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Old 28 Jul 2017, 17:32 (Ref:3755158)   #31
chernaudi
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Also, in addition to FE being there for PR value and being cheap, GT racing efforts have expanded. Audi Sport seem to be throwing a lot more at their GT3 program than they have before, and the have the RS3 touring car program.

Porsche will probably also throw more into the GT3 ring as well. BMW outside of Formula E is big on GT racing, and Mercedes-Benz/Mercedes-AMG have been placing more emphasis on GT racing in recent times, too.

With GT racing, car makers can race high end cars that they're selling now to do the "race on Sunday, sell on Monday" mantra. Especially as the stuff on those GT cars does trickle down to even their lesser road cars. even family sedans.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 17:38 (Ref:3755162)   #32
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Not to get too far off in the weeds here with Formula E, which does apply to this convo to a certain degree, but electric cars, in reality, aren't the answer to an alternate of fossil fuels unless charged from a renewable source. They somewhat mention it here,

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2...free-charging/

but shipping a mobile charging station half way around the world at the cost of how many liters/gallons of diesel? Then add in the batteries and how awful they are to produce. It's a good try...sort of not really.

When it gets down to it, electric is far too experimental for LMP1 to even begin to consider it. Not even close to a decade. Panoz have come up with something radical, but I don't see it as sustainable (for motor racing).

So electric cars are less bad, but they are the most advanced form of alternate transportation, ATM, and that's where manufacture's see the market going, as unfortunate as it is, so that's where they want to put in efforts.

Yes, I'm part enviro whacko, the son of a tree hugging lumberjack
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 17:44 (Ref:3755164)   #33
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Six quick thoughts:

1. The ACO and FIA WEC essentially told manufacturers to go big (technology and budget) or go home. Now that three of the manufacturers involved have decided to go home, the question is what comes next. And letís not forget, that the WEC is a championship designed to meet the wants and needs of manufacturers.

2. The ACO and WEC will continue to want to attract manufacturers to LMP1. Recognizable brand names drives media attention and turnstile numbers, especially at races after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is in large part about saving the WEC.

3. Are LMP-1 privateers part of the answer? Maybe. Are they by themselves the answer? Almost certainly not in an era when LMP-2s are very quick and relatively affordable.

4. Many people are assuming that any future LMP-1 privateers will be amazing cars that will instantly top time sheets, have good reliability, and be able to win races. Thatís absolutely not a safe assumption. The ByKolles is a hot mess. The Rebellion One was kind of mediocre, with suspect reliability. That Dome LMP2 was a failure. Itís far from certain that future privateers will be that much faster than LMP2 and reliable enough to go 24 hours or even six hours regularly, especially right out of the box.

5. The related question is whether privateer LMP-1 teams will have the money to develop their car. Thatís not a given.

6. In theory, the existence of the WEC compels LMP-1 teams to do nine races a year. Six of those races are after Le Mans with five outside of Europe. The obvious way to save money to develop the car (or otherwise) is to skip most or all of the post Le Mans events. This is exactly what LMP-1 privateers are doing now and have done in the past. And really, for privateers what value comes from racing in places like China, Bahrain, or Mexico?

This tendency will make life even harder for the WEC. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the WEC season drops back down to eight or even seven races to cut costs for teams. Also some existing events may not be economically viable without the star power of LMP-1H competition.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 18:16 (Ref:3755178)   #34
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At this stage, if it reduces costs, generates interest, and provides close racing, we should be for it--provided that it has the potential to achieve that.
There in lies the catch. Roger Edmonsons vision for Grand-Am was just that. Except the attraction and interest was not there for fans and the sponsors, what with the road racing scene being split. It did amaze me that even when P1 class for ALMS was Dyson and Picket, the fans still came in droves.

To be honest any sport or show made for television will by nature increase cost. Televison cares about eyeballs because of the commercial advertising which in turn sells products of the sponsors which in turn pays for the series. Now media is everywhere; smartphones, PDAs, Xbox/Playstations, etc. Mass-consumption.

Formula One has gotten very controlled and strict in technical regs that were designed to slash costs. Yet it remains the most expensive motorsport. It's no coincidence that it's global popularity attracts the $$$. It's lucrative and why the teams spend an insane amount for a fraction of a second. *As a side note a majority of the teams in F1 now (and historically) are privateer they're just grossly wealthy.*

We are passionate as fans an so it's hard to please us. What do we want? Professional run series that as a consequence is a business, or return to the roots of what the sport was: a hobby for a dedicated few: it'll be cheaper but it still won't be cheap and of course always have some form of politics. That's just human nature.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 19:02 (Ref:3755189)   #35
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Six quick thoughts:

1. The ACO and FIA WEC essentially told manufacturers to go big (technology and budget) or go home. Now that three of the manufacturers involved have decided to go home, the question is what comes next. And letís not forget, that the WEC is a championship designed to meet the wants and needs of manufacturers.

2. The ACO and WEC will continue to want to attract manufacturers to LMP1. Recognizable brand names drives media attention and turnstile numbers, especially at races after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is in large part about saving the WEC.
All of these are good but too much to respond to in detail in one post.

Basically, the WEC needs factory teams to sustain its global schedule. Astronomical costs didn't attract factories (hard to believe, eh?) and politics annoyed factories.

And yes, privateers might not be good enough to make the show.

But ... we almost saw all the factory cars bite the dust at Le Mans. And Audi can testify that having seven factory cars in a race can mean that one might win ... but the rest might or might not finish (thinking of the exploding Peugeot year.)

I would hope that with no factory teams, some of the privateers might attract some sponsorship ... after all, who would sponsor a P1-L Knowing it wasn't going to see the podium unless the media was dominated by the story of factory failures, in which case the podium still doesn't provide exposure?

Possibly they privateers could get some dollars if they had a decent chance to win. As it is, P1-L is a joke class.

The question is, what do the factories want? Do they want P1 at all? is there anything that can make P1 attractive? I am pretty sure it is not the proposed 2020 rules.

Even if WEC cut back to six races ... can it support a top class that will attract factories? And without factories ... can it generate enough interest and enough income to even exist? or will it become a glorified ELMS?
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 19:06 (Ref:3755191)   #36
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http://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/0...the-issue.html

http://www.dailysportscar.com/2017/0...from-here.html

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In the wake of the withdrawal of Audi Sport’s long-standing programme last year, I asked a question of the head of the FIA Endurance Commission, Sir Lindsey Owen-Jones: “Had an error been made not giving aspirant manufacturers an easier route into prototype racing than has been offered by the LMP1 H regulations?”

The answer, after brief consideration, was that this might very well have been a correct observation.

There is then an opportunity to put that right immediately.

Allow factory engines, factory aero and full factory badging on a range of LMP1 chassis. Allow those teams to enter the 2018 FIA WEC from the start with a non-factory-badged car, a Ginetta for instance, potentially debuting a new car at Le Mans next year.

Take the hit that parking the tech-based formula might require, allow them to measure their efforts against Toyota, and ensure that any privateers get a fair crack of the whip too.

If the 2020 regs survive the maelstrom, if Toyota can be persuaded to return, and are joined by Peugeot, and, who knows, in a year or two down the line by one of the new boys, attracted by the package and the technical hard reset that entirely new tech provides, then it would be mission accomplished.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 19:26 (Ref:3755196)   #37
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Fact is that these rules needed a massive reset. Unfortunately it took two factory teams being alienated from the series to get there.

The ACO might have had a reasonable sustainable class if they didn't have the ERS incentive and the "go big or go home" mentality mentioned earlier. We do have to remember that if you push for high tech and give teams a narrow time frame to get there, you're usually going to see budgets rise dramatically.

Rising budgets mean less ROI, especially if media exposure or getting what you want out of the program doesn't go up in lock step with budget increases.

Also, not just because of lawsuits against the auto industry (which I believe will get worse before they get better--VAG's dieselgate was just the tip of the iceberg as we're seeing now), but the economy has been mostly stagnant around the world for quite a few years. I don't care if the Dow Jones Industrial is pulling 20K+ points vs where it was this time last year, the world economy isn't growing, certainly not near that rate.

And in a soft economy, spending money is a hard sell, especially when questions of ROI get brought up and results are desired instantly. The ACO should consider themselves fortunate that VAG stuck it out with Porsche and especially Audi for as long as they did. They could've left at anytime, any place.

I'd hope that this is a learning experience for the ACO. However, it seems that every 10, 15, 20 years they repeat the same mistakes. So I hope that line there underscores my personal skepticism on how they'll address this problem. After all, it's largely of their making, it's up to them to find a solution.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 19:51 (Ref:3755206)   #38
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ACO needs to create a LMPe class for electric prototypes.
This is what the market demands, this is what the manufacturers demand.
I remember shot down for almost that verbatim in 2011. Not on here, but still, how much things can change.

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Modern "fans" and potential fans have a completely different set of expectations .. and generally are less willing to commit time, attention, and energy (to anything.) They want immediate gratification, sensory overload, constant variety ... they need to have three data streams running all the time or they fall asleep.
If you have say, say it to my face.

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If FIA has a single member with a brain, s/he will insist on a few things: low cost to competitors, short events, short circuits, in-city circuits.
That's a big if.

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Maybe Toyota could run 4 cars at LM next year. Two from Toyota and two from Lexus. Although with their luck a 'Lexus' would win.
Or 7, or 59.

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I'm a tech junkie, but as long as we're having fans vote on who gets a faster car, I'm not interested. I've watched it a few times and try to get into it, but it feels like a joke because of things like that.
I don't recall having seen it even used since Marrakesh. It's about as helpful as Driver of the Day to be frank.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 20:41 (Ref:3755215)   #39
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That emergency meeting at Toyota seemed like a bogus report according to Goodwin https://twitter.com/dsceditor/status/890870732120608768. Doesn't look like they are debating leaving the series because Porsche.
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 21:22 (Ref:3755229)   #40
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That emergency meeting at Toyota seemed like a bogus report according to Goodwin https://twitter.com/dsceditor/status/890870732120608768. Doesn't look like they are debating leaving the series because Porsche.
Isn't it fun having to post the same thing on several threads?
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 21:23 (Ref:3755231)   #41
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At least Toyota is a shot at winning Le Mans now
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 21:33 (Ref:3755234)   #42
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Fact is that these rules needed a massive reset. Unfortunately it took two factory teams being alienated from the series to get there.
Again I stand to be corrected, but were Audi and Porsche really alienated.....?
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Old 28 Jul 2017, 22:18 (Ref:3755240)   #43
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Rising cost didn't help, even if dieselgate never happened. Not to mention that there have been several reports of Porsche not being happy with the ACO over promotion of the WEC and the Toyota diffuser stuff.

Not to mention that Audi were never happy with seemingly getting the short end of the stick on EOT, especially in regards to fuel mileage/range on a tank of fuel.

And as I've mentioned, there's probably a lot more to the pull outs than dieselgate or even ROI arguments. I'd bet that politics have a lot to do with it--and a lot of that lies in the ACO's lap.

Granted, this is now an opportunity for any privateer teams who felt hard done by the regs to point and laugh at the ACO for undeniably screwing them due to following the factory team money gravy train. Stuff like this happens all the time, pursuing instant gratification over the long-term game.
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Old 29 Jul 2017, 02:28 (Ref:3755264)   #44
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I'm baffled how you can come to that conclusion. I think it's pretty obvious that the dieselgate is the reason the two VAG teams have quit in the past 2 years. Hard to justify $200 million programs when you can go to F-E and boost your 'green image' with 10% that budget.
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Old 29 Jul 2017, 03:30 (Ref:3755275)   #45
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And don't surprised when you see Toyota join them on the bandwagon. And you have to remember it's not only VAG. Daimler already has been in if anything bigger trouble over their scams, and now they and BMW (and maybe also Ford's EU operation and PSA though purchasing GM's former EU operation), and probably others in the EU are being investigated for other things, namely anti-trust and anti-competitive practices.

Not to mention that in the US GM and Chrysler are getting sued for fudging diesel testing on their pick up trucks. I also wouldn't be surprised if there's a similar witch hunt happening in Japan, or of Japanese car makers by the EU and US; Nissan/Renault already got sued in the EU for lying about fuel economy performance.

It's clearly obvious that if costs were less, they might have stayed. If things were better as far as promotion or press coverage were better for the series as a whole, they might have stayed.

I doubt that Toyota want to be out there alone spending $75-100 million on their program with no competition and no ROI either. So don't be surprised if they're gone by the end of next season.
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