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ALMS and Grand-Am to merge in 2014


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#101 Red17

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 18:37

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

Im not sure what you mean. Do you favour that the split in sportscar racing continues? Because this is essentially just the end of ACO's presence in the US, nothing really changes for the WEC or the Grand Am except a few adjustments to the schedule in 2014.

And you can't diminish Lemans either, the race has too much prestige (same is true for Daytona). American car makers may turn their backs but american teams will continue to race in Lemans even if that means buying european or japanese cars. Sooner or later one american car maker will go «Well, we have this brand new Ferrari killer and we are bringing it to France so that you little europeans can see it murder your little cars. Then you can buy it next Monday».

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#102 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 18:47

If US sportscar racing moves away from the Le Mans rules package, the US teams wont race to the Le Mans rules package. For the same reason there aren't any American F1 teams and only very rarely, drivers.

#103 Slowinfastout

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 19:01

I think it makes sense for the European and American stuff to coexist, Le Mans is the big race but surely there is an appeal to be seen elsewhere and logically the manufacturers would want to do that without building 2 versions of everything.

I don't see the upside for the (ironically named) France dude to go against this logic and build a wall over the Atlantic. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was the Grand Am rules that will disappear after a transition period, instead of the opposite that everyone seems to fear like the plague.

#104 Red17

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 20:15

If US sportscar racing moves away from the Le Mans rules package, the US teams wont race to the Le Mans rules package. For the same reason there aren't any American F1 teams and only very rarely, drivers.

I don't think Formula 1 is a good benchmark. Even less when the latest «team» was the USF1 joke.
From what I understand Lemans is still quite a big thing in america. And you can't sell the latest Viper or Corvette without putting it in the same tracks as the competition.

#105 pingu666

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 23:46

to be fair, that le mans eligability and link up is one of the key assettes of alms, and grand am side wanted to keep that


#106 biercemountain

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:49

I am honestly hoping for the best out of this acquisition (I can't bring myself to call it a merger). The optimist in me sees so much opportunity for some really great racing. Unfortunately the pessimist in me sees so much opportunity for disaster. There are some mighty big egos at play (Nascar and the ACO) and the risk of one saying, "Fine then, I'll just take my ball and go home" is always a possibility.

But then again, hope, as they say springs eternal.

#107 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:59

That article about costs is extraordinary. It fits a similar study over the cost breakdown(like running your headquarters and other detail) I saw a few years back which confused me because of the ammounts.

You could run a Sarah Fisher Hartman-level Indycar team for that kind of money. Why piss it away in a series that doesn't matter. Wouldn't you rather run at the Indy 500? Especially if you're one of the prototype teams that isn't doing Le Mans.

I guess in Pickett's case he also wants to drive, which he can't do in Indycar. But once Duncan Dayton retired I was surprised his team didn't end up in Indycar. At least once the factory Acura stuff dried up. I know he tried, but him and Rob Dyson you figured would have moved.

#108 Woody3says

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 14:13

Fully agree and support this idea

http://bit.ly/ODcjv6

#109 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 14:23

One prototype class or go away. If within that you want to have different weight/engine configurations that's fine. But I don't like more than as many 'classes' as you need to.

And no open top cars.

#110 Option1

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 14:53

Why no open top cars?

Neil

#111 Woody3says

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 15:18

Yes, why no open tops Ross? And if they went to a single prototype class do you honestly see France dropping the DPs? I don't now do I see why he would. He was the one who built it.

I disagree with you on the importance of the Le Mans connection. If P2s are pushed out then I really see most of the ALMS P2 teams either disappearing or jumping ship to a completely different series i.e. WEC or INDYCAR. The ACO spot is integral in my eyes to the budgets of said P2 teams. As of now they have that card to hold up for sponsors. Money is so hard to come up with right now. A possible ACO invite holds a HELL of a lot more weight than saying "ya, we wanna run around in DP getting our ass handed to us by the Ganassi DeathStar."

#112 Red17

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 15:50

One prototype class or go away.

To my limited knowledge there has never been such thing as 1 prototype class. And it's unlikely there will be one class because there will be always someone willing to run a slower and cheaper prototype. It's even worse now with the ACO pushing privateers to LMP2.

As stated above there are so many chances to make this a great thing. The GT classes should be no problem in my opinion.

The real issue is the fate of LMP2. If NASCAR and ACO reach an agreement that keeps the LMP2's racing and «Lemans ready» (with tweaks in the rule book of course) it will be a huge thing for LMP2 teams. Instead of just having a Lemans package for sponsors they can have a Daytona and Lemans sponsor package.
Once that is done all rest should be easy, for all we know WEC may even run a 6 hour race in Daytona with NASCAR's blessing or simply use COTA but still invite the american teams to show up.

Now that I think of it, COTA is probably the most likely venue for 2014 if Grand Am is so keen about keeping Sebring.

#113 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 16:43

To my limited knowledge there has never been such thing as 1 prototype class.


What did we have pre-2000s? WSC or whatever it was called. Ferrari 333s, Riley & Scotts, the Cadillac, the first first Audi, etc.

#114 Option1

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 16:53

Yep, even the first two years of ALMS, 1999 and 2000, only had one prototype class - LMP.
Neil

#115 Victor_RO

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 17:14

What did we have pre-2000s? WSC or whatever it was called. Ferrari 333s, Riley & Scotts, the Cadillac, the first first Audi, etc.


There was still a P2 class around (at least for Le Mans), which then became P675 from 2000 onwards. Group C had first of all C and C Junior, then C1 and C2, IMSA had GTP and Lights...

#116 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 17:54

All the above shows exactly what is wrong with sportscar racing, too many thumbs in the soupbowl.
I'm with Ross, one prototype class. IMO preferbly along the lines of the current LMP 2 class
The standard GT classes, and that's it, IMO.
The more complicated it gets, the more fractured it gets.
Keep it simple, and work with the ACO as much as possible, w/o getting pwned.
And please, do away with the gimmick classes, like the deltawing and assorted hairbrained 'green' classes.
FFS, they have a clean slate, don't muck it up.



#117 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 18:05

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


How many people went to the last ALMS race at Road Atlanta, despite effectively zero media coverage, zero tv advertising and barely there tv coverage?

Yeah, let's mess around with something that's doing good in that circumstance, that makes a lot of sense.


#118 BigCHrome

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 18:14

I don't see why an American team with american sponsorship would go to WEC when they barely have any races in USA.

#119 Red17

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 18:27

I'm with Ross, one prototype class. IMO preferbly along the lines of the current LMP 2 class

In a ideal world.
But we know that neither the ACO or NASCAR will drop their 1 classes.
Another part of the problem is that little privateers can get their hands on a LMP1 and it takes a lot to make one run properly as we have seen with the AM One (in both incarnations).

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#120 pingu666

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 18:45

depends whos footing the bill, some teams are more a hobby than advertising business platform


#121 Slowinfastout

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 19:15

In a ideal world.
But we know that neither the ACO or NASCAR will drop their 1 classes.
Another part of the problem is that little privateers can get their hands on a LMP1 and it takes a lot to make one run properly as we have seen with the AM One (in both incarnations).


I seem to be the only guy on the planet to think so but I can imagine the DPs being dropped about after a transition period. IMO it's just about being accommodating and avoid driving teams out of business with a brutal change.

Like pingu666 points out, there are guys who are not entrenched and might welcome something like switching from DPs to P2s... A guy like Alex Popow for instance might be likely to consider running P2s with Starworks, he was already driving in both Grand Am and ALMS and he's pretty much funding everything by himself so it's all a matter of going along with whatever will make more sense.

Ganassi as well they have the resources to consider switching to P2s eventually.

2014 might be a bit messy, but eventually if common sense is respected and there is no hidden agenda to cut the ties with ACO and Le Mans (which would make little sense business-wise), I can easily see the DP class disappearing, it's not like we're talking about 40 cars or something huge.

Edited by Slowinfastout, 11 September 2012 - 19:18.


#122 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 19:46

Why would you move from DP to LMP2? You're not fighting for the overall win and it's more expensive.

#123 Slowinfastout

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 19:59

In that new series some guys might be tempted to fight for the overall win. Plus, down the line there could well be a consensus to eventually have only a single class of prototypes. If that's the case, the rule set that's more likely to survive is whatever will be able to also run Le Mans, IMO..

It wouldn't take many DP teams switching to LMP2s to void the notion of running a DP class at all.

#124 Red17

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 20:03

I seem to be the only guy on the planet to think so but I can imagine the DPs being dropped about after a transition period.

Will be a great concession if it happens. Would mean that the current GA engine makers would switch support to LMP2.
But I am not keeping my hopes high.

#125 pingu666

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 20:37

cost capped lmp2 is cheap, cheaper than grand am, depending on program



#126 Woody3says

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 20:46

Pretty much a wash according to Pruett.

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

In that new series some guys might be tempted to fight for the overall win. Plus, down the line there could well be a consensus to eventually have only a single class of prototypes. If that's the case, the rule set that's more likely to survive is whatever will be able to also run Le Mans, IMO..

It wouldn't take many DP teams switching to LMP2s to void the notion of running a DP class at all.

I like this :cool:

Edited by Woody3says, 11 September 2012 - 20:47.


#127 pingu666

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 21:06

thats not a cost capped lmp2, thats a private lmp1 in the comparison.

think i remmber 350,000 for car and 80,000 for engine, but i could be wrong.... (probably am :D )


#128 Bob Riebe

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 23:01

I seem to be the only guy on the planet to think so but I can imagine the DPs being dropped about after a transition period. IMO it's just about being accommodating and avoid driving teams out of business with a brutal change.

Like pingu666 points out, there are guys who are not entrenched and might welcome something like switching from DPs to P2s... A guy like Alex Popow for instance might be likely to consider running P2s with Starworks, he was already driving in both Grand Am and ALMS and he's pretty much funding everything by himself so it's all a matter of going along with whatever will make more sense.

Ganassi as well they have the resources to consider switching to P2s eventually.

2014 might be a bit messy, but eventually if common sense is respected and there is no hidden agenda to cut the ties with ACO and Le Mans (which would make little sense business-wise), I can easily see the DP class disappearing, it's not like we're talking about 40 cars or something huge.

The France family runs the show, period.
If the rules do not favor U.S. car companies it is not going to happen, period.

The France family is not happy that Dodge has dropped out of NASCAR, they will do what ever it takes to keep Detroit in road racing, period.


#129 Slowinfastout

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 23:44

Fair enough, but I'm not seeing this huge american manufacturer support for the DPs.

The class currently averages 9 cars a race, so like I said it could lose its relevance with just a couple of teams changing their minds. France can run the show, but prototypes is a fragile scene and he's gonna have to keep the most teams happy as possible if he wants to have a show to sell.

The issue of the various GT classes is more complicated as there is some overlap.. I think that's where car manufacturers will really show the way, and one could argue they already have in faver of the ALMS stuff.

Period. :lol:

#130 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 23:49

At Road America ALMS had 3 P1s(woo everyone on the podium), 3 P2s(woo!) and a bunch of thise weird Formula Oreca grid fillers. There were 10 DPs last weekend at Laguna.

So 10-15 'Class A' cars between the two series easy, if egos don't get out of control.

Ford and Chevy are 'supporting' DP entries, so in that dimension Grand-Am is doing better than ALMS. Though ALMS has Dodge and Chevy in the GT ranks, plus BMW.

Porsche are ignored. They show up no matter what happens.

#131 Woody3says

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:58

Will be a great concession if it happens. Would mean that the current GA engine makers would switch support to LMP2.
But I am not keeping my hopes high.

Just had that idea shot down :cry:

@scotelkins: Negative-would not be a true merger if they were not part of the series RT @woody3says: has a phase out of the DPs even been considered?

#132 Slowinfastout

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:42

Ah, good to know... guess I'm too much of an idealist lol.

#133 biercemountain

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 14:04

The France family runs the show, period.
If the rules do not favor U.S. car companies it is not going to happen, period.

The France family is not happy that Dodge has dropped out of NASCAR, they will do what ever it takes to keep Detroit in road racing, period.


I think this pretty much sums it up Bob. I'll go out on a limb and predict that eventually the only Le Mans tie in will be in the GT class. I find it hard to believe that the France family will give up the DPs, even if they have to subsidize (or arm twist) teams to remain on board. The fate of LMPs is grim due to their superior speed over the DPs. I just can't see them being allowed to wipe the floor with Grand Am's "premier" class.

Edited by biercemountain, 12 September 2012 - 17:05.


#134 Bob Riebe

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 20:06

The DPs can be made much faster if one desires but the paranoid fear of speed is one of the things that has destroyed road racing from the nineties on.

#135 Woody3says

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:53

http://www.mansfield...?nclick_check=1

Spot on.

#136 anbeck

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 15:10

The history of all hitherto existing sportscar series is the history of class struggles.

I hope they can fix this DP/LMP2 thing and actually make it work. This year, I started to see the positive sides of the CART/IRL merger, so why shouldn't it slowly improve after 2014 for North American sportscars? I'd set a 2020 aim of having a good series, possibly aligned with ACO rules to integrate the Daytona 24h into world wide rules.

#137 Red17

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 17:02

The history of all hitherto existing sportscar series is the history of class struggles.

I hope they can fix this DP/LMP2 thing and actually make it work. This year, I started to see the positive sides of the CART/IRL merger, so why shouldn't it slowly improve after 2014 for North American sportscars? I'd set a 2020 aim of having a good series, possibly aligned with ACO rules to integrate the Daytona 24h into world wide rules.

There are new ACO rules in the making. The alignment could be made much sooner.

#138 OvDrone

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 18:56

Posted Image

Cool teasing picture for next years merger at Road America this weekend.

Really like this track, so I'm gonna check the ALMS race and the GrandAm highlights just to get the vibe and get ready for next year. Anyone here watchin' as well? :p

#139 aportinga

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 19:40

Posted Image

Cool teasing picture for next years merger at Road America this weekend.

Really like this track, so I'm gonna check the ALMS race and the GrandAm highlights just to get the vibe and get ready for next year. Anyone here watchin' as well? :p


We had a great weekend up there!

Good food, cocktails friends and plenty of fun. Lots of karting and biking as well. Brought out 1 of our pals who is into mountain biking and he had no idea the track would offer so much variety for him to bike. Unlucky for him however he was shocked by the sights and sounds of both races - often stopping to take many movies and pics.

New fan - great weekend!

Looks like next year this will be an RV weekend - lots more people and more creative food!

Edited by aportinga, 12 August 2013 - 19:41.


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#140 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 19:52

That you mentioned the biking thing is funny. I was wondering the other day why they don't team up to put on cycling events at tracks. Maybe there wouldn't be sufficient time between on track activities, or enough space to organise everything alongside all the teams there; but wouldn't a criterium or other short race on a proper road course be fun? 10 laps of Mid-Ohio or something. And it seems like there'd be crossover between the Indycar/sportscar fan base and the cycling crowd. More so than NASCAR.



#141 Risil

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 20:42

The only sports car racing fan I know in real life is a massive cycling enthusiast too, so QED

#142 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 20:52

The hill looks painful

#143 aportinga

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 21:00

The hill looks painful


2007 they did a lance armstrong run that was both family and serious.

I completely forgot my then 7 year olds helmet at home when a worker said - "where is her helmet"... It was not required but I felt like a pretty shitty dad.

Anyhow - it was tough - very tough.... I was so much looking for a really nice cruise through the carousel but I was so frickin tired by then.

It's harder then most people think. I suppose it would have been easier on a road going bike however.

#144 HaydenFan

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 23:41

Back in my racing days, I did a pre-race track walk with a few other racers and ran the track. We made the distance, but that hill was rough. We thought one of the Master class drivers (45+ yrs. old) wasn't going to make it to the start of practice after the run.

Heard some talk about more people interested in teams or moving classes, and I almost expect at least 30 cars, but how healthy is the P2 grid? Will they pack up and move to DP for the new combined class to save costs (a P2 chassis and engine has to be a few hundred thousand more than a DP chassis and engine?), or look at the WEC?

Question about the Camaro cars in Grand-Am GT: Are any cars factory supported? I know they would run in a different class than Corvette Racing, but will Chevrolet and GM support racing programs in every class?

Edited by HaydenFan, 12 August 2013 - 23:45.


#145 Victor_RO

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 06:44

Question about the Camaro cars in Grand-Am GT: Are any cars factory supported? I know they would run in a different class than Corvette Racing, but will Chevrolet and GM support racing programs in every class?


Camaro is a tube-frame and most likely will get phased out next year, the Corvette DPs won't be called Corvette next year, so the logical conclusion is that the GM factory effort in USCR will be fully focused on the new C7.R GTE(GTLM) car.