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Old 4 Jan 2018, 21:48 (Ref:3790725)   #31
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As of right now, not too much to worry about, because there's a market demand and there's a market to supply it.

When one of those gets upset, then we can worry. But longer term, you do have to wonder, because GT3/GTD is starting to push GTLM/GTE Pro budgets and where it's not mandated, teams tend to use all-pro driver line ups in GT3.
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Old 4 Jan 2018, 21:54 (Ref:3790727)   #32
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As of right now, not too much to worry about, because there's a market demand and there's a market to supply it.

When one of those gets upset, then we can worry. But longer term, you do have to wonder, because GT3/GTD is starting to push GTLM/GTE Pro budgets and where it's not mandated, teams tend to use all-pro driver line ups in GT3.
Starting to push? I can do the WEC Super Season in a brand new GTE car for what it costs to do the 2018 IMSA season in a GTD car.

The current GTD budget is around $1M USD *more* than it would have cost me to run an ALMS GTE Ferrari in 2013 (which I looked into doing).

Frankly, if you're not worried about the GTD class then you either don't care about it either way or don't have the facts (not throwing stones at you in particular chernaudi!). The writings been on the wall for a couple seasons.

-mike
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Old 4 Jan 2018, 22:40 (Ref:3790734)   #33
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Starting to push? I can do the WEC Super Season in a brand new GTE car for what it costs to do the 2018 IMSA season in a GTD car.

The current GTD budget is around $1M USD *more* than it would have cost me to run an ALMS GTE Ferrari in 2013 (which I looked into doing).

Frankly, if you're not worried about the GTD class then you either don't care about it either way or don't have the facts (not throwing stones at you in particular chernaudi!). The writings been on the wall for a couple seasons.

-mike

Wow what Mike is saying here is significant. A question for you Mike. Does the high costs correlate with the number of hours of track time that IMSA runs per season?

If so, I think the only thing that can be done for 2018 is probably dropping Laguna. But beyond this year could something really drastic be needed such as dropping GTD from Road Atlanta!? Just to get the number of hours of race time reduced.
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Old 4 Jan 2018, 22:52 (Ref:3790737)   #34
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Wow what Mike is saying here is significant. A question for you Mike. Does the high costs correlate with the number of hours of track time that IMSA runs per season?

If so, I think the only thing that can be done for 2018 is probably dropping Laguna. But beyond this year could something really drastic be needed such as dropping GTD from Road Atlanta!? Just to get the number of hours of race time reduced.
The high costs aren't being caused by any specific single issue, IMO. Hours of run time over the season is definitely one of the big contributors, but it's other things as well like the increased upfront and running costs for the new generation of cars, the length of the weekends (how long staff/equipment is at the track) and driver ratings.

Driver ratings is a 3rd-rail discussion and we all know it sucks, but in a Pro-Am class with Pro Silvers, it simply reduces the potential for sharing the costs if you want to be competitive. You can only have a single gentleman driver in the car for the NAEC rounds if you want to be competitive against lineups with 2-4 professionals -- or in the case of some pseudo-factory efforts, no gentleman drivers.

-mike
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 01:39 (Ref:3790750)   #35
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If you think about it, in the last 10 years, transportation costs have gone up maybe 3%. When you have the cost to rent that goes up 50-80% in that same period, travel is not weighed as much as it was 10 years ago. So, eliminating Laguna or any other race just reduces the overall budget by just that race. What happens there is even you have another issue because the more you reduce time, the more drivers look elsewhere. This is why guys go over to Europe for 2-3 events and rent a TCR car and run a Creventic race for no more than $20K per event. Why run a TCR car in the US when you will get no more than 12 hours in IMSA for a season as opposed to 15-18 in Europe? A TCR car will require a whole rental and that will set you back at least $35K per event.

The real problem is the competition with other series'. IMSA used to be the top dog but now there are so many other places for people to spend their money, they don;t look at IMSA or even PWC as a place where when you run, you are a "pro" or "made it". It's just another series. Mark my words, in 5 years when all of these current TCR, GT4 and GT3 cars will be too old to race because the manufacturers will force teams to upgrade to the new model, someone out there will make a new home for them and do an endurance series. It's already happening right now with the great IMSA purge of GS and ST cars.
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 14:05 (Ref:3790822)   #36
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Could this also be IMSA playing to the PWC market by offering endurance races as opposed to sprints?

And if the costs are similar, why not run GTLM aside from the fact that a true pro-am line up has little to no chance against factory teams? Or run DPI if the costs are similar.

Short term, I don't think there's a problem. Longer term, GTD is subject to what the market will bear. And that market can change depending on supply and demand.

If GT3s are about as expensive to buy and run and GTE Pro/GTLM cars, and if they can perform about the same, why not combine the classes? I believe that ACO and SRO hubris/stubbornness/my toys are bigger and better than your toys mentality/not invented here mentality has a lot to speak for here.

Maybe IMSA should go to running two classes, one prototype and one GT, or make a class for touring cars or lesser powerful GT cars for true pro-am line ups. The latter has been a point of contention in LMP2 as well in the WEC, with rookie drivers being rated on age/experience rather than ability IMO.
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 16:37 (Ref:3790868)   #37
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Could this also be IMSA playing to the PWC market by offering endurance races as opposed to sprints?

And if the costs are similar, why not run GTLM aside from the fact that a true pro-am line up has little to no chance against factory teams? Or run DPI if the costs are similar.

Short term, I don't think there's a problem. Longer term, GTD is subject to what the market will bear. And that market can change depending on supply and demand.

If GT3s are about as expensive to buy and run and GTE Pro/GTLM cars, and if they can perform about the same, why not combine the classes? I believe that ACO and SRO hubris/stubbornness/my toys are bigger and better than your toys mentality/not invented here mentality has a lot to speak for here.

Maybe IMSA should go to running two classes, one prototype and one GT, or make a class for touring cars or lesser powerful GT cars for true pro-am line ups. The latter has been a point of contention in LMP2 as well in the WEC, with rookie drivers being rated on age/experience rather than ability IMO.
It's funny you mention this. This is effectively what Grand-Am did. To Mike and JJVincent. Can yo elaborate on how the income streams have been affected over the years? Has sponsorship been harder to secure?
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 17:36 (Ref:3790886)   #38
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Here's the problem....

As you can see, a 46-83% increase in IMSA costs with a decrease of 37.5% in IMSA give back, means, the class dies off. With the prize money and the entry fees, IMSA is telling the ST teams, go away or join TCR. Again, we will flush out the old and hope for the new. Same thing we did with GS. Tell everyone that it's too hard and expensive to build your own car so we have the answer. It's GT4 even though the running costs end up being more.
Do you think that when Koni/Conti challenge was being run by Grand Am it was being propped up by the mother ship (NASCAR) and now that it's IMSA and NASCAR doesn't have to subsidize it per say, they have to be profitable? Hence costs going up and "savings" not matching the increase in the slightest. I have no idea if Grand Am was or wasn't profitable for the series BTW, just going off "popular opinion"

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The real problem is the competition with other series'. IMSA used to be the top dog but now there are so many other places for people to spend their money, they don;t look at IMSA or even PWC as a place where when you run, you are a "pro" or "made it". It's just another series. Mark my words, in 5 years when all of these current TCR, GT4 and GT3 cars will be too old to race because the manufacturers will force teams to upgrade to the new model, someone out there will make a new home for them and do an endurance series. It's already happening right now with the great IMSA purge of GS and ST cars.
If someone in the USA could put together a series like the VLN in the states it seems like a no-brainer. As you say there are plenty of teams and cars. Throw together a series with a ton of classes (including grassroots...there's a VW Corrado that runs VLN!), do away with driver ratings, offer real prize money...profit? (or at least break even)

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Frankly, if you're not worried about the GTD class then you either don't care about it either way or don't have the facts (not throwing stones at you in particular chernaudi!). The writings been on the wall for a couple seasons.

-mike
As a guy who has a does run these series over the years, what do you think is an ideal solution? Is it simply fix the sneaky silver issues or does it require a complete class revamp?
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Old 5 Jan 2018, 22:49 (Ref:3790935)   #39
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Do you think that when Koni/Conti challenge was being run by Grand Am it was being propped up by the mother ship (NASCAR) and now that it's IMSA and NASCAR doesn't have to subsidize it per say, they have to be profitable? Hence costs going up and "savings" not matching the increase in the slightest. I have no idea if Grand Am was or wasn't profitable for the series BTW, just going off "popular opinion"
There was a time where the series had about 80-100 entrants per event. Thus, they had to split the races because too many cars. Top that off with GA had a total of two haulers and brought 35 employees to the track for a combined Conti/Rolex weekend. With IMSA it went to 130 employees and 7 haulers. I suspect that the increase in the number of employees, number of haulers and the reduction in entrants, makes the current model where you need to get the money from the competitors to make it work. That would explain why there's an an increase in the amount the teams pay to IMSA and the reduction onto what they pay out.

I run my own business and I know a number of other former team owners and renters that do the same. They just have a hard time accepting that IMSA can decide to run at an inflation rate 10X than what they an do. In the end, they go elsewhere. IMSA thinks that the TV time makes up for it but it doesn't. In that day of age, TV is out and streaming it in. Thus explains the disconnect with PWC and IMSA with the new customer base.
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Old 6 Jan 2018, 12:15 (Ref:3790986)   #40
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Well, I guess it should be remembered that IMSA is now basically majority owned by NASCAR though Jim France being controlling stakeholder.

NASCAR is as massive organization that's got money problems of it's own, namely living beyond reasonable means when a market contracts. The "right-sizing" is coming, but NASCAR nor IMSA want to give people the boot--or cut down on salaries for guys at the top.
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Old 6 Jan 2018, 17:51 (Ref:3791021)   #41
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I would think the various BoP processes nowadays require a much bigger technical department, contributing to the current oversized overhead.
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Old 6 Jan 2018, 22:25 (Ref:3791077)   #42
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So would it be wise to look at the old Grand-Am GT class for a future? Not in taking modified GT3 cars, but perhaps bringing back the venerable Porsche GT3 Cup? Or what of the old tube framed cars? There's something to be said for cheap and cheerful racing, and when a manufacturer makes a body change, you can still keep the core of your car.

What about opening up a category that can fit the TA2 cars? It seems they'd fit in well under GTD both in terms of pace and car models represented.

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Old 7 Jan 2018, 20:34 (Ref:3791242)   #43
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IMSA should only allow GTD from manufacturers involved in P or GTLM. Itīs a Pro-Am class.
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Old 7 Jan 2018, 22:53 (Ref:3791282)   #44
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IMSA should only allow GTD from manufacturers involved in P or GTLM. Itīs a Pro-Am class.
Why so? Because of the entry payments? This season that would eliminate Mercedes and Audi, Lambo and Lexus.
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Old 8 Jan 2018, 00:22 (Ref:3791294)   #45
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And how would that enforce it as pro-am in any way?
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