North American Sports Car Raing

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North American Sports Car Raing

New postby Bud » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:48 am

:shock: Big News! :shock:

The top two sports-car racing series, American Le Mans and Gran-Am are merging!

http://www.alms.com/ - ALMS is the series in which the factory Corvettes run and it's the American version of the series that goes to Le Mans France for the Le Mans 24.

http://www.grand-am.com/ - This is NASCAR's road racing series. This is a great series with a lot of momentum right now. Chevy has recently put a bunch of money into creating Corvette-look-alike prototypes that have done well in the series.

I hear this news with a combination of excitement and abject horror. ALMS is my favorite sports car series. it's European-style racing in the US and the big manufacturers (used to) throw their best into it. Audi has dominated the prototypes for years and Corvette dominated the GT1 class so totally that they killed it. (Nobody else would race with them in it and they had to switch to GT2 to get some competition.) Grand Am is fun to watch. But, it's fairly typical American red-neck racing.

I'm excited because ALMS has suffered since the economy has been in the shitter and NASCAR money will help that series. The combined series will expand and probably be followed by more fans than either individual series. They will have more races and they won't be on conflicting weekends (which occasionally happens now). This will probably help the business of road racing in the states.

I'm horrified because, ALMS runs the Le Mans 24 and Grand-Am runs the Daytona 24. Will the new series run both? They almost have to, but NASCAR has such heavy handed organized-crime-like tactics, I am very afraid they'll stop going to Le Mans. That would be an absolute travesty. Also, what will the rules package look like. The Daytona Prototypes in Grand Am are cool. But, the ALMS prototypes are the best of the best, absolutely top of the line. Will Audi and Peugeot bring their awesome diesels to this new series? What will the new rules look like? I'm positive they will dumb-down the ALMS rules to match Grand-Am. I hate that stupid full-course caution for every single thing that happens at the track. (ALMS and the European series allow for local yellow flags if there's no need to stop the whole damn race.)

:shock: :banana: :bang: :bang: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I guess I should have seen this coming.
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Re: North American Sports Car Raing

New postby Bud » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:19 pm

Although, it would be cool to see Scott Pruit and Tom Kristenson going at it wheel to wheel.

:drive:
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Re: North American Sports Car Raing

New postby Bud » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:53 pm

I just heard Patrick Dempsey talk about this and I think he's dead on. So, borrowing a few thoughts from him and adding a few of my own.

Rules I'd like to see:
1. When the green flag waves, go. No waiting for the start/finish line before you can initiate a pass. It sucks and it only makes things tighter at turn 1, causing more accidents. (Dempsey mentioned it and I think he's 100% right.)
2. Eliminate that stupid full-course caution for every single yellow. Allow local yellow flags if a car is not directly in the racing path or in a very dangerous location. Don't stop the whole damn race for every single spin or off.
3. Most importantly (and Dempsey hit on this also), find a way to support manufacturer innovation. Don't just "dumb down" the ALMS cars and rules for American audiences. We need to get Audi and Peugeot back in the series with their awesome Diesels and other exotic cars. Yeah, we're fans of certain drivers and teams, but we watch racing for the cars.

Whatever they do, they cannot loose the manufacturers. Auto racing by car makers makes for better cars on the road. Grand Am is very good at making the competition tight by balancing performance. But, they are also too heavy handed with it. I feel like Grand Am races are one more by politics than by skill and innovation. ALMS is very good at encouraging innovation. Technology and team skill decides who wins the race. Grand Am has to find a way to keep that alive.
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
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Re: North American Sports Car Raing

New postby Bill » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:38 pm

These are NASCAR rules suggestions?

If so, why does it interest you, Bud. Does it apply to other types of racing beyond NASCAR?

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Re: North American Sports Car Raing

New postby Bud » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:42 pm

Now I'm confused. Did you read the news article in the first post? Grand Am bought ALMS, my favorite sports car series. They're combining the two series into a single North American sports car racing series (name, format, and rules TBD). Unfortunately, Grand Am is owned by NASCAR. So, basically, 'effing NASCAR owns racing in America.
:puke:
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Re: North American Sports Car Raing

New postby Bud » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:38 pm

OK. So, now they're saying that the ALMS GT class will likely stay intact That's good news.
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
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