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Old 20 Mar 2018, 00:54 (Ref:3809246)   #166
MaskedRacer
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I don't have facebook or twitter and that stuff. Can someone do me a big favor and ask the Marshall Pruett podcast about this topic.

Would love to here Marshall and Graham have a prolonged discussion on how they would handle the GTD rising costs issue.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 10:48 (Ref:3809352)   #167
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...What would cutting the boot off of Watkins Glen accomplish?
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 15:42 (Ref:3809423)   #168
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Other than making WG shorter than Road Atlanta in length, nothing much. Watkins Glen has more long straights and slower corners to allow for overtaking vs RA. RA has the Esses that are a difficult overtaking zone.

Fact is that both are endurance races and both would see fields shrink big time if GTD was dropped for one or both of them. However, it seems that having so many hours of racing is part of the problem.

Only "good" solution might be drop GTD from some of the sprint races or have their own separate "super sprint" race lasting maybe two hours tops on sprint weekends. So that was the drop in numbers isn't so pronounced but have GTD combine with Prototype and GTLM for some of the more major races.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 19:04 (Ref:3809484)   #169
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Originally Posted by chernaudi View Post
Other than making WG shorter than Road Atlanta in length, nothing much. Watkins Glen has more long straights and slower corners to allow for overtaking vs RA. RA has the Esses that are a difficult overtaking zone.

Fact is that both are endurance races and both would see fields shrink big time if GTD was dropped for one or both of them. However, it seems that having so many hours of racing is part of the problem.

Only "good" solution might be drop GTD from some of the sprint races or have their own separate "super sprint" race lasting maybe two hours tops on sprint weekends. So that was the drop in numbers isn't so pronounced but have GTD combine with Prototype and GTLM for some of the more major races.
Ok so the Glen idea is not good. I got it. Your idea in the last paragraph of this comment is not a bad one either. I think we'll see at Long Beach how a DPI/GTLM only field works. It must be said that I would not want to see our awesome all GT races at Lime Rock and VIR changed at all.
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Old 20 Mar 2018, 21:12 (Ref:3809502)   #170
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Change is coming to GTD in 2019, though exactly what that means is still being figured out:

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IMSA President Scott Atherton says to expect “material change” to the GT Daytona class next year, in a concerted effort to reduce costs for competitors.

The GT3-based category, which has seen an influx of manufacturer support in recent years, has been hit with skyrocketing budgets, largely triggered by the increased professionalism in the Pro-Am-enforced platform.
More here from Sportscar 365.
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Old 21 Mar 2018, 13:39 (Ref:3809633)   #171
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Change is coming to GTD in 2019, though exactly what that means is still being figured out:



More here from Sportscar 365.
They've said that every year since the Merger. They'll do something stupid that might drop budgets 5-10% (and it'll take away more than 5-10% of the value for those already paying to enter), but won't do anything substantial enough to seriously effect what's driving the increased budgets -- especially while WeatherTech is running a car in the class.

-mike
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 00:07 (Ref:3809766)   #172
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They've said that every year since the Merger. They'll do something stupid that might drop budgets 5-10% (and it'll take away more than 5-10% of the value for those already paying to enter), but won't do anything substantial enough to seriously effect what's driving the increased budgets -- especially while WeatherTech is running a car in the class.

-mike
Is there actually anything you can do to reduce costs other than reduce the number of races or move away from GT3 machinery?
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 11:41 (Ref:3809882)   #173
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Originally Posted by Mike Hedlund View Post
They've said that every year since the Merger. They'll do something stupid that might drop budgets 5-10% (and it'll take away more than 5-10% of the value for those already paying to enter), but won't do anything substantial enough to seriously effect what's driving the increased budgets -- especially while WeatherTech is running a car in the class.

-mike
Look up the story about BK racing and their bankruptcy. Travel was 8.9% of the budget. As we all know, those teams travel way more than in IMSA. You bring up a great point because cutting out a race not only reduces the value of the class but it does little for the overall budget.

If IMSA drops another race, the overall budget will go down 5-10%. Only problem, is IMSA, the suppliers and manufacturers are going to raise their prices by that much for 2019 anyway. So in the end, 10 races for the same cost as 11 in 2018 or 12 in 2017.

The solution should be that every time Atherton says "stakeholders" he needs to pay each team $1000. By the end of the season that will actually cut the budget instead of just talking about reducing the budget while you are actually increasing it.
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 12:03 (Ref:3809886)   #174
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Is there actually anything you can do to reduce costs other than reduce the number of races or move away from GT3 machinery?
GT3 has jumped the shark and there's no turning back. We have repeated history yet again. Here's the issue. Rich guys that fund these teams through rentals, exist on different tiers when it comes to spending. They are rich by not spending the principal. That means a certain budget each year to throw at racing. So, if you have $2M per year to spend and if it costs $2.8M to run GTD, you obviously can't run a full season in GTD. So you move to GS and rent a seat for Daytona and Sebring in GTD. It's that simple.

The manufacturers that make GT3 cars and the sanctioning bodies that promote driver rankings along with BoP never listen to the renters and as IMSA calls them "stakeholders". In the end, they move to GS or GTS. Now the manufacturers and sanctioning bodies all walk around patting themselves on the back because of this new global cost effective class. Problem is, they just watched GT3 start to dwindle.

If you notice, PWC had a massive celebration with a big number of GTS cars for COTA yet the total number of entries has not changed over the last few years (it's still running around 100). All of the big changes they mads has resulted in a net zero change. Same for IMSA.

GT3 needs to be dropped and GT4 needs to take it's place. Put a freeze on all GT4 development and put a max price on the class for the purchase price. Also, no more special factory teams that run a year all by themselves then run the following season with no customers. If you can't sell a customer car, then you just don't run. No evo or update kits and make manufacturers support the previous model for at least 3 years. Then to replace GT4 make GT5 and then revert to the old GS rules. No aero, actual legit cars (no Panoz, KTM, SIN...), no carbon bodywork, stock suspension components and no 50K gearboxes. Literally what GS was 5 years ago.

For the sanctioning bodies, limit tires per event and make one that is harder, slower and you can double stint. Change the fuel supplier where everyone has to run 93 octane unleaded and thus the price is less than half of what it is now. Prize money, right now it's either the top 3-5 get anything. Make it the top 15 at a minimum. Stop the different tiers of entrants. Go back to the GA and old IMSA days where you pay a set entry fee and it can be done up until 5 days before the first practice session. After that, a 10% penalty. Stop charging for T&S and make it a basic service. That way every team is equal and can use their brain for strategy. Reduce the rulebook by 50% so teams are not getting dinged for frivolous violations that ruin your race.
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 14:18 (Ref:3809921)   #175
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GT3 has jumped the shark and there's no turning back.
snip
GT3 needs to be dropped and GT4 needs to take it's place.
snip

Stop charging for T&S and make it a basic service. That way every team is equal and can use their brain for strategy.
Agreed re: GT3. Costs have become ridiculous, even just to buy a car. I'd say that if GTE was used in as many championships as GT3 is, Porsche would be able to sell the RSR for roughly current GT3 prices rather than €900,000 advertised last year. (Mr. Hedlund will probably tell me I'm delusional. )

I was going to disagree with replacing GT3 with GT4 in WSC. The speed differential seems just too big between GT4 cars and what are effectively (pace-wise) first-gen Audi R18s. But at Sebring in 2003, the Bentleys were doing 1:48s in qually, many of the GT2 Porsches and Ferraris were doing 2:09/2:10. GT4 pole at the weekend was 2:11. So it's plausible.

Also, teams have to pay for timing? Is this standard practise in other championships?
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 16:26 (Ref:3809938)   #176
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I was going to disagree with replacing GT3 with GT4 in WSC. The speed differential seems just too big between GT4 cars and what are effectively (pace-wise) first-gen Audi R18s. But at Sebring in 2003, the Bentleys were doing 1:48s in qually, many of the GT2 Porsches and Ferraris were doing 2:09/2:10. GT4 pole at the weekend was 2:11. So it's plausible.
And that 2:11 is on Contis... with Michelin coming in, 2:09/2:10 should absolutely be in reach,
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 18:42 (Ref:3809962)   #177
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I'll use Sebring for an example.
1990 Qualifying:
GTP: 1:55.7
GTL: 2:06.4 (+10.7)
GTO: 2:10.2 (+14.5)
GTU: 2:20.1 (+24.4)

2018 Qualifying
DPi: 1:47.4
GTLM: 1:55.8 (+8.4)
GTD: 1:58.7 (+11.3)
GS: 2:11.6 (+24.2)
TCR: 2:16.4 (+29.0)

So, I know the track is a bit different but it gives you an idea of the speed differential. If GS is too slow today, then GTU was too slow in 1990. If you were standing at turn 10 in 1990, a GTO car would go past you only just over 1 second per lap faster than a GS car today. That TCR car was passing you just under 4 seconds per lap faster than a GTU car.
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 20:10 (Ref:3809978)   #178
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To be clear, the GT3 cars not became more expensive at all.

In 2006 you could buy an Aston Martin DBRS9 for 300.000 euro
In 2015 you could buy an Audi R8 LMS for 350.000 euro. With a starters and parts pack it comes about 400.000 euro.

The first GT3 cars were purely made for sprint racing, and even than they had troubles to even finishing an hour sprint race without issues. I remember the GT3 for the first time participating the 24 Hours of Spa, in which a GT3 team could enter three GT3 cars under one number. Every car would do 8 hours. Nowadays the GT3 cars can do a full season/endurance race as if it is a sprint race. In that case I think the extra costs is worth the money.

In contrary the environment of drivers / teams / facilities have become completly become different. This proffesionalism hasn't been a bad thing and also brought good things:
- Cars are more reliable, so basically lower running costs, less time on maintance
- Cars are run basically easier to run (more arrive and drive)
- A manufacturer has a spare parts truck at events, so teams not need to bring their own truck with spares and have a huge load of spares that all costst money.

The problem is, is that "customer sport" has been abused by certain brands. This has become kind of a cold war and an arms race and the privateer teams have become innocent victims of it, which is strange.

jjvincent can say GT3 needs to be dropped, and GT4 needs to take its place. But If a GT4 season in PWC is already on the same lever of a PWC GT3 season in 2014, than surely something fundamentally else is wrong than just pointing at the GT3 cars, also because a GT4 car its selling prize is around 200.000. So basically the running costs therefore of a GT4 in 2018 is higher than a more expensive GT3 in 2014. That doesn't make sense to me, and imo that is the blame of manufacturers abusing "customers sports".

What series possible can do is to change the sporting regulations. They should be able to deny entries if there is to much factory involvement in it.
- Land Motorsport basically abuses the silver driver rating (like a lot of other teams and series do). They not have a Keating or a Potter, they got a talented youngster behind the wheel who is a factory driver.

Maybe it looks like PWC has done a wrong decision to not allow factory GT3 involvement anymore. But this could in the end be a very good decision and this year maybe is only a transition year for that championship's GT3 classes that the heated budgets become slowly lower. During the season a lot of privateer GT3 teams might realize that this might be the series for them.
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Old 22 Mar 2018, 23:17 (Ref:3810011)   #179
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There's definitely starting to be some pushback from the SRO in general now. They let a lot slide while things were still blowing up but in addition to PWC kicking out factory teams this year we've seen new regulations about car production to prevent factory specials and significant effort to prevent a new evo car outperforming the old model. As long as GT4 exists and is a viable alternative for many series and teams it will never be what it was though.
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Old 23 Mar 2018, 00:21 (Ref:3810019)   #180
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One easy thing that can be done is to stop manufacturers bringing out a yearly upgrade kit.
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