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Racing in Recession. Will it Thrive or Even Survive this Crisis? Print
Written by Tony Dowe   
Aug 04, 2011 at 06:10 PM

We received this article this morning before world markets fell so precipitously. If racing has been in a recession, what next if there's no upturn in sight? What's next if the business environment for racing gets worse, not better?-Editor-

Much like America, sports car racing is broke, or very nearly so.

In whichever series you support the signs have been there for some time that people were spending money they didn’t have. Manufacturers in particular have been reined in by accounting departments and boards needing to squeeze more from a their Dollars, Euros, and Yen.

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Sports Cars in North America Part 1: A Point in Time Print
Written by Tom Kjos   
Jul 31, 2011 at 01:35 PM

Where is North American sports car racing as of the 24th of July, 2011 when the American Le Mans Series was racing at Mosport in Canada, and Grand Am was racing New Jersey Motorsports Park (nee Thunderbolt)?

This is a look at a racing day in this season for the two series. It intentionally is not a discussion of history (with the necessary exception of the “Events” section), and importantly says nothing about the trends and decisions that will determine what sports car endurance racing looks like in 2012 and beyond.

Prototypes

Grand Am put ten Daytona Prototypes on the track in New Jersey. They were nearly all on the pace, and they were mostly there at the finish, too. Score one for close racing, mitigated a bit by the fact that most fans hate these cars. It’s also somewhat questionable whether all those entries – perhaps even the series itself – would exist at all without the life-support of the France family. No need, even, to go to the rumors. Three entries are wholly owned or supported – or nearly so – by Jim France; the two of Action Express and the one of Spirit of Daytona. A fourth entry, Wayne Taylor’s Sun Trust Racing, is sponsored by NASCAR’s “house bank.” That’s 40% of the field, even if all rumors of financial support to other DP entries are ignored.

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A 5 Step Program for Grand Am Print
Written by Tom Kjos   
Apr 11, 2011 at 12:16 AM

The article by Tony Dowe that recently appeared on these pages has struck a nerve, so to speak, among teams, and particularly in an Alabama paddock this weekend. Unfortunately, there is no sign of any interest among those to whom it was addressed, the ownership and management of the American Le Mans Series. (It was technically addressed to the teams that participate in that series, but honestly, what are the chances of a revolt? A departure, maybe - and that would explain the interest in Alabama, wouldn't it?)

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Thoughts after the Rolex 24 at Daytona Print
Written by Tom Kjos   
Feb 03, 2011 at 05:49 PM

The Smell of…Asphalt?

Motor races have their own ambiance – sights, sounds, smells. Burned rubber, exhaust (sometimes diesel), sizzling sausages, wood smoke. The 49th Rolex added another one: fresh asphalt. This place has more square yards of track than anyplace this scribe’s ever been (those natural terrain road courses we love are far narrower and further spread over the acreage).

In the grandstand across from the pits, particularly, the oily odor of fresh asphalt was nearly overwhelming; it certainly kept me from staying too long. Not that I would have anyway, at rovals, the infield is where the action is.

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A few thoughts before the start of the Rolex. Print
Written by Tom Kjos   
Jan 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM

The Transition is Underway

This is more historic than many realize, the first year of transition to a “New Grand Am.” Daytona Prototypes have key upgrades “under the skin,” including paddle shifting and a new differential. Finally, with the Ferrari press conference yesterday, some fruit of the GT transformation this site reported in August.

Ride Buying is the Opposite of Win Buying

You might not realize it, but you can still “purchase” a win here. Sorry if that language upsets some of our readers, but stay with  me here – it’s meant to be descriptive, not demeaning, and it’s not different than any racing, regardless of how hard a sanctioning body tries to “level the playing field.”

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