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Author Topic: Sebring 2013  (Read 39752 times)
Lazy B'stard
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« Reply #120 on: March 19, 2013, 10:40:00 am »

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Don Panoz, almost by dumb luck, hit upon a winning formula in the ALMS. By bringing the flavour of Le Mans to North America, it chimed with race fans of a certain age who miss the 'glory days of old', and welcomed the rebirth of a real endurance racing series in their home country.  I'm not sure that the France empire understand that fact. The choice of a racing helmet for the logo of the new series highlights that misunderstanding. As we all know, at Le Mans drivers are essential, but the car is the star.

I worry that the France family will look at how relativly unsuccessful the prototype classes have been over the years. The real class of the ALMS field over the last few years have been the GT cars. Will they just cherry pick the popular GT cars from the mix and bin the rest?

I agree that the manufacturers can be damaging to every series. Look at the decline of the WRC over the last 20 years. It started to slide when group B exploded.

Manufacturers can be curbed though. You could include limits on expensive composite materials, exotic alloys, electronic driver aids etc. You could cost cap the engines, a stock block, heads and crankshaft rule, or make it a requirement to supply works spec engines to privateers for say a $30,000 on demand. Add to that a spec transmission, suspension and brake package to again keep costs low.

Yes, I know, a factory team will still spend money chasing even the smallest advantage, but of you create a set of regulations that have lower costs as a base line, then it gives the privateers a fighting chance. The Delta Wing in its current guise might not be a great example, but at Le Mans where it faired better, it proved that left field thinking can produce a competetive car. A relaxed set of regulations could allow some more creative designs to come forward.

 The prototype classes of the new series will only work if there are a decent number of cars competing. If you are going to get those numbers there needs to be a radical change in thinking, a dramatic cut in costs and stability of rules to give the teams confidence to invest. Dumbing down the current cars to the level of the current Daytona prototypes would kill it stone dead before it even starts.
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Nobby Diesel
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« Reply #121 on: March 23, 2013, 03:01:39 am »

There is a rich history of sportscar racing in the US, but it has always been very much a niche sport, rarely gets any mainstream media exposure.
It's occured to me that when the sport has been at its healthiest over here, is when there's been little manufacturer involvment.  The best example of a big make coming in and killing a series was Can-Am.  Even during its glory days, despite the fact that the works McLaren's usually scooped the hardware, a privateer could purchase a Mclaren or Lola, and take on the might of the Kiwi's, and occasionally knock them off.  When Porsche came in with its cost-no-object 917 turbo, the cost of being competitve went through the roof, a cost most privateers couldn't afford, and the series died.
I loved the early days of the ALMS, when you had huge grids of privateer Ferrari 333sp's, R&S's, etc.  I've just never bought into the idea that one needs big manufacturer involvment for a series to have credibility.
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Hey John,

How's life?
I always love reading your musings. Passionate, informed, enthusiastic and definately with a strong view point.
Keep writing my friend!
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Boorish Grobian
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« Reply #122 on: March 23, 2013, 06:33:48 pm »

Hi Nigel,
Good to hear from you, I hope all's well.  Big thanks for the kind words.  I just come at it as a commited life-long enthusiast, I don't work in the sport, no agenda, or party line to follow, just from the heart.
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gatordad
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« Reply #123 on: March 24, 2013, 06:30:53 pm »

Once the ELMS started and the appeal of being able to qualify for LM at Sebring was diluted the whole attraction of the
Euros coming to Florida in the spring soon faded away and the fields were left wanting.  I don't know if the average Joe-six-pack will ever fully embrace sports car racing in the US as long as NASCAR is racing like they are.  However, they have been losing fans lately and the new car is a dog.  The Daytona 500 was a yawner from the start and there was very little action and hardly any passing on-track for the lead.  There might be an opening here if those guys are smart.  The folks that are in charge now are all born-rich kids from Big Bill France and have never had to work a day in their lives.  Never have had or wanted to wrench a car and never had grease under their nails.

That leaves us with great GT racing with exciting fields and not much else...field fillers with the Porsche GTC class and the LMPC class of corvette engined prototype-looking cars.
Now we will have to watch the DP cars, arguably the ugliest car ever to race on the track, try to keep up with well-sorted P2 cars.  Lord knows what will happen next.
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Boorish Grobian
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« Reply #124 on: March 25, 2013, 05:03:03 am »

GD, I totally agree with you, NASCAR's problem now is that the people in charge are third or fourth generation pampered moron's.  It's s big part of the reason the Cup series has found itself in the situation it's in.  There's alot of nepotism, and inbreeding in that organization, and not much in the way forward thinkng, or looking back to the sport's heritage.  I've met JC France, that dude is one short step up the ladder from a Orangutan (and that may being unkind to Orangutan's).  NASCAR is going to run into the same problem that Indycar has, faced with a bunch of third or fourth generation silver spoon in the mouth idiots (like Tony George) running the show...with predictable results.
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« Reply #125 on: March 27, 2013, 12:52:40 pm »

Back home since yesterday morning from what was one of the best trips I've had across the ocean so far.

Amelia Island was awesome, never seen such a collection of cars together.  Makes you wonder why I haven't passed there sooner.  Enjoyed Sebring as always, despite massive problems with my camera gear (still not sorted out, getting really pissed now).  After Sebring travelled on to Vegas, Grand Canyon, Valley of Fire and closed off at the Nascar race in Fontana (which was kind of enjoyable at the end).

@ Gatordad, sorry I didn't pass by.   Tought of passing by during the race, but got to the outside of the Ullman straight, which took me a lot longer than expected (and didn't do much good at my still recovering leg).  I'll make it up next time I'm at Sebring.

Will be going through my pictures in the upcoming weeks ... expect a giant load of them.

Next : Silverstone  Grin
Will definetely be at the Petit also, still thinking about Austin (2 concerts of Depeche Mode in Dallas & Houston before race weekend might pull me over to make the trip).
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 12:55:15 pm by Dottore » Logged

LangTall
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« Reply #126 on: March 27, 2013, 02:52:52 pm »

Nice how we again managed to completly miss each other at Amelia Island and Sebring!
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Kristof
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« Reply #127 on: March 27, 2013, 08:15:10 pm »

Nice how we again managed to completly miss each other at Amelia Island and Sebring!

Especially Amelia Island, how could you miss someone there ?  Grin
Next try at Spa ? 

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LangTall
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« Reply #128 on: March 29, 2013, 01:29:23 pm »

Yup! We'll be camping in the woods from friday on, and we usually watch the start at Raidillon.
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This film should be played at high volume, so don't come complaining about it! And who the hell is Steve?
Kristof
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« Reply #129 on: March 29, 2013, 10:02:41 pm »



Getting through my pics ... ready to throw my big lens through the window  Sad.  Had it revised earlier this year, result : completely screwed up.  Never had to throw away so much pictures due to unsharpness, out of focus, can't use any convertor on it ... I'm proper f*cked !   
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