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Old 3 Aug 2010, 09:11 (Ref:2738637)   #1
dj4monie
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Grand Am making its move, is it time for ALMS to make its move?

LTC believes its not an accident Micheal Waltrip and Eddie Cheever were at Spa 24 this past weekend. There is an intention he believes to add GT3 or something very close to GT3 as general replacement for its current Prep 1/2 setup for GT cars in Grand Am's main series.

Call it a scouting mission, as was mention by somebody here Zak Brown has connections to Grand Am. I already believed Zak has every intention to run his R8's or another pair of R8's in the United States at some point.

Is it too late for ALMS to go for the move and solidify GTC into GT3?

At worst it would put Grand Am in competition with ALMS for GT3 entries, likely limited to 10-12 in ALMS and a replacement for an entire GT class (forcing Mazda RX-8 teams and Mazdaspeed to either build a GT3 spec RX8 or RX7) by 2012.

At best ALMS can beat them to the punch by adopting GT3 regulations without any expensive changes (and before the State of The Series announcement). I think there's some false or misplaced concern on Ten-Tenths that current GTC teams would be upset by turning the regulations upside-down after a partial schedule in 2009 and a full schedule in 2010.

I don't think so. If anybody watched Spa 24 this past weekend, the GT3 cars are much quicker than Cup cars and very close to GT2 cars in overall pace. At longer tracks like Road America and Mosport its possible well driven GT3 will remain on the lead lap with the GT2 cars and possible finish in the Top 5. This will be less of a concern at shorter, twister tracks and street circuits as the GT3's power advantage is muted in those cases.

All racers want to go faster, so I don't think they'll be much concern over changing.

I believe ALMS should make this move and announce something maybe as soon as Road America like they did two years ago when they announced GTC to bolster its car count.

Opinions, Thoughts?
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 11:43 (Ref:2738702)   #2
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It isn't just the full adoption of the the FIA GT3 regulations, it is the DP changes too that could cause the ALMS all kinds of issues.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 12:13 (Ref:2738723)   #3
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It isn't just the full adoption of the the FIA GT3 regulations
That's actually not how I read it.

Grand Am says it's “in advanced discussions with Audi surrounding the possible introduction of the R8 in Rolex GT.”


To me that says that Rolex GT as it is right now will still be the basis of the class, but perhaps with some modifications to make sure that the Audis and other GT3-cars don't run away from the rest of the cars in the class. Especially for the tubeframe cars, it shouldn't be all that hard to gain some speed through body "modifications not previously allowed in GT.”
At least in the short term, Grand Am would gain nothing by throwing the GM and especially the Mazda teams under the bus by a switch to full on GT3-regs.

But then there's of course still the DTM-connection - and if the DTM-cars don't replace the DPs, perhaps they can slot in in between DP2.0 and GT. With the RX-8 going out of production sooner or later, Mazda could then race their Mazdaspeed 6 in the (at this point hypothetical) DTM-class.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 12:39 (Ref:2738741)   #4
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That's actually not how I read it.

Grand Am says it's “in advanced discussions with Audi surrounding the possible introduction of the R8 in Rolex GT.”


To me that says that Rolex GT as it is right now will still be the basis of the class, but perhaps with some modifications to make sure that the Audis and other GT3-cars don't run away from the rest of the cars in the class. Especially for the tubeframe cars, it shouldn't be all that hard to gain some speed through body "modifications not previously allowed in GT.”
At least in the short term, Grand Am would gain nothing by throwing the GM and especially the Mazda teams under the bus by a switch to full on GT3-regs.

But then there's of course still the DTM-connection - and if the DTM-cars don't replace the DPs, perhaps they can slot in in between DP2.0 and GT. With the RX-8 going out of production sooner or later, Mazda could then race their Mazdaspeed 6 in the (at this point hypothetical) DTM-class.
GM has cars to run under FIA GT3 regs. Mazda's funding level is probably minimal. The entrants investments is something to consider. While the article didn't necessarily state it, the word coming down from some of the manufacturers, is an adoption of FIA GT regs. That doesn't necessarily mean that Prep I and Prep II go away, but that whichever is the unibody, becomes FIA GT3.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 13:26 (Ref:2738762)   #5
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That doesn't necessarily mean that Prep I and Prep II go away, but that whichever is the unibody, becomes FIA GT3...
...with some minor changes I supposse. E.g. there's no point in having to import the Corvettes from Europe to race them in GA GT, especially when two teams (LG, Whelen) are right now in the process of developing uni-body Corvettes.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 14:36 (Ref:2738803)   #6
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A Sportscar House divided cannot stand...
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 17:49 (Ref:2738887)   #7
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IMSA and Grand-Am should talk about collaborating. Teams should be encouraged to take part of both championships with the same cars and drivers, somehow like the LMS and GT Open. The ALMS should move towards a more Euro LMSish calendar, that is less, longer races (400 miles / 4 hours upwards, except specials like Long Beach and Lime Rock, drop Mid-Ohio), and the Grand-Am towards television-friendly shorter races (120min or 45min+90min, for example).
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 17:54 (Ref:2738889)   #8
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I'm thinking this could be the nail in the coffin. If indeed GA puts together a revised DP program that is more visually and technically appealing, and the gt class gets a gt3 treatment, that would be bad enough for ALMS. But now combine that with the ILMC taking control of the upper tier teams of prototypes, and that doesn't leave many crumbs for the ALMS to nibble on does it?
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 18:03 (Ref:2738897)   #9
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and that doesn't leave many crumbs for the ALMS to nibble on does it?
Embrace the GT-only concept wholeheartedly and become Trans-Am?
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 18:55 (Ref:2738932)   #10
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ALMS can quite easily make things happen with GTC for next year. Heck, I don't think we were expecting it before that anyway. LMPC can be rolled into the new LMP2.

Grand-Am can't switch to all-new cars overnight without killing half its field, at least. You'll NEED new cars to truly revise the greenhouse and get the better looking cars. True GT3 can't happen over there until the DPs are sped up noticeably, in which case, nothing huge can change on the GT front until the DPs get faster. They can't afford to bring in a new Audi R8 that blows all the other GTs out of the water, or you blow up that class.

On top of this, GA has sold itself to competitors on the ideas of stability, cost-effectiveness, and close competition. Making sweeping changes blows at least two of the three out of the water. To tow the line and keep credibility, they really can't make these changes till 2012-2013, and even then, it could still, easily blow a number of their teams away because of cost.

We already know that the only reason the FIA would get involved with somebody else is to keep an eye on them, so that they cannot become a threat to F1. On the bright side, maybe we can get the FIA to whittle away at NASCAR while they're here.

This plan also has two further, critical flaws in that many of those aligned with GA HATE the FIA with a vengeance, and many who like endurance sportscar racing do NOT like Stephane Ratel and his GT schemes.

I just checked the GA boards for anything about this development... NOTHING.

Last edited by Purist; 3 Aug 2010 at 19:05.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 19:03 (Ref:2738936)   #11
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As I said elsewhere: Forget what you think you know.

Grand Am under Bledsoe is a completely different beast than Grand Am under Edmondson.

And speeding up the tubeframe GTs should be quite easy... some wider wheel-arches here, some bigger engines there, and away we go.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 19:29 (Ref:2738945)   #12
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Yes, that's a great message, but if only a fraction of the field can afford it, and the core of the fanbase HATES who's behind it, does this change really matter? Will it get any positive results?

GA doesn't have too many fans among the ACO crowd, and the ones who specifically went to GA are often NOT friendly toward "foreign", or particularly "French", influences on their series. They do NOT want the FIA of ACO anywhere near the United States, period.

The series is retreating geographically, and now you're talking changes that will cost tens of thousands per car, on every car, in a bad economy? This doesn't look, in practical terms, like a move forward, but like NASCAR is TRYING to just put the series down.

Speed King, you clearly have no idea about how much bodywork, and its development, costs. If these are really GT cars, you've got the engine you've got, because that's the model of car you're running. Otherwise, I guess we're really just going for silhouettes, huh, and not very high-performance ones at that. And then there's the matter or reworking the plumbing if you can't just bore the engine out more, plus posibly revising the mountings. Changing wheel widths and going to single lug hubs also requires looking at the suspension and how the wheels are mounted, because the stresses, moments of inertia, and concentrations of forces will be different from the 5-6 lug mountings.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 20:08 (Ref:2738965)   #13
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Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post
LTC believes its not an accident Micheal Waltrip and Eddie Cheever were at Spa 24 this past weekend. There is an intention he believes to add GT3 or something very close to GT3 as general replacement for its current Prep 1/2 setup for GT cars in Grand Am's main series.
Waltrip has gone back the past three years because the co-owner of MWR invites him. Rob Kauffman is based in Europe and runs GT cars occasionally.

Why Cheever's back there, I don't know, and I don't care.

Grand-Am is making their move by aligning with DTM and maybe Super GT and it has nothing to do with either of these two running the Spa 24.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 20:09 (Ref:2738966)   #14
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It isn't just the full adoption of the the FIA GT3 regulations, it is the DP changes too that could cause the ALMS all kinds of issues.
I know there was some voice of concern about DP's but do you HONESTLY think DP's all of a sudden are going to go from this -





To this -





If Grand AM pulls that off, along with showcasing some technology; coming from what just happen with Indy Car and considering they have more money and sponsorship dollars?

I'll be impressed to say the least.
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Old 3 Aug 2010, 20:09 (Ref:2738967)   #15
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Speed King, you clearly have no idea about how much bodywork, and its development, costs. If these are really GT cars, you've got the engine you've got, because that's the model of car you're running. Otherwise, I guess we're really just going for silhouettes, huh, and not very high-performance ones at that.
And then there's the matter or reworking the plumbing if you can't just bore the engine out more, plus posibly revising the mountings. Changing wheel widths and going to single lug hubs also requires looking at the suspension and how the wheels are mounted, because the stresses, moments of inertia, and concentrations of forces will be different from the 5-6 lug mountings.
Of course they are silhouettes - have you ever seen a RWD V8 Pontiac G6??


GT3 is like Grand Am GT a performance balanced class. That means, things don't have to be perfect, they just have to be okay. Especially in regards to the bodywork, the guys at Riley and P&M probably have a good idea of what might work and what they would like to do if they were allowed to do as they please... and then there's of course the limits set by a necessary degree of adherence to the production car's bodyshape.
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