ALMS and Grand Am merger
4th September 2012, 19:30 at 7:30 pm #132038
Looks like the two are merging together. Press conference tomorrow.4th September 2012, 23:02 at 11:02 pm #209571
However it turns out I hope the cars end up looking more like ALMS ones and less like Grand-Am’s. Though put those two calendars together and you’ve got some very strong events.5th September 2012, 0:50 at 12:50 am #209572
I thought Grand-Am was merging their regulations with Japanese GT and DTM?5th September 2012, 8:06 at 8:06 am #209573
Rumours are of the top class being a combination of LMP2, LMPC and DP, ALMS GT being kept, question mark over how Grand-Am GT would be integrated though.5th September 2012, 8:52 at 8:52 am #209574
I dunno about that, Keith. While Daytona Prototypes are definitely ugly, they seem to be cheaper to run than a LMP, resulting in larger fields and better racing. Although the grids definitely become a lot smaller than they were two years ago — so I can’t say I’m surprised to see talk of a merger.
Ideally the cars will be pretty and plentiful, but ALMS P1 wasn’t really renown for it’s fierce competition.
The schedule will be interesting, hopefully they manage to keep Grand-Am’s new race at Indy, that was a lot of fun this year.5th September 2012, 19:35 at 7:35 pm #209575
i’m curious as to how both survived this long – i surely expected a failure or merger years ago. there just isn’t the demand and/or tv coverage is inconsistent at best (for all but nascar).
“You open up here with the 24 Hours of Daytona, followed by the 12 Hours of Sebring and then you visualize the true four-star examples on our collective schedules; it’s a very powerful combination.”
Atherton, as well as ALMS founder Panoz, who brought the Le Mans brand to America in 1998, stressed the importance of retaining its link with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, although no agreement has been made past 2013.
“From our very first meeting, from when Jim [France] and I sat down in February, he made the comment that he thought it was an important priority to retain the relationship with the ACO and to retain the link to Le Mans,” Atherton said.
“I think we’ll all admit that it’s easier said that done, but our vision and plan is to retain that relationship. Don had that idea many, many years ago. There are 15 years of equity established in that relationship. We’re up to the task.”
Panoz added: “These are early discussions. Nothing yet is etched in solid, but that’s why we have 14 months to go through all of this and make sure we get it right before Daytona in 2014.”
i want to see huge, high quality fields unified under aco/fia rules. bring it on! :D5th September 2012, 22:48 at 10:48 pm #209576
The prevailing notion and attitude here in the states is one of apprehension. It looks like LMP1 will get the axe and many are calling it the “nascarification” of American sports car racing. I am somewhat more optimistic than that. If you look at the Open-Wheel merger of 08, things got off to a shaky start, but now with the DW12 they are having better, closer racing than they have in years. Hopefully with over a year and a half to sort things out, this merger can be just as successful.5th September 2012, 23:19 at 11:19 pm #209577
I think the series needs to find a way to attract more LMP prototypes. LMP1 might but out, but there are only three LMP2 cars racing in ALMS this year.6th September 2012, 3:47 at 3:47 am #209578
I think the series needs to find a way to attract more LMP prototypes. LMP1 might but out, but there are only three LMP2 cars racing in ALMS this year.
the daytona prototypes are essentially the same as lmp2’s – gt engines, cost-controlled chassis, limited aero developement, kinda styled to look like its sponsoring brand. i’m hoping this provides the footing for the bigger teams to move up to lmp1 and let lmp2 take its place at the top of pro/am.6th September 2012, 5:40 at 5:40 am #209579
The new series, whatever it will be called could benefit greatly from a simplifying it a bit. Have just 3 classes of cars: Open cockpit prototypes, closed cockpit prototypes and GT.
For the past decade we have been treated to some wonderful sports car and endurance racing, but there has been LMP1, LMP2, LMPC, Daytona Prototypes, LMS/ALMA GT, Grand-Am GT/GTC, GT1, GT2 GT3, GT4.
There is a lot of room for consolidation while still structuring the rules as to foster highly advanced, technical, beautiful and strong racecars.6th September 2012, 7:08 at 7:08 am #209580
I’ve always been a fan of ALMS. Grand AM, until recently, has not been on an available channel to watch.
With the cars, LMP1 looks to be out, but then they always struggled getting LMP1 teams in ALMS.
As long as we still have LMP2 & GT I’ll be happy. They also need to keep the lower cost GTC to encourage the new teams into GT.
Track wise there are plenty of places to race .Looks like 4 tracks doubled up on both series (Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, Mid Ohio, Road America).
Potentially that leaves a pretty awesome looking schedule for a merged series.
Hopefully they can keep LMP2 and GT rules to match close enough to the ACO enabling teams to enter LeMans more cost effectively.
And the DP cars? Well, I’ve never been a fan. Maybe I’ll come round to them eventually. Hopefully a more aesthetically pleasing body will be released for 2014 to help us ALMS fans.
Last thing: What about the LMP1 guest entries for Sebring, Petit LeMans? Will that be a FIA WEC thing now?9th September 2012, 21:42 at 9:42 pm #209582
From what I’ve read it looks like it’s going to be some kind of combo for DP and LMP2 as the top step. The ALMS GT will be the highest GT level with Grand Am putting their cars into a more GT3 spec for GTC.9th September 2012, 22:21 at 10:21 pm #209583
Reading the comments in the article linked by @F1Yankee the general feeling is of worry that the people running it will balls it up. I cant admit to knowing much about US racing series, but this France family don’t appear all that popular.
On paper however, it looks good. Reuniting Daytona 24hrs and Sebring 12hrs is a top move, they should have always been in the same series. If they keep the costs down they should be able to attract some factory teams, be they American, European or Asian and have some healthy priveteers to produce some excellent racing. I hope it works out for all involved.
But whatever is descided as the Fomulae for the cars, I hope they dump the ugly looking DP’s.9th September 2012, 22:45 at 10:45 pm #209584
But whatever is descided as the Fomulae for the cars, I hope they dump the ugly looking DP’s.
That’s unlikely. The entire point of merging the two series together was to guarantee the futures of each. If ALMS was taking over Grand-Am and absorbing its events, then maybe the Daytona Prototypes would be discontinued, but that’s not what’s happening here. They’re working together, so it’s likely LMPs and DPs will race together, but in separate classes.10th September 2012, 11:16 at 11:16 am #209585
Latest rumour is that LMP2 and DP regulations will be kept stable and not tampered with for the first two-three years of the unified series (up to, and possibly including, 2016).
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