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Letters to the Editor
LMPC Coverage Print
Written by Letters to the Editor   
May 16, 2010 at 01:36 PM

Dear Tom,

I just finished reading your piece from May 11th regarding LTC's look on the LMPC, and GTC. A respectful conversation between you, and your readers has been started, one that can enlighten many on both sides of the fence of this issue. In order for the "sports car" lovers to come to some sort of agreement on spec racing, this has to happen.

I for one have always fallen on the fence with spec racing. I understand it's value in the ability to develop drivers, teams, and a brand (Mazda to me has developed a better brand because of their spec involvement). Does it have a place in major league sports car racing, no. I am a fan of "the car is the star", and the enjoyment of something like the 2010 GT field in the ALMS will be the highlight of my sports car racing this year.

I thank you for taking one side of the argument, but hope you will still allow for the other side to bring it's voice to your pages.

-Chris Foster

LMPC? Print
Written by Letters to the Editor   
May 16, 2010 at 01:34 PM

Dear Editor:

Does LMPC really deserve your neglect if it fields drivers of the calibre of Bouchut, Hunter-Reay, Wallace, Hildebrand, Jeannette, and Julian? LMPC also seems to be establishing itself as that rarity, a spec class in which no one is moaning about the car (perhaps because IMSA's officiating gives them enough to complain about). I would respectfully urge you to reconsider your policy of disdain toward LMPC. Thanks for your time, and the always thoughtful blog...

-Peter Tabmow

Long Beach GP Thoughts Print
Written by Letters to the Editor   
May 16, 2010 at 01:30 PM

I couldn't agree more about the abysmal coverage of the GT race at Long Beach, Jim Roller doesn't like direct criticism and this may not be his fault, maybe we should zero in on who is responsible because this is becoming a regular thing in this series.

 Risi had issues, they got jumped at the start and played follow the leader to save on tire wear. They decided to make the tire change anyway and came out in 2nd. But contact with a LMPC car caused a broken rear wheel during Bruni's stint and another pit stop to replace it would have caused them to finish down the order, so they decided to deal with it and finished 4th with a bad handling car.

 Of course you never saw any of this.... You barely knew that BMW took a flier on a no tire strategy and Dunlop assured them, it didn't quite work out that way however.

 I was wondering if Long was guilty of using the "Chrome Horn" considering the damage to his nose, but as you said, we have NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPEN since we never saw it.

 I've been banging on Jim Roller (for those that don't know is the director back in the truck on race weekend) about GT coverage he says he tries, this means that its a problem back in the ALMS truck...

 I suggest LTC and readers to check out the Tourist Trophy this weekend at Silverstone. This is Ratel's often ridiculed World GT1 series that has been unsurprisingly good (IMHO) thus far with one race under its belt. This further proves the point I made long ago that you could have a excellent series without Prototypes and I don't understand why American fans feel they have to have these cars when they offer no direct link to anything you can buy and manufacture sponsored efforts come and go with the winds of the economy (Acura and Audi)  or missions accomplished (Cadillac and Porsche/Penske).

 It will be on Bloomberg, yes Bloomberg. If I'm not mistaken wasn't an ALMS race once on CNBC? If not there catch it on their web site www.gt1world.com I believe, its in 1080i streaming feed, good enough to watch full screen. Commentary is provided by Ben Edwards and this week, Jeremy Shaw.

 The GT3 races will be live as well on EuroGT3 dot  com and Bloomberg as well.

 We could have effective racing with just GT cars, after all they call this "GT Racing" don't they?

 

-Anthony Thomas

ALMS Circling the Drain Print
Written by Letters to the Editor   
Jan 06, 2010 at 06:58 PM

Tom:

I agree and disagree with how the ALMS should run its show.

 IF OEM's are important to the ACO and the ALMS/IMSA ultimately, then you can't say its nonsense to have "Green" racing. Smaller displacements and turbocharging are the future. If your not careful you'll have totally silent running with fuel cells and electric motors. Dinosaurs like Chuck Farrell are being shouted down and for good reason.

 If you don't make "Green" sexy instead of "Geekie" then OEM's will say no to building expensive race only engines in troubling times and demand links directly to their showroom products. Audi is pushing diesel cars in America, otherwise they would have NEVER invested in such an expensive and unproven technology for racing.
 
They are trying to make diesels sexy and its working...
 
 The Lion just wanted to play in the same shallow water since Audi is now threatening the French auto makers diesel dominance at home (Europe)

 You can't blame the ACO for wanting fan the flames. Telling Audi no they can't bring an improved and legal R15+ to Sebring for the race was foolish at best and downright stupid at the worst, but only just.

 The WTCC has basically the same problems with allowing petrol/gas powered cars to be competitive with VAG's diesel engine technology that they have been RACING consistently since the early 90's. But they have been far more successful with it than the ACO has been. Its been easier to police because other teams are largely competitive even if they lack the top end speed of the diesel SEATS, which is actually an illusion because the diesels just reach max velocity sooner than the N/A cars do (Torque Baby!). To help them out, the FIA is mandating turbocharged engines with a max displacement of 1.6L. If you have been paying attention BMW announced earlier this year that they are looking to bring 3 cylinder turbocharged engines to market to replace their small 4 cylinder N/A engines. To nobody's suprise they cut back their WTCC involvement along with dropping F1, but will be ready with a 2011 spec 3 series Touring car available to anybody that wants to buy one with a 1.6L or less 3 cylinder turbocharged engine. The FIA has effectively leveled the playing field to the dismay of Eurosport commentator Martin Haven, who ALMS fans and Mid Week Motorsport listeners should be familiar with.

 Chevy is already selling both here and in Europe a Cruze with a 1.4L Turbocharged 4 cylinder engine as standard equipment, that's smart rules making by the FIA.

 I agree that what the ALMS has done with its LMP class might too little too late. Its only the fact that Mr. Dayton is a very smart businessman and likely has a well-paid legal team that has forced Acura to keep the lights on in Santa Clarita a little longer. Otherwise Honda wanted to abandon the ALMS and just focus on IRL. In th end they agreed to stay in the sport, but those cars aren't in the ALMS, they'll be in the LMS.

 This is where IMSA made a mistake, they should have said "NO" when the ACO kept insisting that there be separation between LMP1 and LMP2 when they specifically wrote the rules for the cars to be equal in performance once there was some REAL investment into the cars and not just tinkering by boutique race engine builders and chassis manufactures.

 When Honda and Porsche put some real DOLLARS behind these efforts and had real racing teams run them, you see the results. Audi didn't like it and thought it was unfair. For years Dr Ulrich would say "Come Play With Us" and when they finally showed up, they cried foul. No, they choose to promote diesel hardware, it hardly stopped them from achieving victory despite the heavy competition. In 2008, they truly earned the ALMS championship and determined to beat Acura and Porches at all the ALMS tracks in 2009 and that's why they showed up with a lighter, smaller, less powerful and faster R15.

 But the ALMS in appeasing the ACO said we won't have anymore overall victories by LMP2's. What would the ACO have really done if they said for their own series they needed to keep the two classes equalized? Yank "Le Mans" rights from them? Who had the more successful series? We did, we still do, we should use that to our advantage.

Anthony Thomas

Sports Car Funding Print
Written by Letters to the Editor   
Jun 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Mr. Kjos:

I read your article concerning the state of Sports car racing in North America and agree 100%. It seems that you did not take the article far enough.

Last Turn has always been at the forefront of news etc. So I am sure you must have some suggestions on how to clean up Sports Car racing. Please toss them out and perhaps someone with some power just might listen.

Thanks for all your comments and articles

Clay Malooley

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