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Old 28 Dec 2018, 18:22 (Ref:3872869)   #6241
Maelochs
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I don't think Red Bull (or anyone else) cares about WEC. They do however, care about Le Mans. If Red Bull want a WEC program, it's for the Le Mans victories, nothing else.
Insightful insight.
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Old 28 Dec 2018, 20:21 (Ref:3872887)   #6242
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Originally Posted by Akrapovic View Post
I don't think Red Bull (or anyone else) cares about WEC. They do however, care about Le Mans. If Red Bull want a WEC program, it's for the Le Mans victories, nothing else.
Which is why WEC never should've been a "series" with "rounds", but rather a loosely tied together "collection" of big events worth winning on their own. In those big events - which there would only be handful - you may also integrate grids with regional ACO series.

And Le Mans wouldn't even be part of it, but rather return to separate one-off status. You may earn auto invites for it by winning those other big events the previous year (or the existing regionals), but you wouldn't automatically receive freebie entry just by being participant. That would also fix some of the issues with grid limitations

EXAMPLE
Round 1 Mar - Sebring 1000 Miles or 10 Hours (LM auto invites offered)
Round 2 May - Europe I 1000KM (w/ Euro LMS and MLMC)
Round 3 Jul - Europe II 1000KM (w/ Euro LMS and MLMC)
Round 4 Aug - Japan 1000KM (w/ Asian LMS and maybe SGT)
Round 5 Sep - Kyalami 9 Hours (LM auto invites offered)
Round 6 Oct - Road Atlanta 1000 Miles or 10 Hours (LM auto invites offered)

Two top teams that collected best results all year receive LM auto invites as well but there is no "championship" in line for anything, except maybe for overall chassis constructors

Last edited by Chiana; 28 Dec 2018 at 20:47.
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Old 29 Dec 2018, 08:52 (Ref:3872971)   #6243
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I agree, but I think the ACO look at it the opposite way. They want a championship, so they use the prestige and positioning of Le Mans to force teams into the WEC - a championship they don't really want to run in (see Toyota trying to just do Le Mans, before being denied that).

I love WEC, but it's pretty clear that manufacturers don't. Maybe rather than pandering to manufacturers who never seem happy, they should be working on sustainable privateer regulations for LMP1. And then there's finally an excuse to drop Shanghai...
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Old 29 Dec 2018, 13:07 (Ref:3873001)   #6244
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They want to stop manufacturers from 'cherry picking' events - as was the case until around 2011 - yet they seem to have forget why the said 'cherry picking' existed... because for the most part the _championships_ are simply irrelevant to them, other than maybe having them as testing grounds (and extra showroom for corporate VIP guests). And in the future, with tech freeze, ban of testing and increased balance of performance to determine the outcome, even those testing grounds will become less important.

The concept of 'pyramid of endurance' is flawed, because there is no flexibility in it.
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Old 29 Dec 2018, 20:49 (Ref:3873033)   #6245
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I see it sort of that FIA needs to make as much money as possible and Le Mans is the lever which can pry open the wallets of the manufacturers.

Racing is really expensive nowadays. Possibly privateers could not support enough events to get enough exposure for their sponsors to attract sponsors—many sports have seen that happen. The tech is needed to maintain performance and to move the sport forward.

Vintage racing is great, but for some reason, people would rather watch the latest tech on track. Otherwise, we could all go back to aluminum monocoques and four-cam injected ICUs and cheap, long-lasting tires (Continental makes a lot) and we could watch the same racing that thrilled us three or four decades ago.

For some reason, people seem to want to watch new cars, not old. And even an LMP2 is not cheap to build, own, or operate.

A lot of IndyCar fans talk about making the Indy 500 a one-off event—“Announce it and the will build the car and come.” None seem to ask who would pay for the cars—because 32 cars would lose and only one would get publicity commensurate with the expenses.

A one-ff le Mans might end up the same way—not enough privateers willing to buy cars for one race a year, not enough constructors willing to design and build chassis for people who can only use them once a year—and who couldn’t pay enough to make the undertaking profitable.

That is why FIA went with four LMP2 constructors—so that at least a couple wouldn’t lose too much money and disappear.

Yes, the WEC might be irrelevant to the auto manufacturers building LMP1s—but they have to pay their dues, which in this case means supporting the series.

I think that is why the FIA is Finally trying to get a handle on costs—they want the manufacturers to be less unhappy about having to race the rest of the season. The publicity will never be there, but if the cost isn’t quite so onerous, maybe the factories will be more willing to participate.
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Old 29 Dec 2018, 22:22 (Ref:3873051)   #6246
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I think it's very much flawed to suggest that WEC commitment is keeping manufacturers from racing at Le Mans. For the better part of a decade before the creation of a world championship the manufacturer participation in the top class at Le Mans was at pretty much its lowest sustained point in history, but with a world championship for a brief moment there was a double digit factory entry at Le Mans for the first time since 1999. Audi and Toyota specifically wanted a world championship as long as and so they had someone to race against. Those races in places like China and America are what makes the R&D investment for Le Mans more palatable to boards and marketing departments, especially without anything like ALMS or JSPC around for prototype racing anymore.

If you go back through the years you'd be hard pressed to find many big time sports cars that only raced at Le Mans outside the years there was no championship run under the same regulations, in which they were still fairly scarce.

Thing about these regulations is they're poor as a stopgap though. They still depend too much on new technology and hardware that doesn't exist. Manufacturers could jump in during the 90s because the rules were setup to allow taking existing engines and a lot of chassis design and turn out a competitive car quickly, to the point Porsche won with an old Group C chassis twice and an ancient 935 based engine three times.

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Old 29 Dec 2018, 23:54 (Ref:3873059)   #6247
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I agree with that on the series front. No one wants to just do Le Mans because that's a waste of money and effort to make a car and test just to potentially fail and have nothing to show for your investment. The wec is needed for that. Le Mans is always going to be first and biggest but to suggest no one cares about the wec is a joke imo. The fia/aco are right to make them run the series for an entry to LM. What needs to happen is a couple more big names to join and then the series will pick up steam again after vw left them high and dry.
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Old 30 Dec 2018, 02:21 (Ref:3873073)   #6248
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Agreed that a WEC championship is vital to getting, and keeping manufacturer participation. A stand alone Le Mans is a failure.
The hypercar concept offers the opportunity for works teams and high level privateers to compete in machinery that is within the imaginative limits of the fans.

It is also within the reach of limited production specialist manufacturers, and in fact may be more attractive to them than say BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
To be attractive to teams the championship would need to include China and the Middle East where the interest in them as road (status) cars is at it's highest.
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Old 30 Dec 2018, 08:15 (Ref:3873121)   #6249
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Agreed that a WEC championship is vital to getting, and keeping manufacturer participation. A stand alone Le Mans is a failure.
The hypercar concept offers the opportunity for works teams and high level privateers to compete in machinery that is within the imaginative limits of the fans.

It is also within the reach of limited production specialist manufacturers, and in fact may be more attractive to them than say BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
To be attractive to teams the championship would need to include China and the Middle East where the interest in them as road (status) cars is at it's highest.
Very true about China and the M.E. We might wish the tracks were more historical and not just f1 style but those markets pay for themselves if not the race altogether (Bahrain).
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Old 3 Jan 2019, 03:31 (Ref:3873742)   #6250
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The richness that I love about sports cars is the diversity over the years. Group 5, Group 6, Group C, GT1 and the various LMP's. Lot's of different looks and ideas up the front.

But I think the other side of that coin is the lack of continuity. It's been called the WSCC, WEC, WSCC, nothing, ILMC, back to WEC, plus C'ship of Makes, GT1 WC and those GT championships that have carried on the cause.

Some real equity for example has been built up in the name LMP1 over the last decade. Yet all that name recognition is going to be discontinued and replaced with Hypercar(or whatever it ultimately gets assigned). From a branding point of view that's seems a poor choice to me.

LMP1 has had Audi, Porsche, Peugeot Toyota etc invested a lot of money in winning under that category name, I think it's a waste to retire it. In building a viable World Championship I"d think they need all the continuity and brand recognition they can get.
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Old 3 Jan 2019, 09:41 (Ref:3873764)   #6251
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Some real equity for example has been built up in the name LMP1 over the last decade. Yet all that name recognition is going to be discontinued and replaced with Hypercar(or whatever it ultimately gets assigned). From a branding point of view that's seems a poor choice to me.

LMP1 has had Audi, Porsche, Peugeot Toyota etc invested a lot of money in winning under that category name, I think it's a waste to retire it. In building a viable World Championship I"d think they need all the continuity and brand recognition they can get.
I think that, outside fo the insular and fairly small sports car racing world, LMP1 has no cachet ... no name recognition. And I think hat is the problem this latest move hopes to address.

I Think FIA/WEC hope that the cars on the grid will be recognizable as cars, not as rocket ships or whatever, so that people who don't follow racing can see that they are cool-looking exotic cars.

Frankly, objectively, a grid of P1s and P2s probably looks alien to most people and after a short time, looks pretty bland. Because of the conjunction of the class rules and the rules of physics, most of the cars seem pretty generic---and with the fin and the fender holes and all that .... Look at an old Ferrari P4 and look at any LMP1 and tell me which is better-looking.

Sadly, most of us are addicted, and FIA/WEC counts on that. Whatever they put on the grid, whatever ridiculous rules, we moan and complain and watch the races. Now, I think, FIA/WEC is trying to actually expand the base of people who will understand the advertisements .... is trying to reach the non-fans, and using that as an incentive to get more manufacturers on board.

Right now ... we have The Toyota Show. Whatever manufacturers found some value in LMP1 in the past, they are in the past. Obviously changes are needed.

Hopefully the new standard works.
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Old 3 Jan 2019, 20:27 (Ref:3873838)   #6252
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I think that, outside fo the insular and fairly small sports car racing world, LMP1 has no cachet ... no name recognition. And I think hat is the problem this latest move hopes to address.

I Think FIA/WEC hope that the cars on the grid will be recognizable as cars, not as rocket ships or whatever, so that people who don't follow racing can see that they are cool-looking exotic cars.

Frankly, objectively, a grid of P1s and P2s probably looks alien to most people and after a short time, looks pretty bland. Because of the conjunction of the class rules and the rules of physics, most of the cars seem pretty generic---and with the fin and the fender holes and all that .... Look at an old Ferrari P4 and look at any LMP1 and tell me which is better-looking.

Sadly, most of us are addicted, and FIA/WEC counts on that. Whatever they put on the grid, whatever ridiculous rules, we moan and complain and watch the races. Now, I think, FIA/WEC is trying to actually expand the base of people who will understand the advertisements .... is trying to reach the non-fans, and using that as an incentive to get more manufacturers on board.

Right now ... we have The Toyota Show. Whatever manufacturers found some value in LMP1 in the past, they are in the past. Obviously changes are needed.

Hopefully the new standard works.
I am very skeptical they understand and can address it. If we come back in 20 years time and the championship is called WEC and the top category is called 'Hypercars' then they have at least stayed the course and that will contribute to any main stream recognition.

But history has shown there is a better chance in 20 years it will be called something like Le Mans Global Series and the top category will be e-Prototypes One.

In 2040 Formula One will likely still be called Formula one, same as it was in 1975. If they abandon LMP1 because it really doesn't matter then sure, but they need to avoid the folly of switching the series name and category names again and again going forward. Makes it feel cheap and temporary, not like you are competing in something of historic value.

Of course there more to it to make a ongoing world championship inviting to sponsors, makers and non-rusted on fans, but it starts with continuity of at least knowing the name of what you're selling.
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Old 3 Jan 2019, 23:22 (Ref:3873861)   #6253
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Of course there more to it to make a ongoing world championship inviting to sponsors, makers and non-rusted on fans, but it starts with continuity of at least knowing the name of what you're selling.
Well ... it has been "Le Mans 24" since I think, 1923 ......
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Old 3 Jan 2019, 23:48 (Ref:3873862)   #6254
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Look at an old Ferrari P4 and look at any LMP1 and tell me which is better-looking.
Maybe you could have picked a comparison where every generation of sports car wouldn't lose.
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Old 3 Jan 2019, 23:51 (Ref:3873863)   #6255
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Well ... it has been "Le Mans 24" since I think, 1923 ......
Le Mans isn't an ongoing world championship though. People know Le Mans, I"m speaking of some basics to address the championship.
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