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Old 11 Feb 2019, 19:42 (Ref:3883326)   #61
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No, it isn't. And I don't want a grid of 15-20 ORECAs for the same reason. But just because LMP2 is an ORECA-fest, doesn't make GTLM any less of a factory numbers game.

If one was to play devils advocate, then you could argue 4 ORECAs provides more variety than 4 Fords, because at least the ORECAs can be 4 different teams, whilst Fords are the same teams. I'm not 100% convinced by that point of view, but I'm struggling to see why it would be wrong.

The rules don't even allow teams larger than 2, but they don't bother enforcing it beyond the entry name rule. But I genuinely think the entries should be capped at 3 for factory teams, so we don't just get into a financial battle of "who can afford to build up all the spare chassis for Le Mans" and BMW decides they're going to enter 6 BMW M8s.

I'd rather see long term supporters of the series get in. I'm FAR more interested in the JMW Ferrari than another Porsche GTE-Pro entry, and I'm especially more interested in the Keating Ford GT than a third of fourth factory car. Actually, I'd rather see 3-4 DPis in an invitational class come over, rather than just copying and pasting GTE factory cars.
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 19:48 (Ref:3883331)   #62
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No, it isn't. And I don't want a grid of 15-20 ORECAs for the same reason. But just because LMP2 is an ORECA-fest, doesn't make GTLM any less of a factory numbers game.

If one was to play devils advocate, then you could argue 4 ORECAs provides more variety than 4 Fords, because at least the ORECAs can be 4 different teams, whilst Fords are the same teams. I'm not 100% convinced by that point of view, but I'm struggling to see why it would be wrong.

The rules don't even allow teams larger than 2, but they don't bother enforcing it beyond the entry name rule. But I genuinely think the entries should be capped at 3 for factory teams, so we don't just get into a financial battle of "who can afford to build up all the spare chassis for Le Mans" and BMW decides they're going to enter 6 BMW M8s.

I'd rather see long term supporters of the series get in. I'm FAR more interested in the JMW Ferrari than another Porsche GTE-Pro entry, and I'm especially more interested in the Keating Ford GT than a third of fourth factory car. Actually, I'd rather see 3-4 DPis in an invitational class come over, rather than just copying and pasting GTE factory cars.
I believe that fans are drawn to sports at racing because of the tie to manufacturing racing. Example - I drive a BMW (i donít), so Iím going to go cheer for BMWs. LMP2 lacks all of that.
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 19:59 (Ref:3883340)   #63
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I believe that fans are drawn to sports at racing because of the tie to manufacturing racing. Example - I drive a BMW (i donít), so Iím going to go cheer for BMWs. LMP2 lacks all of that.
What, you don't drive a Gibson?? But then who would drive a Mazda??

well other than a certain Louisianian
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 20:05 (Ref:3883344)   #64
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I don't believe that at all, and never have. Otherwise, F1 wouldn't have survived through the 70s, 80s and 90s when manufacturer teams were not the norm. IndyCar would have barely made it anywhere.

Anyway, I never argued you should take all the manufacturer GTE cars out and replace them with ORECAs. I said if you want variety, then just adding identical GTE-Pro cars is not the answer. I didn't say we needed more LMP2s - just that it can be argued that 4 ORECAs of different teams is actually more variety than 4 Ford GTs.

See, here's the thing nobody wants to talk about with the GTLM class - what happens when a manufacturer or two leaves? ACO pandered to them by basically allowing unlimited factory entries. So what happens when Ford leave, BMW leave, and maybe even Porsche drop a couple of factory cars? You go from lots of teams, to half the grid size. So when that happens you need to make sure you have a good healthy Am grid to come to fill in those gaps - and you need some to be healthy enough to possibly support the GTE-Pro class as well. If you don't have a healthy grid of Ams, that you support, that you give a good chance of getting a Le Mans entry, then those teams will go elsewhere - especially with how well SRO treats customer teams.

You have to cater for the small teams too because they're the only ones that will be there when the big teams go. I thought the ACO learnt that lesson when they did nothing to support private LMP1 entries whilst VAG and Toyota pressed on with mad budgets (VAG more so). Then they had to massively back peddle when they needed LMP1 teams suddenly. F1 is going through it at the moment, Le Mans went through it at the end of 1999, ALMS went through it. It's the circle of motorsport life. That time will come with GTLM, and it will be a much harder hit as long as you allow the factories to dictate how many cars they enter, and therefore how many small teams get the boot.

3 car cap on factories, please. WEC isn't in a particularly great state, and it will be less sustainable if the ladder is not nurtured. ACO is not exactly good at supporting smaller teams. Need to learn from SRO and IMSA on that one.

Of course the reverse argument is if you don't like GT cars, then just kill it off anyway.
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 22:21 (Ref:3883402)   #65
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gert should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridgert should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridgert should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
An interesting piece of speculation (some of it also on DSC) is that by the lack of hypercars ACO will be very dependant on the LMP1/LMP2 entries in the near future. The LMP1s are already there, LMP2 can be found in LMS and Asian LMS.
Turn them down now (in the case of HighClass, Racing Engineering and others: again) and they might not be there when you need them.

By adding just 1 extra Ford and 1 extra Porsche, we can add 2 extra LMP2s.
Skip Ginetta, and we can have 4.
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 22:40 (Ref:3883406)   #66
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I don't believe that at all, and never have. Otherwise, F1 wouldn't have survived through the 70s, 80s and 90s when manufacturer teams were not the norm. IndyCar would have barely made it anywhere.

Anyway, I never argued you should take all the manufacturer GTE cars out and replace them with ORECAs. I said if you want variety, then just adding identical GTE-Pro cars is not the answer. I didn't say we needed more LMP2s - just that it can be argued that 4 ORECAs of different teams is actually more variety than 4 Ford GTs.

See, here's the thing nobody wants to talk about with the GTLM class - what happens when a manufacturer or two leaves? ACO pandered to them by basically allowing unlimited factory entries. So what happens when Ford leave, BMW leave, and maybe even Porsche drop a couple of factory cars? You go from lots of teams, to half the grid size. So when that happens you need to make sure you have a good healthy Am grid to come to fill in those gaps - and you need some to be healthy enough to possibly support the GTE-Pro class as well. If you don't have a healthy grid of Ams, that you support, that you give a good chance of getting a Le Mans entry, then those teams will go elsewhere - especially with how well SRO treats customer teams.

You have to cater for the small teams too because they're the only ones that will be there when the big teams go. I thought the ACO learnt that lesson when they did nothing to support private LMP1 entries whilst VAG and Toyota pressed on with mad budgets (VAG more so). Then they had to massively back peddle when they needed LMP1 teams suddenly. F1 is going through it at the moment, Le Mans went through it at the end of 1999, ALMS went through it. It's the circle of motorsport life. That time will come with GTLM, and it will be a much harder hit as long as you allow the factories to dictate how many cars they enter, and therefore how many small teams get the boot.

3 car cap on factories, please. WEC isn't in a particularly great state, and it will be less sustainable if the ladder is not nurtured. ACO is not exactly good at supporting smaller teams. Need to learn from SRO and IMSA on that one.

Of course the reverse argument is if you don't like GT cars, then just kill it off anyway.
I think if you look at F1, fans are drawn to the sport by some combo of the teams and the drivers. If you look at the history of the sport it is always about some combination of the two.

I think Indycar and NASCAR are driven by the closeness of the racing and the personalities of the drivers.

I think this is where sportscar racing is different. The greatest eras of the sport have always been driven by high manufacturer involvement and factory teams. If you think about the greatest eras of the sport, you always think about the cars first.
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 22:41 (Ref:3883407)   #67
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An interesting piece of speculation (some of it also on DSC) is that by the lack of hypercars ACO will be very dependant on the LMP1/LMP2 entries in the near future. The LMP1s are already there, LMP2 can be found in LMS and Asian LMS.
Turn them down now (in the case of HighClass, Racing Engineering and others: again) and they might not be there when you need them.

By adding just 1 extra Ford and 1 extra Porsche, we can add 2 extra LMP2s.
Skip Ginetta, and we can have 4.
They could also go the DPi route if the Hypercar class totally collapses.
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 23:04 (Ref:3883411)   #68
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Actually, I'd rather see 3-4 DPis in an invitational class come over, rather than just copying and pasting GTE factory cars.
A couple of DPis and a couple of Super GTs - now that would be great!
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Old 11 Feb 2019, 23:54 (Ref:3883416)   #69
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I think if you look at F1, fans are drawn to the sport by some combo of the teams and the drivers. If you look at the history of the sport it is always about some combination of the two.

I think Indycar and NASCAR are driven by the closeness of the racing and the personalities of the drivers.

I think this is where sportscar racing is different. The greatest eras of the sport have always been driven by high manufacturer involvement and factory teams. If you think about the greatest eras of the sport, you always think about the cars first.
Great point, when I was younger in the 90's myself. I was into all forms of racing. But as I have gotten older now my interest in Indycar, nascar, and f1 has diminished, but sportscars my interest is as large as ever. This statement by Dyston Mazda is the reason for this.
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Old 12 Feb 2019, 00:58 (Ref:3883420)   #70
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I can live with the 3 car max. for (GTE) manufacturers but the ACO has made itself too dependent on their money so I'm fully expecting 4 Fords and 4 Porsches in GTE again.

Also expecting Risi and both Ginettas to be on the reserve list which - quite frankly imo - is where they belong as neither of them comes anywhere close to a full season commit-/fulfillment.

That would leave 42 + 4 AsLMS auto invites + 6 IMSA GTLM entries = 8 entries to be decided. As far as I'm concerned they can all go to ELMS full season entrants (with at least 6 of those going to P2 teams incl. one for Meyer Shank Racing in combination with a Euro team) as sub 20 entries in AsLMS are already spoiled with 4 auto invites and absolutely zero need to increase that number.

Again, it is long overdue for the ACO to come up with a ranking system to make the entire selection process less subjective and more transparant.

P.S. I like the DPi "special class" suggestion but it won't happen - not until the hypercard regs are in play and the GTE-Pro field is substantially reduced anyway.
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Old 12 Feb 2019, 01:06 (Ref:3883422)   #71
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A couple of DPis and a couple of Super GTs - now that would be great!
How great would a 24H of Le Mans be with:

LMP = DPi & LMP1-Privateer / LMP2 + More HP
GT1 = Super GT500
GT2 = GT3

No Pro/Am classes - if you want to race in the greatest auto race on earth you don't need a crutch

I'd watch the crap out of that

Last edited by Dyson Mazda; 12 Feb 2019 at 01:14.
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Old 12 Feb 2019, 07:32 (Ref:3883452)   #72
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How great would a 24H of Le Mans be with:

LMP = DPi & LMP1-Privateer / LMP2 + More HP
GT1 = Super GT500
GT2 = GT3

No Pro/Am classes - if you want to race in the greatest auto race on earth you don't need a crutch

I'd watch the crap out of that
You'd absolutely destroy most series by removing the Am class now. I 100% agree with what you're saying, but realistically, if you're asking wealthy people to prop up your series (which is basically what Am classes do), because you can't get enough professional entries, and teams cannot afford to run without the drivers paying, then you better make sure you cater to those people.

In principle, you're absolutely right. In reality, the amateur drivers fund about half of the modern sportscar grids. You have to pander to them to some extent.

I completely agree with what gert said. The private teams are going to be required to prop up the hypercar class - just like they were for LMP1, and they were ignored. So you absolutely should not be booting out your future customers for GTE-Pro cars because Porsche has found enough spare parts and factory drivers to enter another car.
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Old 12 Feb 2019, 12:31 (Ref:3883501)   #73
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In principle, you're absolutely right. In reality, the amateur drivers fund about half of the modern sportscar grids. You have to pander to them to some extent.
I'd argue that's the history of most of sportscar racing, there's been factories in and out but the amateur (ok, sometimes am driver, professional criminal) driver has been a consistent source of team funding.
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Old 12 Feb 2019, 12:40 (Ref:3883504)   #74
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I'd argue that's the history of most of sportscar racing, there's been factories in and out but the amateur (ok, sometimes am driver, professional criminal) driver has been a consistent source of team funding.


I do think you're right, but I think it's multiplied now to a level that would be unsustainable without these classes. Huge costs and a requirement for more Ams mean it's a market that needs to be catered for. A lot of teams have built business models around that. And the less criminal convictions, the better.
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Old 12 Feb 2019, 13:48 (Ref:3883525)   #75
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Interesting thoughts on variety in the grid etc.

For me it comes down to competitive cars. These extra works GT-Pros people like to complain about are capable of class wins and should, safety car carnage aside, make the race more interesting. The same can be said for some P2s.

It's a tricky balance because trackside it's cool to see different cars and what's left of the different engine notes.
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