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Old 17 Jul 2017, 11:55 (Ref:3752124)   #7981
broadrun96
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Originally Posted by chernaudi View Post
Though published by Racer Magazine, it's written by RLM/DSC staff.

Also one thing that I think is kind of overlooked about the Audi Sport involvement is that was based heavily on bragging rights in my opinion. The quick change gearbox/modular design of the R8, first electronic DFI win, first diesel win, first hybrid win, beating Porsche and Toyota in '14. IMO, that was all bragging rights that will show up in the record books. There's not many new records for Audi to beat, and the same for Porsche. Both have little left to prove at LM.

Granted, Audi in the ALMS was based partly on marketing, and when they accomplished their goals there, they scaled back and pretty much left the series. Audi accomplished most of their goals in the WEC and LM, too. Would they have liked more success the last couple of years they were there, probably, but I place a lot of that on the ACO's IMO flawed EOT and ERS incentive, which is what's lead to the expenses jumping so much vs 2013 and earlier. Porsche even have had issues recently with the ACO, mostly over Toyota's aero rules interpretation.

But even on Porsche's end, they won LM 3 years in a row, won the last two WEC titles and seem poised to win this years. They really have nothing left to prove.

So why not do something else to stay involved in racing, save some money, and maybe get ready when the new rules go into effect? I'll bet you that's also possibly the mode that Audi Sport are in right now. Do something else until the ACO can come up with rules worth making a massive investment in.
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Originally Posted by chernaudi View Post
He might be saying that we should wait for Porsche to issue a press release on what they'll be doing, but even that article if you ask me wasn't particularly encouraging, either.

The common thread in all the articles, no matter who's written them, when, or who their sources are, it boils down to one thing: Return on investment. That's the common denominator in all the Porsche LMP1 future articles, does Porsche see it as worth their while to continue? And this gets evaluated by all the players in racing, from the lowliest privateer to the mega-buck factory teams, usually once every season.

I'd bet that even in the best of times that Audi Sport did the same thing every season. And they said yes until last fall. Toyota are at least publicly saying yes right now to their program. But we have to wait for Porsche's domino to fall to see what the future of LMP1 will look like between now and 2020. And I think that Audi Sport was the first domino to fall, and they might not be the last.
So which one is it? In two posts separated by under an hour you've managed to complain it is ALL about bragging rights and how they could one-up everyone else. And now is ALL about return on investment?? I know you LOVE to hear yourself rant and whinge but could you stick with one consistent reason as to why you think you are so smart? It gets old fast hearing how you could fix everything with a system that FAILED miserably and brought in ONE consistent privateer entry and Pescarolo was often the what hour will the car fail entry, AKA Speedsource most of the time.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 13:43 (Ref:3752149)   #7982
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To me it seems that you can't comprehend what I'm getting at. Whatever the return on investment is what they're after. Audi has always seemed to be motivated to be the first to do something--going all the way back to the quattro AWD system in the WRC--especially if it has practical applications in the real world outside of motorsports.

I don't see the same thing with Porsche to that degree over the years, but they said that road relevance and winning have been their main motivations this go around.

But now the problem for so many programs is money and deciding if it's money well spent for whatever returns they're getting. I don't care if the Dow Jones Industrial in the US is pulling over 20,000 points everyday, the world economy is largely stagnant.

Is being at Le Mans and the WEC helping the likes of Audi, Porsche and Toyota sell cars? Probably not. Are they getting a lot of advertising revenue out of their programs, past or present? Probably not. Are the LMP1 factory teams spending more money, even when adjusted for inflation, than ever before in any top class formula at Le Mans? Probably so.

Are they partly responsible for creating this mess? Yes. After all, the ACO let them have a hand in writing the rules. Yet, the ACO should've known that they were potentially opening a Pandora's box. And I don't think that the factory teams had in mind having to spend $150-$200 million a year every year vs spending that to start up a program for the new regs.

And as what seems to happen at least once a decade, the teams spend the sport broke, the ACO feast off of it while they can, and things go down the crapper once the factory teams depart, and the cycle starts over again.

When a team, any team, decides it's not worth their while to stay in a series, be it costs, level of success, or nothing left to conceivably achieve, they'll usually leave and go somewhere else. If their ROI is based on winning or dollars vs success/promotion/whatever they're looking for in returns, we get situations like this.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 14:31 (Ref:3752158)   #7983
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 14:51 (Ref:3752161)   #7984
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Originally Posted by chernaudi;3752149I
don't see the same thing with Porsche to that degree over the years, but they said that road relevance and winning have been their main motivations this go around.
You need to look better:

The first turbocharged race car on the Circuit des 24 Heures was the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1.

First Dual Clutch PDK (956).

Pioneering electronic injection/ignition systems (956)

Etc,etc,etc
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 15:00 (Ref:3752163)   #7985
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Fact is whatever happens on the 28th will happen, and there's really nothing we can do about it. We and the WEC, especially LMP1, is kinda at the mercy of what Porsche will do.

If they stay, things will be fine for one more year. If not, I can't accept that as a good sign. I may not be Porsche's biggest fan, but they do make a sizable investment into the sport.

We have to remember that the biggest impact that the ACO faced when Audi Sport left wasn't a lack of cars on the grid. The biggest subtraction that came when Audi left was advertising, promotion, fan and brand activation. All of that was gone when Audi Sport left, and we saw the impact of that at Le Mans.

It harmed the WEC and LM from those stand points, but it didn't kill the LMP1 class. If Porsche or even Toyota leave, that can be a big problem.

I question if the WEC would lose it's world championship status. The WEC is more than LMP1. In the GT classes alone, we have as of now at least four manufacturers in the series (Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, Aston Martin). If that WC status covers the whole series, you have twice the number that the FIA recommends for them to give the WC endorsement right there, and I don't think that the Porsche GTE program is going anywhere.

We could see LMP1 go from having a dedicated manufacturers' championship to maybe having a combined teams' championship, just like what sort of happened this year when Rebellion left to go to LMP2.

These are the possible implications of Porsche leaving LMP1 at the end of the season, or maybe even next year when the program is originally slated to end. Either way, this is a big deal as far as maintaining the status quo.

One benefit could be, granted it would probably also take Toyota leaving, would be to open up LMP1 as far as the number of competitive entries in a way we haven't seen in recent times with a surge of privateer teams entering.

But since LMP1 is supposed to be a factory haven, is that exactly a sign of health based on that statement?
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 15:30 (Ref:3752167)   #7986
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I have told this last year before Audi left. LMP1 was in a weak situation since no new factory joined since Porsche entrance. If Toyota should have won Le Mans last year (or this year), I'm 100% sure they would leave the series, now is Porsche. Without a third factory, the consecuences of one of the two current factories leave the series means the end of the P1-H as a class.

So, the hurry to have more P1-L entrances is the key. If all the possible private entrances for next year become a reality the series would be ok from the car's count point of view, but the financial side will be hurt.

All this is consecuence of the ACO only allowing factories to race with the complex and expensive hydrid systems.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 16:19 (Ref:3752178)   #7987
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First off, I think it's pretty clear that Porsche is gone. This follows the script of many factory pullouts we've seen over the years: Persistent rumors in the media, a team principal who says he doesn't know anything and the team keeps working as normal and when the announcement comes, people already sort of knew it was coming, so it's not a big shock anymore.

That's how Audi pulled out, how Toyota & BMW pulled out of F1 etc, it's a proven technique to handle this. Peugeot's exit was an exception because that one was really rushed and unexpected due to the economic pressure within the company.

What I find baffling however is that many people expect Toyota to pull out when in fact, there's zero incentive for them to do so. They wouldn't even need to invest anything in the current car to clinch pretty much a sure-bet Le Mans win next year, why would they even consider leaving as well? That makes no sense at all.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 16:24 (Ref:3752181)   #7988
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I hope it isn't the case that Porsche are pulling out, we need more entries in LMP1 not less
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 16:34 (Ref:3752187)   #7989
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First off, I think it's pretty clear that Porsche is gone. This follows the script of many factory pullouts we've seen over the years: Persistent rumors in the media, a team principal who says he doesn't know anything and the team keeps working as normal and when the announcement comes, people already sort of knew it was coming, so it's not a big shock anymore.

That's how Audi pulled out, how Toyota & BMW pulled out of F1 etc, it's a proven technique to handle this. Peugeot's exit was an exception because that one was really rushed and unexpected due to the economic pressure within the company.

What I find baffling however is that many people expect Toyota to pull out when in fact, there's zero incentive for them to do so. They wouldn't even need to invest anything in the current car to clinch pretty much a sure-bet Le Mans win next year, why would they even consider leaving as well? That makes no sense at all.
Could it be that Toyota would have no incentive to compete. Believe me Peugeot and Toyota coming in probably played a part in Audi staying around after 2006. As I said, yes, the incentive of being the first diesel car and first hybrid car to win LM was a part of it, too.

But I could bet that Audi were a bit tired of not facing any formidable competition (see the failure of the Cadillac program in the ALMS/LM in the early 2000's) and that probably would've lead to burn out eventually if not for Audi setting up a semi-factory privateer program centered around customer cars with the R8. Even if that was to fill in the gap/time until the R10 was ready, it did allow for them to still be involved with a customer car effort when things went the privateer route in the dying days of LMP900. And they were able to do so for relatively little money compared to a 100% factory program.

We also have to remember that Peugeot's pull out in 2012 nearly put the LMP1 class in the WEC in danger of not having a true manufacturers' championship until Toyota came in and the ACO pulled some strings.

As I said, Audi Sport might be the first domino to fall, Porsche could very well be next. But sadly, if this is what it takes for LMP1 to have a big reset, then so be it for the longer term health of the series. Unfortunately, the ACO seem to be only concerned with LM and the WEC's short term developments.

Overall, I still believe that dieselgate is just a public justification for doing what VAG have been doing with cutting back racing programs. Consider that VAG are still turning over huge profits in spite of the lawsuits and their settlements. And keep in mind that Daimler, Fiat/Chrysler, GM, PSA and Nissan/Renault are also being threatened with lawsuits over diesel regs cheating. I think a lot of it actually has to do with accomplishing goals quickly and getting burned out on the series they're racing in (the whole return on investment thing--in short not getting the bang for their bucks that they want). Especially as they can go somewhere else and race for cheaper.

Last edited by chernaudi; 17 Jul 2017 at 16:40.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 16:55 (Ref:3752196)   #7990
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Could it be that Toyota would have no incentive to compete.
The incentive is Le Mans, they want that win and in the end no one will care about whether there was much competition or not. They will not be the first manufacturer to pretty much race themselves and they won't be the last... a win is a win.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 17:09 (Ref:3752199)   #7991
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The incentive is Le Mans, they want that win and in the end no one will care about whether there was much competition or not. They will not be the first manufacturer to pretty much race themselves and they won't be the last... a win is a win.
The scary thing about Toyota being the only P1-H is to have a technical problem and lose the race against a P2 or P1-L. They have to think about the risk vs gain to win against nobody and to lose against a P2.

If they would be the only manufacturer, I'm sure they will review the car to get more reliability at the cost of less speed (but ask Porsche #1 about that).
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 18:14 (Ref:3752209)   #7992
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First off, I think it's pretty clear that Porsche is gone. This follows the script of many factory pullouts we've seen over the years: Persistent rumors in the media, a team principal who says he doesn't know anything and the team keeps working as normal and when the announcement comes, people already sort of knew it was coming, so it's not a big shock anymore.

That's how Audi pulled out, how Toyota & BMW pulled out of F1 etc, it's a proven technique to handle this. Peugeot's exit was an exception because that one was really rushed and unexpected due to the economic pressure within the company.
Were there persisten rumors? 2009 is soon 10 years ago but I have an image that Toyota and BMW pullouts came more out of the blue and both cases were also partly due worldwide economic situation, as was Honda's pullout one year earlier.

Seidl's comments also aren't like Audi's a year or two ago. He hasn't made the usual denial like Audi did, he has clearly said a decision is going to be made and then he will know more.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 19:18 (Ref:3752219)   #7993
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Originally Posted by Damian Baldi View Post
The scary thing about Toyota being the only P1-H is to have a technical problem and lose the race against a P2 or P1-L. They have to think about the risk vs gain to win against nobody and to lose against a P2.

If they would be the only manufacturer, I'm sure they will review the car to get more reliability at the cost of less speed (but ask Porsche #1 about that).
If Porsche withdraws the development of the car is not going to be so important (Obviously looking for greater reliability as you say), which can save money here and use this to entry 4 or 5 cars in Le Mans and in this way minimize the risk of breakages.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 19:30 (Ref:3752222)   #7994
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IMO, we're getting mixed messages from Toyota. They say that they race mostly for R&D value, but at the same time they've stated a preference for at least one other team to be a direct competitor.

I think there's no way that Toyota will enter more than 2-3 cars at LM next year, if they do decide to enter. And personally, I rather see Toyota leave and wipe the slate clean for LMP1 and make it into a potential free for all next year.
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Old 17 Jul 2017, 19:33 (Ref:3752223)   #7995
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The incentive is Le Mans, they want that win and in the end no one will care about whether there was much competition or not. They will not be the first manufacturer to pretty much race themselves and they won't be the last... a win is a win.
Exactly. They know they should have won the race at least twice. Although a win against limited opposition wouldn't carry the same cachet to the likes of us, as many people have said, a win is still a win in the record books. Porsche have scraped two of their three wins in the last three years by the skin of their teeth, but they're not apologising for that (nor should they).
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