven on the limit). The DPs -- eh. And the sound doesn't help, either.

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#52 racinggeek

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:58

That said, GA does have much closer racing in general, so ...

#53 Red17

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:07

ACO reaction. So far it seems everyone wants to play the good intentions game:
http://www.lemans.or...92am-_8523.html

The full statement is more or less «we are very happy and we want to talk about it». But one bit (that AS aparently missed) is not making me think this new series will allow teams to race in Lemans:

while the summit of this pyramid remains the Le Mans 24 Hours



#54 pingu666

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:35

there's plenty you could do to speed up dp s

#55 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:16

ESPN doesn't give a damn and there's no coverage. Whoever made the decision to move away from SPEED needs to have their heads on a pike. They single-handledly killed what was left of ALMS


If you're NASCAR, and your interests lay in solidifying your profitability in one series...



#56 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:21

NASCAR just blatantly said WE WON and YOU must conform to OUR standards.


Blast it, this is what I take from it as well.

Maybe they'll allow NASCAR cars to race as GT2. No, that would be too much fun.

No LMP1 means no more international care for the "series". Thanks, Nascar.






#57 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:31

Dont be angry because the market didn't like the ALMS product.

#58 DanardiF1

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:36

Blast it, this is what I take from it as well.

Maybe they'll allow NASCAR cars to race as GT2. No, that would be too much fun.

No LMP1 means no more international care for the "series". Thanks, Nascar.


Are you really that bothered that there won't be the 3 (yes, only 3) LMP1 cars? ALMS is mainly a GT series now anyway, since Audi and Penske-Porsche moved on.

#59 Red17

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 14:40

Are you really that bothered that there won't be the 3 (yes, only 3) LMP1 cars? ALMS is mainly a GT series now anyway, since Audi and Penske-Porsche moved on.

Yet they showed quite some LMP1 footage.

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#60 Option1

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 15:01

Dont be angry because the market didn't like the ALMS product.

Ummm, there's very little indication the market likes the NASCAR Grand Am product either. I'd also suggest given many of the comments in the media, the market (or segments of it at least) does like the ALMS GT product, very much. Sometimes it's about more than just the market.

I'm not sure how anyone could like something as slow, primitive and ugly as the DP cars, particularly as the pinnacle of their series. Oh that's right, NASCAR has led us to believe that technology has barely moved out of the 1950s and so it should remain.

Neil

#61 racinggeek

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 15:31

Dont be angry because the market didn't like the ALMS product.


Depends what you mean by "the market." If you're talking fans/attendance, it seems ALMS does better (although I don't have figures to back that up). But there was a pretty decent number on hand for the Road America race, seemed like at least a little more than the Grand-Am race at RA, and judging from the number of fence-hangers or lack thereof, I'd bet most of the GA attendance was there entirely for the NASCAR Nationwide race later that afternoon. And from the shots of the stands when GA is on TV, I'd bet SCCA National races draw better than a standalone GA race.

If you're talking manufacturers, again, depends what you mean. Certainly the lack of support killed ALMS' prototype classes, but the GT teams are getting at least some factory help.

Now if you're talking TV, Grand-Am races are live on Speed; ALMS is only webcast and occasionally tape-delayed by a day with almost no promotion of the broadcasts. So GA is the winner in the TV game right now, and that matters to the teams, sponsors and manufacturers.

All that said, though, how much of "the market" is NASCAR's deep pockets keeping GA on life support, like Indianapolis Motor Speedway did for The Series Formerly Known as IRL?

Edited by racinggeek, 06 September 2012 - 15:37.


#62 racinggeek

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 15:36

there's plenty you could do to speed up dp s


Like run them to P2 specs? :)

If Grand-Am wanted the Protobricks to go faster, the series would have changed the regulations already. No, the indication since the series began is that it wants cheaper -- well, cheaper than ALMS -- and simpler. And until more money/car makers come into the series, it's going to remain that way.

#63 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 16:18

Sportscar series are run for entrants, not spectators.

I didn't like the DP's in the first generation but the current ones aren't that bad. A few even look good. That Corvette/Chevrolet/Whatever isn't that far removed from an old GT1 Saleen.

We can't have both LMP1 and LMP2 unless LMP2 is going to be something very different like run to the DeltaWing concept. Which is much closer to the original concept(a lighter, less power, theoretically more affordable route to laptime) of LMP2. If it's just going to be wealthy entrants (MuscleMilk, Dyson, SunTrust, Shank) there should be one 'prototype' series and probably GT Pro and GT Am. If you could pull it off I'd prefer an all GT series but I think prototypes are just something that will always be around.

And I wouldn't get too worked up, at the prototype level, but commonality with ACO. Keep the GT cars as close to that as possible so teams and manufacturers can take part in all the series, but the prototyle division should be run that will give it the best product/entrants. That may mean more DP-esque. But I'd rather see a fuller top line grid than a handful of factory cars at Sebring and nothing the rest of the year.

My real concern is what this all does to Indycar. ALMS is a little more likely to collaborate with them than Grand-Am. And if Grand American Le Mans(my name, though its probably already been suggested) starts becoming more attractive and affordable to Indycar teams, that could be a problem.

#64 Woody3says

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 16:19

And according to good 'ol MP, the cost is NOT any cheaper.

http://blog.roadandt...rts-car-racing/

Come on NASCAR, bite your tongue and keep P2s while trashing the DPs.....I still say leave P2 as is, boost hp for DPs to run similar lap times. "American muscle" as it always has been. Fast in a straight line but cant turn for ****


Yes there are only 3 P1s, but you have to admit its been some damn good fights between the Honda and Mazda :)

Edited by Woody3says, 06 September 2012 - 16:24.


#65 Risil

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 16:21

Nice points, Racinggeek. :up:

Now, how long before the obligatory Deltawing speculation for the 2014 series? ;)


#66 Option1

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 17:05

My real concern is what this all does to Indycar. ALMS is a little more likely to collaborate with them than Grand-Am. And if Grand American Le Mans(my name, though its probably already been suggested) starts becoming more attractive and affordable to Indycar teams, that could be a problem.

A valid concern for you, although really I think there's room for both if it's handled well. Personally, I'd rather see proper sports car racing (high tech, proper prototypes, mix of classes) trump Indycar, but I know we're coming at it from different angles. At the moment none of the 3 (Grand Am, ALMS, Indycar) is particularly healthy. Indycar appears to be on the right track to recovery - if they can some how resist their usual behaviour of shooting their own feet off. I hope the same can be said of this new sportscar entity when 2014 comes around, but I remain very pessimistic.

Neil

#67 racinggeek

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 18:08

Nice points, Racinggeek. :up:

Now, how long before the obligatory Deltawing speculation for the 2014 series?;)


Already happened -- Don Panoz was asked about it at the press conference, according to a partial transcript I read -- "The DeltaWing is part of the agreement ... and performance standards have to be achieved. We have proven we have the safety data and stuff, but it needs to be reviewed. But that is part of our agreement that can be accepted."

#68 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 18:23

What happens to the Natural Gas thing?

#69 pingu666

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:35

do you mean the e10 and e80 which the teams sometimes run in alms? id think they would want to keep that. tyres are also a issue as grand am is single make, alms isnt apart from the spec classes


#70 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:38

No, Pat Patrick/Patrick Racing were supposed to be doing some Natural Gas powered racing thang with the ALMS.

#71 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:21

Please put a Nationwide race at the Road Atlanta track.
Since the France's would ever run them as anything than a headliner, do it on it's own standalone weekend.
My class list:
LMP 2, as is
DP, with a two year limit to step up to LMP 2, or down a class.
GT (ALMS)
Tell the Rolex guys to fit in with any of the above, or go away.
Try as best you can to get all classes ACO rated.
Forget the flying dildo, errr deltawing.
I like the idea they have of a 12 race schedule with only 11 counting for points, so they are open to go to Le Mans if invited.
I seriously hope that the France Family Mafia doesn't tread heavily on this, and does it's absolute best to encourage any and all manufacturers input.
Last but not least, get a Major League, long term series sponsor.
Much as I love sports car racing, I agree with the above poster that it's always been more for the entrants, than fans.



#72 Option1

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:41

Please put a Nationwide race at the Road Atlanta track.
Since the France's would ever run them as anything than a headliner, do it on it's own standalone weekend.
My class list:
LMP 2, as is
DP, with a two year limit to step up to LMP 2, or down a class.
GT (ALMS)
Tell the Rolex guys to fit in with any of the above, or go away.
Try as best you can to get all classes ACO rated.
Forget the flying dildo, errr deltawing.
I like the idea they have of a 12 race schedule with only 11 counting for points, so they are open to go to Le Mans if invited.
I seriously hope that the France Family Mafia doesn't tread heavily on this, and does it's absolute best to encourage any and all manufacturers input.
Last but not least, get a Major League, long term series sponsor.
Much as I love sports car racing, I agree with the above poster that it's always been more for the entrants, than fans.

This would be my dream outcome, but I wish I could muster more enthusiasm and belief that it will happen that way. Well said WWII! :up: :up:

Neil

#73 BetaVersion

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:47

And by quite a lot, too, which would make whatever "equalization" of the two types of cars most interesting. Given the new masters, my suspicion would be that the ALMS P2s would be dumbed down to a Daytona Protobrick level of performance. Same for the ALMS GT cars vis-a-vis Grand-Am GT.

If you want numbers, ALMS and GA have raced twice at the same track this year. at Mid-Ohio and Road America. At Mid-Ohio, the top GA Protobricks were around five seconds a lap slower than the ALMS P2 leaders -- and little more than a second a lap quicker than the ALMS GT leaders. At Road America, the difference between DP and P2 was more like 8-9 seconds, and the top ALMS GTs were less than a second off the DP leaders.

Earlier, someone posted that the DPs appear to have about the same cornering speed as the P2s. I can only guess that person was either watching on TV or in a hairpin corner, because I've stood at several different corners at Road America, and I can see the difference in speed. Even without the factory Audi/Porsche/Acura prototypes any more, the current ALMS P1s and P2s are viscerally exciting to watch up close (when driven on the limit). The DPs -- eh. And the sound doesn't help, either.


what is the HP of them, LMP2 and DP? and their weight?



#74 Victor_RO

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:12

what is the HP of them, LMP2 and DP? and their weight?


LMP2s come in at 900 kg and about 450-500 bhp, DPs weigh around 1050 kg with around 500 bhp, the main difference is far more developed and efficient aerodynamics on the LMP2 cars.

#75 Haribo

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:20

In a way I'm glad that this merger has happened. If these two series had continued to try and compete against each other, they would have probably wiped each other out in a couple of years.

I'm an ALMS fan and not really a Grand-Am fan, but let's face it - P1 has had some good fights this year, but it's effectively a 2 car series and I could probably drive the Muscle Milk car and beat the Dyson Mazda. P2 has been the Scott Tucker show mainly, and I don't give a crap about LMPC or GTC. The GT racing is fantastic, and that has to be kept in the merger at all cost.

I'd like to see the DP's given a performance boost to equalize them with the P2s, but I doubt that will happen - most probably the other way round. But a DP / P2 / Deltawing mixed class would be pretty amazing if the could balance it right. I'm not sure how they'd balance that with ALMS GT thought. The ALMS GT cars are only a few seconds off the pace of the DPs as is, and I'd be frustrated if the slowed the GT cars down.

ALMS needed to do something as their TV scheduling sucked donkey balls. I lost count of the amount of times I gave up because the web streaming buffered, stuttered and died. If they can get a better TV deal with the merger, then that can only help.



#76 pingu666

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:40

I'd be happy to have current grand am gt class continue tbh, those mazdas are fun :-)

#77 BetaVersion

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:50

LMP2s come in at 900 kg and about 450-500 bhp, DPs weigh around 1050 kg with around 500 bhp, the main difference is far more developed and efficient aerodynamics on the LMP2 cars.

thanks very much ;)

couple of years ago the LMP2 had 750kg, right?

By the way, I would love if ACO and this new merged series reduced the min weight of LMP1/P2 to 750kg.

#78 Victor_RO

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:54

couple of years ago the LMP2 had 750kg, right?


What came to be known today as LMP2 started out as LMP675 in 2000, and the clue is in the name, minimum weight was 675 kg (although the first proper P675 car, the MG-Lola, only came around in 2001).

#79 pingu666

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:55

lmp2 might of started at 675? But yeah ballested upto and over 900kg now

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#80 BetaVersion

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:02

I don't get this high min weight, it only makes the cars slow trucks. Is it that expensive to make lighter cars?

Edited by BetaVersion, 08 September 2012 - 03:50.


#81 Marbles

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 14:01

In a way I'm glad that this merger has happened. If these two series had continued to try and compete against each other, they would have probably wiped each other out in a couple of years.

I'm an ALMS fan and not really a Grand-Am fan, but let's face it - P1 has had some good fights this year, but it's effectively a 2 car series and I could probably drive the Muscle Milk car and beat the Dyson Mazda. P2 has been the Scott Tucker show mainly, and I don't give a crap about LMPC or GTC. The GT racing is fantastic, and that has to be kept in the merger at all cost.

I'd like to see the DP's given a performance boost to equalize them with the P2s, but I doubt that will happen - most probably the other way round. But a DP / P2 / Deltawing mixed class would be pretty amazing if the could balance it right. I'm not sure how they'd balance that with ALMS GT thought. The ALMS GT cars are only a few seconds off the pace of the DPs as is, and I'd be frustrated if the slowed the GT cars down.

ALMS needed to do something as their TV scheduling sucked donkey balls. I lost count of the amount of times I gave up because the web streaming buffered, stuttered and died. If they can get a better TV deal with the merger, then that can only help.


Well said. Like you, I'm not at all pleased that the Frances have prevailed, but unfortunately things are in such dire straits right now that this seems like a good outcome.

It'll be interesting to see how they even out the classes. Something that hasn't been mentioned yet, fuel tanks. If I recall correctly, restricting the GT cars' fuel cells was the Frances' answer to having the inaugural DPs beaten by the GT Porsches. That said, I think making the DPs faster is the ideal solution.

#82 pingu666

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 14:50

the high weight is to limit corner speed i think, and a few 100kg of ballest, easily. f1 is probably similer now, i expect every f1 car has atleast 100kg of ballest


#83 BigCHrome

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 22:21

P2's will be slowed down.

#84 Slowinfastout

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 22:28

It wouldn't be the first time..

Who gives a toss as long as there is a big healthy field of cars? and a TV deal that will help these guys bring racing cars to race tracks?

Sometimes I think people would rather see the series go tits up and cease to exist rather than witness an attempt to make something viable out of it.. guess it's the nature of internet.

#85 JacnGille

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 00:07

I hope the plans for Road Atlanta aren't too radical or invasive.

#86 Option1

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 00:15

It wouldn't be the first time..

Who gives a toss as long as there is a big healthy field of cars? and a TV deal that will help these guys bring racing cars to race tracks?

Sometimes I think people would rather see the series go tits up and cease to exist rather than witness an attempt to make something viable out of it.. guess it's the nature of internet.

Bullcrap. Maybe it's we'd rather see good racing with cars that are of this century than some blended NASCRAP 1950s technology served up as pretend high end technology with a bunch of spoon-fed paid-for media pushing the corporate line that is lovingly sucked up by a bunch of drones who can't wear a cap facing the right way round.

Neil

#87 Woody3says

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:57

It wouldn't be the first time..

Who gives a toss as long as there is a big healthy field of cars? and a TV deal that will help these guys bring racing cars to race tracks?

Sometimes I think people would rather see the series go tits up and cease to exist rather than witness an attempt to make something viable out of it.. guess it's the nature of internet.

I damn sure give a toss. If NASCAR tamper with P2s and make them non ACO compliant why would any ALMS top P2 team want to stay? The top teams are running to earn a spot at......uh........some track.......eh......La......ah LEMANS :smoking: Muscle Milk has already said they will NOT under any circumstance run a DP. Panoz slammed his hand in the door with his "P1 is not for us" comment. Honda has also stated they don't race in performance balancing series.

Some of these teams and manufacturers are around for more than just "making the show" aka NASCAR 101. Some of the fans feel the same. Throw my name in that hat.


Bullcrap. Maybe it's we'd rather see good racing with cars that are of this century than some blended NASCRAP 1950s technology served up as pretend high end technology with a bunch of spoon-fed paid-for media pushing the corporate line that is lovingly sucked up by a bunch of drones who can't wear a cap facing the right way round.

Neil

Someone else speaks my language

Edited by Woody3says, 08 September 2012 - 01:59.


#88 Slowinfastout

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:16

Posted Image

Last I checked they said they are open to work with ACO, they said something will be put in place so the teams that wanna do LeMans will be able to.. so everyone recognizes the obvious importance of Le Mans, and ACO responded by saying they welcome whatever is happening..

Besides, it's happening so ya'll better get used to it.

Edited by Slowinfastout, 08 September 2012 - 03:21.


#89 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:03

Honda has also stated they don't race in performance balancing series.


Uh, I believe they were and are deeply involved in a spec series right now by the name of the IRL...

#90 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 12:29

Errr, do Muscle Milk even go to Le Mans with the current ALMS?

#91 Woody3says

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 21:10

Dyson received the invite, I just put out MMR as a top team that has definately given their stance. Honda is in INDYCAR, but they have shown they are not happy about IC's decision early in the year to allow Chevy to change their engines. They built to a set of rules and came out the better engine. I'd rather give Honda props for commiting to a series that was dead and will debate their participation at Indy elsewhere if you wish.

Some very good comments from Dempsey about putting egos aside and keeping the best parts of both series. That is my main concern. The France family has shown that they are "God" of their series. I really hope my concerns are unfounded. I WANT this to be a badass series.

#92 pingu666

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 22:20

muscle milk havent been but they intend to go

highcroft went for 2-3 years

corvette always go, flying lizards go, plus i think plenty of staff go on loan from other teams.

plus plenty of drivers too :)


#93 BigCHrome

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 02:21

muscle milk havent been but they intend to go

highcroft went for 2-3 years

corvette always go, flying lizards go, plus i think plenty of staff go on loan from other teams.

plus plenty of drivers too :)


GA teams go as well. IIRC P2 winners in Le Mans this year usually run a DP.

#94 pingu666

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:20

drivers do multiple series, starworks do wec and grand am and conti tyres, but you can't box up a grand am outfit, and ship it to le man's and run it as is.



#95 biercemountain

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 13:11

Watching the Laguna Seca race I started wondering how Gurney and Donahue are rated amongst sportscar drivers? I never see them doing anything other than Grand-Am which they seem to have made good careers out of (can't fault them for that).

#96 Risil

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 15:55

muscle milk havent been but they intend to go


Muscle Milk/Cytosport's owner Greg Pickett is now saying he's considering a full WEC programme in 2014. Dagys mentions Porsche's P1 project in conjunction with this. Pickett's brand of sports milkshakes is now sold in Germany, France and the UK, so the move could make marketing sense. But surely they have to maintain a big presence in the United States. As it is, do we even know whether there'll be an American WEC round in 2014? To say a lot rests on Daytona's talks with the ACO is an understatement.

#97 Woody3says

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 16:18

Muscle Milk/Cytosport's owner Greg Pickett is now saying he's considering a full WEC programme in 2014. Dagys mentions Porsche's P1 project in conjunction with this. Pickett's brand of sports milkshakes is now sold in Germany, France and the UK, so the move could make marketing sense. But surely they have to maintain a big presence in the United States. As it is, do we even know whether there'll be an American WEC round in 2014? To say a lot rests on Daytona's talks with the ACO is an understatement.

Wow, a very ballsy and ambitious move :up: I like this a lot. As of right now there will not be a WEC round in '14. That will be up to France.....

#98 Red17

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 16:19

As it is, do we even know whether there'll be an American WEC round in 2014? To say a lot rests on Daytona's talks with the ACO is an understatement.

It will depend a lot on how the agreement is reached, tho it makes little sense to have a WEC round without LMP1.
The easiest option I can see so far is ACO and NASCAR agreeing in having a WEC only race with LMP1 and LMP2 that is open to Grand Am GT classes (being that the base specs should remain similar). The race is run in a free slot of the Grand Am shedule in a NASCAR owned track. GT classes get some sort of qualifier for Lemans.

Running a prototype hybrid event is simply too wild. As stated above the LMP cars would destroy the DP class unless some leveling was reached.

Either way, 2013 is safe for Sebring.

#99 Woody3says

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 16:29

Running a prototype hybrid event is simply too wild. As stated above the LMP cars would destroy the DP class unless some leveling was reached.

Thats why I think a race with both series running as well as WEC entries would work out. It would not be a huge mass of cars running similar times but a three of even four tier level. P2s>DPs>ALMS GTs>GA GTs

Always wanted to go to Sebring and THAT race would get me to go hands down.............hear me #TheFuture? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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#100 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
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Posted 10 September 2012 - 17:52

Ah the inevitable seems to be happening.

The IMSA (alms) hit a downward spiral after 2003, with a brief bump caused by Penske and ignoring ACO rules in 2008.

The odd thing is, after the SCCA quit running the former World Sports Car championship races at Daytona and Sebring, it was Big Bill France who contacted the kahunas at Lemans to get the euro cars back over and running at Daytona and Sebring.
Then when continually changing and restrictive rules killed the IMSA and the remains split up into GARRA and the new IMSA it was Panoz who kissed the ACO's but to give Sebring something to try to challenge the eight hundred pound Gorilla the France boys, after Big Bills death, had in Daytona.

No matter how much hard core sports car fans like Sebring it always has been the little brother to Daytona.

Well now hopefully the France boy, as much as I dislike him, will tell the ACO to go away until they quit thinking their shit does not stink and sets up less spec. rules that will get Detroit interest in sports car racing again.
It was Dodge getting all the press that embarrassed Chevy into getting into road racing again, and hopefully some one has enough brains to take this opportunity to undo all the damage that happened when the IMSA went belly-up in the nineties.