Porsche just started their LMP1 test programm for the WEC in 2014, were they’re making a two car entry for the whole WEC season, including the 24h of Le Mans.
But when it comes to private teams and Porsche LMP’s, than Penske Racing is coming to our mind.
Penske Racing was using the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 car for the American Le Mans Series from 2005-2008, winning many races including the 12h of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
However Penske chief Roger Penske said that they would like to comeback to endurance racing, but they just don’t have time to build up a LMP programm for next year, USCR or WEC. Penske could comeback with Porsche in 2015.
But if the WEC is too expensive for them, than the USCR (United Sports Car Racing) is another option.
The problem is that LMP1 cars aren’t allowed in the USCR, the Prototype class there will be with Daytona Prototypes, LMP2’s and the Delta Wing. But Porsche has no interest in building a LMP2 or a DP.
As Penske doesn’t want to do a GT programm, they will have to look for another manufactuer. Audi maybe? As Penske has 32 station were they’re selling Audi’s roadcars and Audi has an interes to build an engine for the DP’s or even a brand new DP.
But for now we’re only going to see Penske Racing in Indycar and NASCAR.
The DTM wants to be more global, not more a european series like it has been for years.
Ok, they raced twice in Shanghai, but this races weren’t really good and the chinese people as we know don’t give attention to motorsport.
So after the the cooperation with the Super-GT for 2014, the ITR and IMSA have decided today to do a cooperation for 2015-with the DTM and the new USCR. The “US-DTM” could be a support series for the USCR, so it will come on TV.
But there are two problems the ITR has to solve. The lack of cars and manufactures maybe?
That shouldn’t be a problem. They have Mercedes, Audi and BMW from the DTM and Lexus, Honda and Nissan from the Super GT.
Cadillac, Dodge-SRT and Lincoln (!) have also interest to involve in the series.
No exciting circuits? I think it will be incredible to see those cars at Sebring, Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca or Road America.
But the problem is the DTM as a series.
If you ever watched a DTM race on TV, you may have noticed that the races are quite boring for Touring car races.
They give a penalty after the other, lack of overtaking (most of the time) and of course no last lap action.
I mean Americans want to see how drivers are fighting hard for positions at the last lap and then to see how they all crash at the last corner and you don’t know who is going to win.
That’s why Nascar is so popular.
The next big problem are the aerodynamics.
Maybe they are interesting for us europeans or asians, but americans don’t give a s**t.
That’s one of the reasons why F1 is not so popular over there and also one of reasons why the LMP1 class didn’t survive for the USCR.
So the target for the ITR and the IMSA has to be, less aerodynamcis, so the drivers can make the difference of winning and losing- not the aeros.
I really hope the DTM cars will look like the cars from the Super GT.
The Super GT has incredible racing in contrast to the DTM and the sounds of the engines are magnificent!!!
The Honda HSV 010 sounds like a F1 car, the cars look brilliant and this series is very popular in Asia.
So ITR take the GTA (The association of the Super GT) as a example and learn from them.
But the ITR is already going in F1 direction with the addition of the option tires and DRS system for 2013.
These are Touring cars, they don’t need that to have great racing (again Super GT as example).
But when the DTM wants to be global, why didn’t they cooperate with the WTCC?
The WTCC will have new regulations anyway, so why didn’t they use it as a opportunity?
Maybe they don’t want to work with the FIA, i don’t know.
So lets wait and see how it will work out.
The last season of the ALMS in 2013.
For the last time we’re seeing the LMP1 prototypes in North America endurance racing.
The ALMS and the Grand Am will merger next season to the USCR.
So this year is a very special year for North American Motorsport.
So everyone from every class is wants to win the championship in their class.
Pikket vs. Dyson vs. Rebillion vs. Delta Wing in LMP1 and ESM vs. Level 5 in LMP2.
The LMPC will be close again and the GTE will be though as ever.
SRT, Corvette, Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin and Ferrari are battling for the last ALMS GTE title.
The calender stays the same as last years, with the classic season opener in Sebring, than with classy racing tracks like Mazda Laguna Seca, Road America or Lime Rock and of course for the big season finale at Road Atlanta- The Petit Le Mans.
Some memorable moments from the ALMS history:
2013 Race calender
Sebring 12h (11-16th March)
Long Beach (with Indycar) (19-20th April)
Mazda Laguna Seca (9-11th May)
Lime Rock (5-6th July)
Mosport (19-21st July)
Road America (9-11 August)
Baltimore (with Indycar) (30-31st August)
Circuit of the Americas (with WEC) (19-21st September)
VIR (3-5th October)
Petit Le Mans (16-19th October)
Sebring 12h Preview
The 61st Sebring 12h wil be the last that has been held of the American Le Mans Series.
The ALMS is helding this endurance race since 1999.
So overall 42 cars are coming to one of the biggest endurance race in the world, but without the field of the WEC though.
I will now show who are the favourites to win this race.
Audi has the biggest chances to win the race.
They won this race from 2000-2008 and 2012.
Audi revised their R18 for 2013, especially in the aerodynamics.
Audi will use two R18 for Sebring, driven by Fassler/Treluyer/Jarvis and the 2nd car by di Grassi/Kristensen/McNish.
Rebillion are the best privatiers in the LMP1 class.
This Lola B12/60 has an reliable Toyota engine, so it shouln’t be a problem to claim the 12 hours.
But Rebillion is 2 seconds off the pace, set by Audi so i can’t see a realistic chance for a pole, but for win?
Maybe, if McNish is driving his R18 against the tire barrier like he did in FP1 or of course a technical failure.
The Rebillion-Lotus-Lola-Toyota will be driven by Beche/Cheng/Belicchi and Prost/Heidfeld/Jani.
Pikket won the ALMS title last year, so they know how to win races especially the Sebring 12h.
I don’t think that Dyson as an chance to beat them, see last season.
The HPD ARX-03c is way faster.
This car will driven by Graf/Luhr/Dumas
Start list of the 61st Sebring 12 hour:
Fassler/Treluyer/Jarvis Audi R18 e-tron quattro
di Grassi/Kristensen/McNish Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Graf/Luhr/Dumas HPD ARX-03c
Prost/Heidfeld/Jani Lola B12/60
Beche/Cheng/Belicchi Lola B12/60
Dyson/Smith/Leitzinger Lola B12/60
Meyrick/Pla Delta Wing LM12
Tucker/Hunter-Reay/Pagenaud HPD ARX-03b
Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe HPD ARX-03b
Kimber-Smith/Zugel/Lux Zytek Z11SN
Brown/van Overbeek/Lazzaro HPD ARX-03b
Bennett/Braun/Wilkins ORECA FLM09
Marcelli/Cumming/Johansson ORECA FLM09
Drissi/Mitchell/Ducote ORECA FLM09
Nunez/Shears/Heinemeier Hansson ORECA FLM09
Junqueira/Popow/Ende ORECA FLM09
Schultis/Simon/Kaffer ORECA FLM09
Cheng/Guasch/Ostella ORECA FLM09
Bruni/Beretta/Malucelli Ferrari 458 Italia
Turner/Mucke/Senna Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette ZR1
Auberlen/Martin/Müller J. BMW Z4
Müller D./Hand/Edwards BMW Z4
Henzler/Sellers/Tandy Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette ZR1
Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goossens SRT Viper GTS-R
Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Viper GTS-R
Miller/Holzer/Lietz Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Sweedler/Bell/Keen Ferrari 458 Italia
Dalla Lana/Johnson/Lamy Aston Martin V12 Vantage
GTC (IMSA GTC Cup Challenge):
MacNeil/Bleekemolen/von Moltke Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Sebring International Raceway:
Length: 3.74 miles (6.02 km)
Lap Record: 1:43.274 (Sebastian Bourdais, Peugoet 908 HDI FAP 2009)
Facebook: Sebring International Raceway
The name of the mergerd series between the ALMS and the Grand-Am will be the United Sports Car Racing.
The class names will be:
P-Prototype: Daytona Prototype, LMP2 and the Delta Wing
PC-Prototype challenge: LMPC
GT Le Mans: GTE
GT Daytona: GT (from Grand Am)
GTC: Porsche 911 GTC
The calender of the new series will inclued the 24h of Daytona, Sebring 12 Hour, Circuit of the Americas, Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans and street races like Long Beach, Detroit and Baltimore.
The IMSA has also a new logo.
But entries, fuel, Prototype regualtions will be confirmed through the year.