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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
2011 ALMS Discussion

We have 6 months till Sebring and there will be a lot going on this off-season so I'm starting a discussion thread here.

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After talking over on americanlemansfans.com, we may have over 20 cars in GT next year.

2 Corvettes
2 Risi Ferraris (458s)
2 Patron Ferraris (probably 458s)
2 BMWs
2 Flying Lizard Porsches
1 maybe 2 Falken Porsches
2 Robertson Racing Ford GTs
2 RSR Jaguars
2 Panoz Abruzzis
2 Lamborghinis
and possibly 1 or 2 more Doran built Ford GTs from ACS Express

After doing the quick math I think thats 20-22 cars. Almost double what we had this year. Good Lord Baby Jesus that is going to be crazy!

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Also new 2011 ACO rules allows the use of Paddle Shift Transmissions.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Heres a picture of the new Panoz Abruzzi GT2 car. Per Dr. Don Panoz, he will have 2 cars ready for Sebring next season. Will be really exciting.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also Matech, the major FIA GT1 and GT3 team was at Petit Le Mans shopping around for their possible options.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
How much longer are the GTs legal? They've been out of production for a while now.
Not sure one that one. I'm sure they have a special waiver that allows they to race as long as the car meets the updated rule requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was just told the Patron team IS buying 2 new 458's. If that is true that is great. Seems awfully expensive though to by 2 430's this year, use them one season, then buy 2 new 458's. Especially for a non-factory team.

BUT, that will probably mean Risi and them will be working side by side off track to develop that car. With 4 cars on track the 458 should become competitive fairly quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also with the vast growth and excitement in GT, I really hope the media like SPEED takes note and starts covering them more then LMP.

This entire weekend, 90% of the talk, no matter were you went, was about the GT2 category. Even with the LMP monsters Audi and Peugeot there, no one really cared about them.

For most of the race the overall lead never really changed, yet got 70% of the coverage. GT was close 1st through 5th from the start to the end.
 

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Also with the vast growth and excitement in GT, I really hope the media like SPEED takes note and starts covering them more then LMP.

This entire weekend, 90% of the talk, no matter were you went, was about the GT2 category. Even with the LMP monsters Audi and Peugeot there, no one really cared about them.

For most of the race the overall lead never really changed, yet got 70% of the coverage. GT was close 1st through 5th from the start to the end.
Chris I could not agree more. Speed needs to look at the ALMS Streaming video from Mid-Ohio to see how to cover ALMS. They did an excellent job. Covered all 4 classes equally and made sure they switched to a class that had a fight going on for a lead change.

I believe they think by showing to LMP class which is the most exotic the general public that is not in tune to the ALMS racing will get more involved and start following it. But I believe in reality if the showed the GT class more which the average viewer can relate to would draw in more people to the sport.

The additional cars to the class will be interesting to see how they turn out. As for the paddle shifters, it was only a matter of time seeing that they are already on some production cars. It will be interesting to see if in a few years they are on the street Corvette. I know they are already on the Corvette with the Auto gear box, but will they make it to the 6 speed cars?

I am all tuned up for Sebring as I only live a few hours north. I normally hangout in turn 7 and 10. Will also be in the Corvette Coral.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As for the paddle shifters, it was only a matter of time seeing that they are already on some production cars. It will be interesting to see if in a few years they are on the street Corvette. I know they are already on the Corvette with the Auto gear box, but will they make it to the 6 speed cars?
I believe that if they do introduce paddle shift into the production car it will be a replacement for the automatic and will have the option of going full auto or sport like it currently has. The current "paddle shift" on the Corvette auto is a joke and is by no means a performace advantage.

I believe the manual stick shift will always be the tried and true staple of the Corvette. Any true enthusiast will by the manual over a paddle shift anyday.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a rendering of what the new 458 GT2 car may look like.
 

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I had the pleasure of watching all 10 hours trackside. It was either a yellow car or a red car leading the entire race. I felt that the Ferraris could go to the front whenever they wanted and that Corvette was just slow and steady from the start. I think next year will be more of the same. Corvette and Ferrari will battle for supremacy while the other makes will fight for:partyon: the crumbs. If Corvette continues to improve their fuel economy, aero package, and God willing with a little less ALMS restriction, they will be there every race...interesting point, which we all know. When my brother asked a Corvette crew member point blank at the race, "Does the ALMS restrict you more than the other brands," he answered this way. "All I can say, is that they don't want us dominating GT the way we did GT1.";)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"Does the ALMS restrict you more than the other brands," he answered this way. "All I can say, is that they don't want us dominating GT the way we did GT1.";)
You have to understand from a marketing standpoint that if one brand dominated the series, we wouldn't have nearly the excitement that GT2 has because not as many brands would participate.

Really, if you think about it, we can thank Corvette Racing for single handedly killing off the GT1 class. If one brand is so dominant, no new brands will want to spend millions of dollars on a race program that will likely loose.

I love Corvette Racing, but I would not want to see them dominate either.
 

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A good point to remember is back in 1988 the Corvette Challenge class was established in SCCA because the C4 was a dominate car in its class.

Along comes Corvette Racing in the GT1 ALMS class and had competition from the Dodge Viper, the Saleen, the 550 & 575 Ferrari's of Pro Drive and then the Aston Martin. CR dominated after a few years and each dropped out at different times where CR was the only cars left. We and ALMS sure do not want CR to do the same in GT2 although it may be a little harder in GT2 seeing the restrictive rules as compared to the old GT1 class.

Does IMSA/ALMS have more restrictions on CR, I surely believe so. Is it fair no, but what can we do. If Corvette Racing can construct a car following the rules and end up being the fastest car, then why can’t the other teams do the same? I cannot believe it is budget. Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar and
Lamborghini have a few bucks that can and is being spent on racing, so that should not be an issue. I truly believe that IMSA/ALMS is more concerned with keeping the European makes happy.

After watching all the races this year, I find it hard to believe that Rici Ferrari's did not have an advantage over the other teams. I will always think back to Mid Ohio and how they were able to overcome the fuel issue that dropped them back and to charge to the front with no problem. In the closing laps, every time the #4 Corvette would get close, they would simply drive away.

I realize that BMW took the Manufacturer's Championship and Porsche the Drivers, but Ferrari still appear to be the class of the field. Had it not been for a few DNF's they would have taken at least one of the awards.

Oh well on to Sebring and let’s hope for a better outcome then last year.
 

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it is a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand, i hate it when a series artificially handicaps one car/team so the others can be "competitive". Actions like that are what eventually created modern day NASCAR racing. But, look at what it's done for ALMS this year. This was exciting to watch all season, it was great!

I just wish that instead of bitching and moaning about Corvette Racing, the other teams would direct their energy into their own car to make it faster. Risi looked really strong (to the point that i suspect they were sandbagging at times), so i'm really disappointed that Corvette Racing was held back.
 

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I believe that if they do introduce paddle shift into the production car it will be a replacement for the automatic and will have the option of going full auto or sport like it currently has. The current "paddle shift" on the Corvette auto is a joke and is by no means a performace advantage.

I believe the manual stick shift will always be the tried and true staple of the Corvette. Any true enthusiast will by the manual over a paddle shift anyday.
Although I prefer a stickshift it's what I have grown up with. If Chevy went out of house and paid ZF to do a real paddle shift transmission with proper super fast response, it would sell. But it has to be able to hold up to sport driving.
 

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A good point to remember is back in 1988 the Corvette Challenge class was established in SCCA because the C4 was a dominate car in its class.

Along comes Corvette Racing in the GT1 ALMS class and had competition from the Dodge Viper, the Saleen, the 550 & 575 Ferrari's of Pro Drive and then the Aston Martin. CR dominated after a few years and each dropped out at different times where CR was the only cars left. We and ALMS sure do not want CR to do the same in GT2 although it may be a little harder in GT2 seeing the restrictive rules as compared to the old GT1 class.

Does IMSA/ALMS have more restrictions on CR, I surely believe so. Is it fair no, but what can we do. If Corvette Racing can construct a car following the rules and end up being the fastest car, then why can’t the other teams do the same? I cannot believe it is budget. Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar and
Lamborghini have a few bucks that can and is being spent on racing, so that should not be an issue. I truly believe that IMSA/ALMS is more concerned with keeping the European makes happy.

After watching all the races this year, I find it hard to believe that Rici Ferrari's did not have an advantage over the other teams. I will always think back to Mid Ohio and how they were able to overcome the fuel issue that dropped them back and to charge to the front with no problem. In the closing laps, every time the #4 Corvette would get close, they would simply drive away.

I realize that BMW took the Manufacturer's Championship and Porsche the Drivers, but Ferrari still appear to be the class of the field. Had it not been for a few DNF's they would have taken at least one of the awards.

Oh well on to Sebring and let’s hope for a better outcome then last year.
One of the few times you will ever hear "see" me say this but great article in the new Road & Track with test data from Miller. Are the cars handicapped sure, Corvette's problem is the Corvette team. They don't really want anyone else running Vette's along side them, and they aren't helpful. More important, they proved this year that lacking unlimited horsepower advantages they were deficient in their strategy skills, team performance from pitts to garage wtih thier peers. Thier wounds were largely self inflicted, they were never far behind on speed, but they were a little too full of themselves and got put in their place.

I hope they win a constructors championship but I don't doubt the ability of any of the other teams if their manufactures decide to play hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I cannot believe it is budget. Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar and
Lamborghini have a few bucks that can and is being spent on racing, so that should not be an issue.
Here's the truth. Jaguar, even though is technically a "factory" team, Jaguar really doesn't do anything to help the team and actually provides very little funds compared to other manufactures. So RSR is basically contracted to build and develop this car from scratch. And by scratch I mean by scratch. This is why the team has been having so many problems. Also the car has not been running a "contract" tire from Yokohama, they have been running just off the shelf Yokohama race tires. That is a huge disadvantage.

As for Lamborghini, they do not back any of their race teams that I know of. Reiter is the one that builds most of the Gallardo race cars and from what I've heard on other forums they have been using a lot of stock suspension components and they have been having a lot of problems with A-arms breaking and shocks failing because they just can not stand up to the torture of racing.

Ferrari and Porsche are definitely true factory teams and cars and their success is proof of it.

With the new Ferrari 458 GT being debuted at Sebring, I definitely think that car will have teething problems. Especially since from what I've heard Ferrari is WAY behind in developing the car, so there will be very little testing going on before Sebring.
 
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