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Old 30 Oct 2004, 00:17 (Ref:1140281)   #1
jjspierx
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jjspierx should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridjjspierx should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Gidley and McDowell teammates in 05, Grand Am

http://www.speedtv.com/articles/auto/roadracing/13689/

And in case you are wondering why I am posting this here, well Gidley and McDowell were both rumoured to be in contention for Champcar rides.

I think Gidley and McDowell will be a formidable force. McDowell is blazingly fast and consistent as hell. And Gidley is of course extremely fast as well.
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Old 30 Oct 2004, 04:15 (Ref:1140326)   #2
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Snrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSnrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Well good for them, too bad for us. I rate both highly and I'm sure they will do quiet well. Grand Am is really becoming a hot series. Any idea what they are doing right and what CC could learn from them?
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Old 30 Oct 2004, 17:30 (Ref:1140624)   #3
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what a waste of two good drivers. They can do better. How can no one pick up McDowell for atlantics or something. I like both of them, but thisisnt going to do either of them many favors for there careers. well best to them in '05
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Old 31 Oct 2004, 01:57 (Ref:1140945)   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snrub
Grand Am is really becoming a hot series. Any idea what they are doing right and what CC could learn from them?
Yea, get in NASCAR's hip pocket, and have something to offer them in the future.

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Old 31 Oct 2004, 03:01 (Ref:1140962)   #5
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Snrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSnrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Quote:
Originally posted by Brian W Keske
Yea, get in NASCAR's hip pocket, and have something to offer them in the future.
I'm ignorant on the subject, could you elaborate?
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Old 31 Oct 2004, 04:03 (Ref:1140980)   #6
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As simply put as I can make it, and then you would have to do your own research...

Grand Am is essentially an 'arm' of the France family.

Toyota: Ganassi running a Grand Am team, with Toyota power, is essentially per a request by the France family.

Like the Truck series, this is another hoop Toyota must jump through to enter NASCAR.

It is much more convoluted than that...but that is the simpilest way I can connect a couple dots for you.

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Old 31 Oct 2004, 04:28 (Ref:1140983)   #7
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Snrub, an additional note:

The Toyota powerplants in Grand Am are being badged as Lexus.

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Old 1 Nov 2004, 18:45 (Ref:1142245)   #8
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I went to my first Rolex race yesterday at California Speedway. The series is very fun to watch in person. Last season there were 5 Daytona Prototypes running in the series. This year, 15. Next year there will be 30! That is not 30 total cars, that's just 30 DP cars. Not to mention the GT class that will be racing as well. A DP car is about $400,000 US to buy with 5 or so constructors buidling them.

When I was sitting there, I felt strongly that this series will quickly take over as the premier series for road course racing in America. The drivers were extremely accessible to the fans (even more so than CC), the racing was top notch and the price was only $30. Dixon, Papis, Manning, Diaz, Pruett, Auberlen and Said were just walking around the paddock like it was no big deal. Very impressive.

As for Ganassi, Lexus and the NASCAR connection...I don't know. Whatever the case, something is being done right.

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Old 1 Nov 2004, 19:33 (Ref:1142270)   #9
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Did you notice there was one JC France driving?

Yep, that France. Check out Grand Am's website, and you will also see that they are headquartered in the ISC (International Speedway Corp) building.

As far as being a premier series....well...that is in the eye of the beholder.

With NASCAR as a backbone funding source, of course thay are going to succeeed at what they are doing to some degree, exactly the degree in which the France family wants them to succeed. But there has never been any fanbase to speak of at these events, I'm sure you had a ton of 'leg room'. The place looked completely vacant on TV.

In terms of driver accessibility, the same is true of the ALMS, and has typically been for most road racing series. Just more darn friendly than most open wheel series.

I have said it many times, if CCWS wats to check out a series that is a making their series work from a business perspective, the ALMS would be a better example. It is vacant of the NASCAR power behind them, and still doing well.

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Old 1 Nov 2004, 20:45 (Ref:1142344)   #10
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I meant to also include ALMS in the statement regarding the premiere road racing series in America. As for the attendance, there weren't a whole lot of people there. About as many as were at the ALMS race I went to at Laguna Seca a few weeks ago. The grandstands were not being sold. All tickets were Infield GA.

About the France family....personally I could care less who, how or where the series is funded. I loved the racing and can't wait to go to both Laguna and Cal Speedway next year.
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Old 1 Nov 2004, 21:17 (Ref:1142366)   #11
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Enjoy. Your attitude is a breath of fresh air.

I am surprised to hear you thought the attendance was the same as Laguna though.

I've been to a couple GA races at Mid-Ohio, and I would not be surprised if the attendance was in the 5,000 area at best. Yet Mid-Ohio has been getting closer to 30,000 for the ALMS on race day.
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Old 2 Nov 2004, 02:36 (Ref:1142540)   #12
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Laguna is a much bigger facility, so it's hard to really judge. There were very few sitting in the front straight stands. I sat on the hill and not many other people were. Most of the people were on the Corkscrew side, but still not even close to the showing of the CC race at Laguna 2 seasons ago.

Wolf Hill parking was not even half full, and there were very few RV's. I don't think they were expecting too many people at Laguna because the tickets were being sold at the roadway when you drive in from the Fort Ord side.

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Old 2 Nov 2004, 03:50 (Ref:1142556)   #13
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Snrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSnrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Thanks for the explaination. I was aware of the Lexus branded engines in Grand Am.

One thing I don't understand, aren't both Grand Am and ALMS events sanctioned by IMSA? There's a lot of overlap in the kind of cars, etc. (although I think there's a decent amount of overlap between World Challange, Grand Am, ALMS, Trans Am) Seems like there's bound to be some canabalism there.

I watched ~4 of the Grand Am races this year. They put on a pretty good show. Things are often close and there's a decent amount of passing. I've got to admit that if Grand Am and ALMS were on at the same time, I'd watch Grand Am. During the IRL Texas race, I have to admit that I got bored and found the Grand Am race on at the same time more entertaining.
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Old 2 Nov 2004, 04:44 (Ref:1142569)   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snrub
One thing I don't understand, aren't both Grand Am and ALMS events sanctioned by IMSA? There's a lot of overlap in the kind of cars, etc. (although I think there's a decent amount of overlap between World Challange, Grand Am, ALMS, Trans Am) Seems like there's bound to be some canabalism there.
IMSA sanctions ALMS, Star Mazda, and the Panoz Racing series. There is no affiliation with Grand Am. Grand Am, and the Daytona Prototypes are ran by the Grand American Road Racing Association, or GARRA.

GARRA runs by their own rules and the series in centered around the Daytona 24 Hour race.

IMSA is their own sanctioning body, but the ALMS runs under the ACO rules which governs the Le Mans 24 Hour race. The ACO also runs their own series (new this year), the Le Mans Endurace Series, which runs in Europe. Both the ALMS and LMES teams can get automatic bids to Le Mans per their performance during the season, or if they were last years class winners at the 24 Hour race. In the ALMS, the class winners at the Petit Le Mans (12 hour race ran at Road Atlanta) get auto invites, as well as (I believe) the series class champions. These invitations have already been given to LMES and ALMS teams by the ACO for next years Le Mans. There are still approx. 20-30 open invitaions remaining which will be given out next early spring prior to the 24 Hour Le Mans testing/race. These selections will be between various LMES,FIA GT and ALMS teams that did not qualify for an automatic bid during the previous year.

In terms of mixture of teams/drivers that run in both series; yes there are quite a few. You will see drivers and teams that may run in the ALMS, LMES, and Grand Am. But the rules and reguations for the cars themselves are quite different for Grand Am and ALMS/LMES/ACO. The cars themselves cannot compete between these two groups.

The Speed World Challange is sanctioned by the SCCA Pro, but runs along side most ALMS races during the year. I do believe they will run with CCWS at Denver next year as well.

Confused yet?

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Old 2 Nov 2004, 04:57 (Ref:1142572)   #15
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Additional Note: The LMES basically replaced the FIA Sports Car Championship. So the European prototype sports cars only now run in the LMES during the year under ACO regulations... But the FIA GT series still exists, but have morphed themselves into the ACO rules so as to be able to compete in the LMES races.
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