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Old 24 Mar 2016, 22:32 (Ref:3626930)   #151
CyberMotor
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I'm about to post a whole bunch of irony that the Daytonized version of IMSA doesn't get. The connection to the ACO is very important in today's world. The WEC is light years ahead of IMSA in both technology and costs.

Here's some of the irony. In 1999 I was at a Don Panoz' sponsored media event at Road Atlanta. Super memory in my mind.

As I was leaving, I got caught up in the traffic of a cross-country race involving university-sponsored solar raycers and they were headed to Georgia Tech for the weekend on their cross country endurance race. There was a whole lot of ADVANCED technology in this race and they had some BIG time sponsors (see photo below).

I said then and I still say today that the best thing IMSA can do is to link up with these engineering geniuses. These kids are the brains and fans of the future. They might need a separate area from Green Park or they may transform it.

After seeing these advanced endurance prototypes racing across the country using just the energy from the Sun, I checked out their sponsors. I think their sponsors would make most teams in IMSA drool.

Another part of the irony. At Georgia Tech, rather than attempting to build an advanced endurance prototype in the spirit of the ALMS, they built one of the ugliest cars I've ever seen in the image of the newly created Daytona Prototype!

If you are a team owner or manufacturer, would you like to have sponsors like these kid geniuses from across America had? This was back in 1999 but this caliber of sponsors is what is needed. You get the kid geniuses in the universities interested in your sport (if it is technologically relevant) and the sponsors will follow.

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Old 24 Mar 2016, 23:26 (Ref:3626935)   #152
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Originally Posted by CyberMotor View Post
If you are a team owner or manufacturer, would you like to have sponsors like these kid geniuses from across America had? This was back in 1999 but this caliber of sponsors is what is needed. You get the kid geniuses in the universities interested in your sport (if it is technologically relevant) and the sponsors will follow.
Depends how much those sponsors are willing to spend, eh? I am pretty sure (having read about the solar-powered races every year since then) that none of those cars cost nearly as much as the tires for one IMSA sprint race weekend.

I haven't heard about Microsoft sponsoring anybody except Level 5 (and how is That for irony?) Also ... some of those "sponsors" probably got to deduct their "sponsorship" which I don't think happens much in motor racing.

Also ... how many of those sponsors are currently funding a WEC car, hybrid or not?

I really don't think IMSA would have survived from then until now if it had switched its formula to single-seat, bicycle-tired solar-powered car which topped out at 55 mph ... and Sebring wouldn't have happened this year because it was overcast when it wasn't raining when it wasn't night.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 01:29 (Ref:3626950)   #153
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You know we could just, not have protoypes at all.

Ask me this question, can the GT cars carry the series?


We can't have a P1 series in the same way we can't have a American based F1 series, can we?
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 01:54 (Ref:3626954)   #154
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Inflammatory, now that is funny! And is this thread not about DPi which is the sole province of IMSA and their WSC series?






L.P.
Yes, inflammatory. From dictionary.com-
Quote:
adjective
1. tending to arouse anger, hostility, passion, etc.:
inflammatory speeches.
Exactly what some posts here are. It's not just talking about dpi, but trying to get a rise out of people.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 04:55 (Ref:3626966)   #155
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Because, economics.

Please do not see this as an "inflamatory" post, but I have to say this: It makes a Lot of sense to have a worldwide sportscar formula, because manufacturers cannot afford to build (or really, to research and design) many types of cars for many series, and teams cannot afford to pay for the research, testing, design, and construction when the construction run is so small.

This is one of the lessons we could and should learn from the past: fragmented competing series are no longer sustainable (if they ever were--not many sports car series have lasted a decade.)

To make racing make business sense in today's world, options have to be limited, as does development. I hate it, but I am not blind or entirely stupid, so I accept it.

It simply costs too much to build a competitive car to modern safety and performance standards. A Jim Hall-type character can't cook up some crazy idea in his back shed and conquer the sportscar world (or at least radically alter it.) No more chassis rails chalked out on garage floors, or fire-pump engines converted to F1. Sorry.
I can agree with you up to this point, but I will point out that with computation fluid dynamics and computer-aided design that one could easily enough design a car. Carbonfiber is getting cheaper all the time to buy and manufacture, and if multiple chassis makes can be made to work for pretty much every formula there is, I can see it being possible that a North American sports car series could survive on its own. It doesn't have to be that crazy expensive, and the fact that teams like SMP and Strakka did it for LMP2 cars says that it can be done if there is the will to do it.

The limiting of chassis options (such as in the proposed 2017 P2 rules) is idiotic. Natural selection can - and should - be what drives technical development. But being that the ACO has less interest in advancing the technical development of the P2 category than they do in sustaining the bank accounts of Oreca and Onroak, that didn't happen. And yes, IMSA is far too pricey for such a more open formula to work. But even with these rules, I rather suspect that if somebody went to IMSA and wanted in with a large enough check, IMSA's gonna cash the check and tell them to have at it.

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If we didn't go with ACO, where would we go in North America? Another generation of "cost-effective" DP dinosaurs? Sorry, the genie is already out of that bottle---fans have seen modern P2s and would never accept another decade of tube-framed throwbacks.
It seems rather obvious to me that you have never even looked at a DP car to make a statement like this one, Maelochs. Call it inflamatory if you like, but statements like this show you have a bias. The tubes on a DP are massively reinforced by carbonfiber panels, and on all the modern cars the tube frame bases and the carbonfiber reinforcements are both absolutely vital to the car's performance. DPs may not have CF tubs as bases, but beyond that the tech difference between them and P2 cars is minimal. Anybody thinking that a DP is a Trans-Am car with the engine in the back has never looked at one in depth.

And as far as the fans not accepting "another decade of tube-framed throwbacks", I'd bet money you and some other diehards care about it far more than anybody else does. I have nothing against ACO cars, but after thirteen seasons and a lot of development in every way possible, this crap about the DPs somehow being intrisically inferior to the LMP2s has got to stop. Seriously folks, if you've seen both, its rather obvious that both are different ways of accomplishing the same objective.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 05:06 (Ref:3626969)   #156
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You know we could just, not have protoypes at all.

Ask me this question, can the GT cars carry the series?
Not happening now (unfortunately), but I think that's gonna be the future. Technical development in automobiles now isn't about going faster, its about becoming more efficient while still going stupidly fast. The prototype world hasn't got anything new to offer most makers, but GT racing, where they can show off their latest and greatest sports cars, does.

LMP1 is ludicrously expensive, LMP2 is just for privateers and rich playboys (and the ACO has made it that much more so now) and LMP3 (is Europe and Asia, it's never coming to IMSA me thinks) is the same only slower and uglier. The ACO's absolutely infuriating demand that somebody be prepared to spend tens of millions of Euros to run in the world's biggest sports car race is going to one day come back to bite them in the backside.

To answer your question, yes, I do think the GT cars can carry the series. Hell, make it possible to bring cars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, Lamborghini Aventador and Pagani Huayra into the sport and you'd probably be making many fans forget all about the prototypes. But to get that, you'd need to allow hybrids, which is a whole new can of technical worms for both the series and the teams. That said, I think one that will end up being the case.

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We can't have a P1 series in the same way we can't have a American based F1 series, can we?
I wouldn't be surprised if P1 dies entirely in the next five years, knowing just how ugly Dieselgate is gonna be for VAG and Toyota's history at Le Mans. Now, I'm not hoping for that and could be wrong, but the cost of them is awful high to make a real good business case, and they are impossible for all but the most financially well-endowed privateers to race with.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 05:17 (Ref:3626971)   #157
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There is an awful lot of ways you can go about the goal of lapping slower than street legal cars from the 90s after all.

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In the glory days of the ALMS, the P2 manufacturers and teams, Porsche (Dyson, Penske), Acura (Deferran, Andretti, Highcroft, Fernandez) and Mazda (BK Motorsports), had no desire to go race at Le Mans and the series still put on one heck of a show. I think that is where they are headed for 2017 and beyond.
Porsche and Honda did have a desire to go to Le Mans, and...did. Rather successfully at that. Even the ARX-02a would have had an LM kit developed if it hadn't been canned, although whether it ever would have showed may have depended on diesel/petrol balancing. (as we've since learned, the wide fronts work just as well there as anywhere else)
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 08:27 (Ref:3627005)   #158
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You know we could just, not have protoypes at all.

Ask me this question, can the GT cars carry the series?
Not with PWC hanging around, sticking it's toe in the door of endurance racing with the Sprint X concept....

WC Vision -the series' operators- have got things dialed in with GT racing in this country - the fields are so big they're actually causing problems. This is the sort of problem you WANT to have - it's easier to fix the problems stemming from oversized fields than undersized, after all(don't be surprised to see changes in the race groupings next year unless a lot of teams drop out).

I have no doubt that PWC could take on and defeat IMSA in a GT-only environment.

Besides that, there's just enough interest in prototype racing to support a series if it's well-run and well-promoted, even if it will never be the top dog of US motorsport. The only reason I see GT being a good top class for IMSA is if it were an in-name-only sort of class like late 90s GT1 or the 1970s GTX/Group 5 cars.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 08:31 (Ref:3627009)   #159
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I wouldn't be surprised if P1 dies entirely in the next five years, knowing just how ugly Dieselgate is gonna be for VAG and Toyota's history at Le Mans. Now, I'm not hoping for that and could be wrong, but the cost of them is awful high to make a real good business case, and they are impossible for all but the most financially well-endowed privateers to race with.
P1-L is being groomed to take the place of P2 as it stands today EXPLICITLY as a precaution against the collapse of P1-H entries - To the point of the two being set to be close enough in lap times for the ACO to be able to quickly close the gap should things drop to only one P1-H entry.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 08:44 (Ref:3627017)   #160
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I can see it being possible that a North American sports car series could survive on its own. It doesn't have to be that crazy expensive, and the fact that teams like SMP and Strakka did it for LMP2 cars says that it can be done if there is the will to do it.
Straka managed, back when there were more customers. How's their business nowadays? Lots of Strakas on the grid? SMP is funded by a Russian bank, so it is essentially mob-money laundering. Pescarolo tried it too ....

You can say it is cheap and easy, but Rolex couldn't do it, even using their cars for several seasons with minimal upgrades.

Just because you think it should be cheap does not make it cheap. The fact that it hasn't worked here is not Internet discussion, it is observable fact.

Where is Your LMP2? Maybe it isn't as cheap or easy as all that ....

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The limiting of chassis options (such as in the proposed 2017 P2 rules) is idiotic. Natural selection can - and should - be what drives technical development.
You think differently. This can be good, but only if it is rooted in fact.

Fact is, what we as fans think Should drive technical development is irrelevant. Money is what drives the whole sport, not the quest for technical development. Technical development is exceedingly expensive---ask any P1 team. The easy gains have been made long ago.

In any case, P2 and WTSCC are Not about "technical development." P2 has been a nearly spec class all along, with variations on a Courage chassis mostly, and with very, very tight homologation rules and almost no development. In fact, many people on this board howled about "P2 vs DP" because they were both basically fixed classes, where teams couldn't modify or develop as the season went on ... basically show up in the spring and what you brought, is your car for the season.

P2 and DP were both about Affordable racing, cost-contained racing (hence, um, Cost Containment) and about putting drivers in cars and cars on track for a much lower investment than P1.

Also, "natural selection" as you put it, is a term about evolution ... it can be stretched to fit other topics. It is not a natural law of business development as it seems to be a natural law of species development.

What you are really talking about is businesses should start up, make huge investments in parts and tooling, design, real estate ... and go broke. problem is, people refuse to invest in businesses if they think they are going to go broke. Species cannot opt not to enter into the process; business people often do.

This is where a glance at IndyCar is instructive. When IndyCar wanted a new chassis, it sought bids from several manufacturers----two bids, one if they supplied the whole field and another if they produced just some of the three dozen chassis needed. And IndyCar set cost caps

No one could afford to build a safe, modern, high-performance open-wheeler and make a profit building anything but the whole field of cars. To Not be the victim of "natural selection" manufacturers would have had to charge more than the teams could afford to pay ... so in that way, i guess, they were naturally not selected.

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But being that the ACO has less interest in advancing the technical development of the P2 category than they do in sustaining the bank accounts of Oreca and Onroak, that didn't happen. And yes, IMSA is far too pricey for such a more open formula to work. But even with these rules, I rather suspect that if somebody went to IMSA and wanted in with a large enough check, IMSA's gonna cash the check and tell them to have at it.
I absolutely agree. All we need is someone to write that check. otherwise, this is fantasy, which is great for fantasy racing leagues but not so good in the real world.

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It seems rather obvious to me that you have never even looked at a DP car to make a statement like this one, Maelochs. Call it inflamatory if you like, but statements like this show you have a bias. The tubes on a DP are massively reinforced by carbonfiber panels, and on all the modern cars the tube frame bases and the carbonfiber reinforcements are both absolutely vital to the car's performance. DPs may not have CF tubs as bases, but beyond that the tech difference between them and P2 cars is minimal. Anybody thinking that a DP is a Trans-Am car with the engine in the back has never looked at one in depth.
Yeah dude, I have hnever seen a DP. That must be it.

Fact is, DPs had to be massively upgraded to keep up with even slowed-down P2s, because ... THEY HAD THE AERO OF THE 1990s. Have you not been following the story?

Also, reinforced with whatever, they are also exceedingly heavy, but not commensurately strong. Memo Gidley's wreck showed that for all their weight, they are no stronger than a CF-tubbed car weighing a couple hundred kg less. because, for all the CF reinforcement, steel tubing is still not as strong for the weight as CF ... sort of why No One Else building a serious high-level racing car uses a steel tube frame.

Let's see ... much heavier but no safer ... needed huge upgrades to even be able to compete with second-rate prototypes .... had the aero of the 1990s ...

Dude, I had been watching and attending Rolex races for many years before the merger. No one seriously tried to propose that they were modern cars. They were never designed to be. There is a difference between showing bias and seeing reality.

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And as far as the fans not accepting "another decade of tube-framed throwbacks", I'd bet money you and some other diehards care about it far more than anybody else does. I have nothing against ACO cars, but after thirteen seasons and a lot of development in every way possible, this crap about the DPs somehow being intrisically inferior to the LMP2s has got to stop. Seriously folks, if you've seen both, its rather obvious that both are different ways of accomplishing the same objective.
Whatever.

Fact is the Rolex series survived only because of NASCAR money and never had more than a third of the fan base of the ALMS. Those are the fact derived from IMSA/TUSCC polling, as well as attendance at the tracks.

ALMS had great racing but was badly run as a business. Rolex couldn't attract a fanbase sufficient to pay the bills. Sorry, but that is just how it was. So yeah ... people voted with their wallets against Rolex, just as teams voted with their wallets against ALMS.

Fans didn't like DPs in sufficient numbers. Just an observable fact. And as far as P2 and DP just being two routes to the same goal .. sure but then why were P2 cars several seconds per lap faster at all the tracks where both raced, until the DPs were MASSIVELY UPGRADED and the P2s slowed?

The numbers are out there. DPsd were much slower cars before the merger, and before the merger, Rolex had no interest in making them faster. Sorry, but those are verifiable facts. Google the lap times at tracks where both ran.

Seriously, are we Still debating researchable fact and repeatedly rehashed ancient history? What's the point?
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 09:02 (Ref:3627022)   #161
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@BrentJackson: Driving technical development> I think we can both agree that efficiency is an important aspect of technical advancement.

P2s use less horsepower and thus less fuel to achieve equal or greater performance. I wholly agree that DPs Can be and Have Been upgraded to be on par in performance with P2s ... but they are still using more power to pull more weight ... and this is after they were updated.

Right now the modified Gen-3 DP as used in WTSCC is on par in performance with a P2 ... a weighed-down P2 forced to run on uncongenial tires but a P2 nonetheless.

Face it, though ... if You were going to design and build that “it’s not so expensive” chassis you were discussing, you’d never consider a tube frame, because a CF tub is lighter for the same strength. And “lighter for the same strength” is “technical development.”

How about we limit the discussion to DPi and not rehash the old “ALMS vs Rolex” series of threads? I don’t hate DPs (I didn’t hate them even when they were exceedingly ugly) but that doesn’t mean I am blind.

By the way ... the Gen-3 “manufacturer styling cue” bodywork was Less aerodynamically efficient than the ugly Gen-2 bodywork. again, google it. Then tell me about ”technical development” and how the less aerodynamically efficient car was better.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 11:07 (Ref:3627058)   #162
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Maelochs: The abridged version.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 12:30 (Ref:3627088)   #163
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Abridged version: It is easy to say that building a modern sports racing prototype is cheap. Let’s see the proof.

P2 nor DP were ever about “technical advancement.” They are/were cost-capped economy series and mostly Pro-Am, because without the Am drivers forking over cash they teams couldn’t survive.

“Natural Selection” is a biology concept, not a business concept. Business people survey the situation before deciding to start a business, and since so few chassis manufacturers are making any money, most business people do not want to start a race-car business and fail ... they naturally select a better investment opportunity instead.

Daytona Prototypes were never as fast as P2s, Google it. Current DPs are about as quick as the IMSA version of P2, with more weight and the wrong tires—but the DPs need more power to achieve the same performance, which means they are less efficient, which is Not technical advancement.

DPs’ tube frames weigh more than CF tubs but are no stronger. Less weight, same strength=technical advancement.

Fans liked P2s more than DPs by a sizeable margin based both on IMSA polling and at-track attendance.

None of this has anything to do with DPi. BrentJacksion hates the DPi rules, and I certainly don’t blame him, but for myself, I choose to try to understand instead of simply hating.

I look at IndyCar and what they have been going through with their split and their search for a new chassis—they couldn’t afford even four options—and I realize that while the DPi rules are a painful compromise—as I have already stated repeatedly—I also realize that compromises are necessary if the series is to actually survive as a business.

People looking for either Rolex 2.0 OR ALMS 2.0 are asking to repeat failed plans, which would be pretty dumb.

If DPi works, then maybe in five or eight years there will be sufficient fan- and sponsor interest to support a top class which includes some kind of development. Right now, the money doesn’t seem to be there. I would sincerely love to be proved wrong ... so please, someone, write that multi-million-dollar check to find that new and improved top class.
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 12:52 (Ref:3627101)   #164
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No matter how technically (non) relevant the new DPi formula is gonna be, if IMSA doesn't fix their FCY issues, their races will never be very attracting to sportscar fans (but maybe to stockcar fans instead?)...
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Old 25 Mar 2016, 14:22 (Ref:3627132)   #165
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No matter how technically (non) relevant the new DPi formula is gonna be, if IMSA doesn't fix their FCY issues, their races will never be very attracting to sportscar fans (but maybe to stockcar fans instead?)...
I'll add to this:

The BOP to get every car equal needs fixing too. Use a table formula for track types like SRO, not the constant race by race formula. Also, the idea of every engine with identical power curves, aero, etc. is the philosophy of "pack racing". How is one supposed to pass or outbrake with identical power, acceleration, breaking, aero? Nascar had that one sort of backfire on them the last couple seasons when winning was determined by: Pit stops, drafting, or avoiding getting caught up in a crash - This is NOT RACING. And it sure isn't attractive
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