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Old 16 Dec 2019, 11:29 (Ref:3946957)   #46
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Brands Hatch sounds nice but it is too small. It's length is fine but it's pretty tight. The racing would be awful. Great track but I don't think it's up to LMP1s tbh. I think LMP2s would even be pushing it.

Donington, however...
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 13:52 (Ref:3946980)   #47
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Brands Hatch is interesting, but I don't think that even the full circuit is well suited to current LMP1s if run at full pelt for sure. Not due to track length but it's nature. Same reason why Sonoma/Sears Point isn't very well suited IMO for IMSA right now, especially the prototypes.
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 14:27 (Ref:3946988)   #48
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Originally Posted by Akrapovic View Post
Brands Hatch sounds nice but it is too small. It's length is fine but it's pretty tight. The racing would be awful. Great track but I don't think it's up to LMP1s tbh. I think LMP2s would even be pushing it.

Donington, however...
If 908 is able to handle it, I'm sure Hyperwagons and Oreca 07 fleet can as well
https://youtu.be/U1eJYAyLps0
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 16:38 (Ref:3947006)   #49
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If 908 is able to handle it, I'm sure Hyperwagons and Oreca 07 fleet can as well
https://youtu.be/U1eJYAyLps0
It does, but I'm not sure about the viability of a whole field. Brands can be small for GT3 at times.
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 17:56 (Ref:3947017)   #50
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If 908 is able to handle it, I'm sure Hyperwagons and Oreca 07 fleet can as well
https://youtu.be/U1eJYAyLps0
Yes but the Masters Historic boss said it was a mistake taking them there. He even said Donington would not be good. MSVR wanted them back for obvious reasons.

Maybe Zandvoort with its new developments.
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 21:10 (Ref:3947043)   #51
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Brands Hatch was brilliant in Group C days, I used to go there, Silverstone and Le Mans.
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 22:40 (Ref:3947054)   #52
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I don't mind the track, I'm just thinking how the organizers (ACO) think. The layout, the runoffs, the pit facilities etc. I don't know how they would officially view it but probably not favorably.
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 23:12 (Ref:3947060)   #53
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Brands Hatch may be Grade 2 and the ACO have had to swallow their pride on sticking to Grade 1 Tilkedromes (Shanghai being replaced by Kyalami, which is currently Grade 2, and Sebring being Grade 2), but I do see Brands as having some of the issues that Sonoma started having in the mid-2000s with the ALMS and even Grand Am.

Both are classic layouts and fun to drive either in a game or probably in real life for those who love track days. But at the same time, neither seems insanely well suited for multi-class racing.

Both Brands and Sonoma have tons of choke points and relatively few clean overtaking spots. Sadly, fun to drive layouts don't always promote the best racing, and nowadays there seems to be a need for balance between those two extremes.
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Old 16 Dec 2019, 23:39 (Ref:3947064)   #54
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The main tricky spot at Brands looks to be the first apex at Westfield. The secondary one would probably be the apex at Sheene. Watching some British GT again, I was actually slightly surprised how wide they take the second Westfield apex, as well as Dingle Dell, so there's more practical room there than it seemed for the Protos to get through traffic on that stretch than I initially thought. The most similar place after that would be Graham Hill, but you definitely don't have the same sort of head of steam there coming out of Druids as you do out on the GP Loop.

At Donington, the only really potentially nasty one is the kink at Starkey's Bridge; just pay a bit of attention to not cut the other guy off too quickly, or try three-wide there and on into Schwantz. GTs can stay to the right at the top of the Craners, and then quickly move left at the bend before the Old Hairpin. So impeding of the faster cars can be fairly minimal there. You've got clear sight from McLeans into Coppice to see what's ahead, and once you're past the first apex, there are two usable lanes for the rest and out onto the straight.

Zandvoort might meander around more than Sebring as an overall proportion of the lap. Speaking of Sebring, it's on the WEC calendar now, and has its notable choke points. Forcing the issue at Bishop (T14) is likely to not end much better than doing the same in Westfield at Brands. We've all seen how messy traffic can be through the Collier bends there between Conningham (T10) and Tower (T13). Less hairy, but still needing care is the Gendebien-Le Mans sequence. You can't just slam on the power in an LMP coming out of the Safety Pin if there's traffic close ahead, and even the Fangio Esse requires some discretion. Finally, if you don't make the overtake on entry, Sunset can be more fun than you bargained for; the same applies when trying to make a move going through T1 at full tilt. And again, this is a circuit that's already on the WEC's slate.
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Old 17 Dec 2019, 00:03 (Ref:3947068)   #55
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Brands Hatch may be Grade 2 and the ACO have had to swallow their pride on sticking to Grade 1 Tilkedromes (Shanghai being replaced by Kyalami, which is currently Grade 2, and Sebring being Grade 2), but I do see Brands as having some of the issues that Sonoma started having in the mid-2000s with the ALMS and even Grand Am.

Both are classic layouts and fun to drive either in a game or probably in real life for those who love track days. But at the same time, neither seems insanely well suited for multi-class racing.

Both Brands and Sonoma have tons of choke points and relatively few clean overtaking spots. Sadly, fun to drive layouts don't always promote the best racing, and nowadays there seems to be a need for balance between those two extremes.
A small comment on Brands, which doesn’t really change the point here. Brands is fine for multi class racing (enjoyed it myself), but not really for modern multi class at prototype speed.
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Old 17 Dec 2019, 00:09 (Ref:3947069)   #56
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Same problem that Sonoma started having in the mid-2000s. Fine for multi-class racing, but not at the speeds that even those LMP1 cars were capable of back then.

Question here, though, it would it in theory with LMP1 Hypercar being likely slowed to current LMP2 pace, would it be enough to make them more suited than the current cars at Brands? Problem is that a combination of speed and not having clean overtaking zones doesn't help the cause. I'm surprised with the current LMP1 EOT/BOP situation that we're not having more stack ups with LMP1s and LMP2s. LMP2s have gotten faster this season because of tire development, while LMP1s have been slowed by ballast increases and power cuts.
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Old 17 Dec 2019, 19:13 (Ref:3947233)   #57
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Brands Hatch was brilliant in Group C days, I used to go there, Silverstone and Le Mans.
It was indeed. I saw Group C there (and at Silverstone) several times. It was always warmer at Brands too!
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Old 17 Dec 2019, 19:48 (Ref:3947246)   #58
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i think there's some misattribution on a number of levels there, plus we don't help ourselves by getting locked into certain preconceptions.

If the argument is that the cars are, or were, too fast, here's something to look at.

Sears Point Lap Records:
2.520-mile Layout
GTP: 1:21.409 (111.437 mph), 1990
Lights: 1:29.064 (101.859 mph), 1990
LMP900: 1:20.683 (112.440 mph), 2000
GTS: 1:30.621 (100.109 mph), 1999
2.530-mile Layout
LMP900/675/1: 1:21.688 (111.497 mph), 2005
GTS/1: 1:28.042 (103.451 mph), 2004

So it seems, if there is an issue, it's not outright speed, but how lap time is made, and/or the interplay between how it's made within the different classes. In general, you'd expect that the focus has turned more toward aero relative to power, and hence, top-end speeds have dropped while cornering speeds have increased. In a number of cases, the cars have also gotten heavier, which means the ability to lay into the throttle and cleanly slice between cars has quite possibly been reduced.

And just to get this out of the way, those Grand-Am races at Sears Point were DP-only affairs, and those were big, heavy, draggy, comparatively under-powered machines, a bit like the old IRL Indy Cars, which weren't that great at road racing.

The changes to the track in 2001-03 maybe hurt things a little. Taking the front stretch off of the drag strip made Turns 12 and 1 more abrupt, and more confined with the walls there on both sides. Also, in 2002, the ALMS started using the "Budweiser Bottleneck", that extra lobe there on the exit of the Turn 7 hairpin; this is what increased official lap length slightly. Still, the main choke point is just that squiggly bit there between Turns 7 and 8. Turn 10 is single-file, but you're through there pretty quickly. The rest, while a bit on the tight side, can be negotiated two-abreast, even Turn 1; actually, it rather reminds me of the madness in the turns at Mosport, especially during the 2007 and '08 ALMS races when you had the LMP1s (mainly the Audis) and LMP2s zipping around the GTs, and they had to make that work without any paved run-off outside Turns 1, 2, and 8.

One absurdity now is, it's been outright stated that newer tracks are designed to give some driving challenge, while also offering at least a few clean, conventional overtaking opportunities. The funny thing is, well, how's that been working out for F1? (They're the main ones getting these new tracks designed for them, after all.) But this can play into a certain mindset, and what I mentioned earlier about not getting locked in, because the racing suffers if drivers become less creative in their race craft, and stick to these preset, conventional notions.

Furthermore, we end up screwing ourselves in the expectations game when we take this "conventional overtaking points" philosophy too much as gospel, analyzing every track too closely, and even demanding that these sorts of corners, complexes, and setups be made common place on tracks that are going to continue to be used.

I might add, having too confined a track design philosophy will lead to even more homogenized car design to take better advantage of the one, anointed style of racing that has been chosen. Track design, at least at the top levels, has been criticized for some time already for being too homogeneous in nature.

There's also just the general issue in racing that, I think drivers have become less cooperative overall. You see the guys make it through the old, fast, first iteration of the Portland chicane during the 1984 CART race; that wouldn't happen today, there'd be a crash, like there usually is in the current version of the Festival Curves basically every year. In addition, while everyone has a "right" to be out there, as long as they're not an undue hazard, I'd say there's been more of a tendency in the last 10-15 years for drivers in slower cars, whether in the same or another class, to be more strident, and even sometimes belligerent, when the leading cars come up on them. More of a sportsman's attitude, as opposed to that of a generic celebrity, would be a good thing, and a driver can do that without being a pushover.

And a final note on the current LMP1/LMP2 situation. Even 20 years ago, it seems like the big stack-ups tend to happen at those conventional overtaking points, where you have the large compression of the accordion effect into a heavy braking zone. Just a fun little observation. And again, I have to laugh with the way talk of closing rates has changed. Now, they're probably down to saying a 30-mph differential is huge, whereas at the start of the ALMS, it was 50 mph. And then you think back to the '60s and '70s, when the closing rates, particularly at Le Mans, could be 100 mph. It certainly provides an interesting perspective.

Last edited by Purist; 17 Dec 2019 at 20:07.
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Old 18 Dec 2019, 02:07 (Ref:3947275)   #59
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Well, you also (for LM) have to remember what Derek Bell said in 2011. You had more straight blasts without chicanes and there was a huge top speed difference between most of the classes. Nowadays, the biggest difference between classes is cornering and braking ability.
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Old 18 Dec 2019, 02:57 (Ref:3947279)   #60
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I remember that, during the caution for McNish's shunt with Beltoise, I think it was, in the Dunlop Esses.

"I don't think doing 240 mph on the straight is a problem." Thank you Derek Bell.
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