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2013 Grand-Am, ALMS & WEC Discussion thread

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Fisha695

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2013 Grand-Am, ALMS, WEC, ELMS, & AsLMS Discussion thread


From Daytona to Detroit, Sebring to Silverstone, France to Fuji this is the place to discuss the 2013 seasons for the Grand-Am Rolex Series (Grand-Am), FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Asian Le Mans Series (AsLMS), European Le Mans Series (ELMS) & all their support series (as well as general road racing that doesn't have a dedicated thread).

5 series, 41 races, 200+ hours of racing, 32 tracks, 14 countries comprise their combined 2013 seasons.

Schedule


Links
Home
American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón 2012
Asian Le Mans Series | Official Website
European Le Mans Series
FIA World Endurance Championship − Official Website
 
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dalejrgamer

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I was about to say that it's criminal that WEC snubbed Sebring and Petit Le Mans, but then I remembered that Don Panoz is not a WEC/Prototype-1 mark...
 

moppenheimer

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FIA has already ruined the prestige of the WEC.....in 2 years....No Sebring and as many Asian races as European ones...What a joke.
 

celticfang

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Somewhat amazingly, the FIA wants all the US rounds after Le Mans.

That's typical FIA, one more reason why I dislike them.
 

evan07

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Im going to Road Atlanta for sure!
 

Nick Lathan

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I am dissapoint that they aren't doing Sebring, but I will be at CotA next year. And I'm doing Mid-Ohio for Grand Am too!
 

Fisha695

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SPEED is possibly going to be broadcasting the WEC race from Austin.
 

ShadowKnight508

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2014 Grand-AM/American Le Mans Series Class Preliminary Structure Revealed (Credit to SPEED):

The North American sports car scene made a significant step in the unification process Friday, with officials from the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM announcing the preliminary class structure for the 2014 championship.

GRAND-AM Managing Director of Competition, Richard Buck, and Scot Elkins, COO of IMSA/ALMS, unveiled at Daytona International Speedway a four-category concept, embracing the majority of cars currently eligible for both championships.

Headlining the new-look series will be a combination prototype category featuring GRAND-AM’s Daytona Prototype and the ALMS P2 class. The revolutionary DeltaWing, which debuted at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, will also be eligible, with performance balancing measures being made to ensure close competition between all three platforms.

The second-tier prototype category will see the continuation of the ALMS Prototype Challenge (PC) class for spec prototypes. It’s expected the successful Pro-Am formula, which requires at least one gentlemen driver in each lineup, will also continue, although not yet officially announced.

Finally, both of the series’ competitive production-based GT categories will be represented, with no significant changes planned for ALMS GT. However, GRAND-AM’s GT division could see the inclusion of its new-for-2013 GX class, or potentially run separately as a fifth class.

Being as being the “best of both worlds,” the class structure will be in effect for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Individual class names have yet to be determined.

The most notable exclusion is the ALMS’ P1 category, which has seen a recent struggle for entries, but has stood as the series’ flagship class since its inception in 1999. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars that make up the ALMS GTC category are expected to be eligible to compete in the GRAND-AM GT class.

Thanks to the top prototype class, open for P2-spec cars, as well as ACO GTE-homologated machinery in the ALMS GT class, the to-be-named series will hold a direct link to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, maintaining the relationship first established by the ALMS nearly 15 years ago.

Further specifications, including tire rules and the complete set of technical regulations, will be announced later this year, in the run up to the championship’s debut at the 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2014.

“This is a ‘best of both worlds’ approach that reflects the fact we have a true merger evolving on a daily basis,” Buck said. “And this announcement is only a first step in solidifying our class structure. Our organizations’ respective competition departments are working diligently on balance of performance for the top prototype class, plus overall class specifications across the board.

“This process is not being rushed. We are carefully gathering input from drivers, teams and stakeholders throughout the sports car industry, emphasizing inclusion, as we work toward a simple – but also complex – goal: we want to get it right the first time.”

Elkins added: “Numerous important partners and stakeholders have been invaluable during this process. We could not have reached these decisions as rapidly as we did without that assistance.

“Many factors were taken into consideration for this initial conceptual lineup, but the priority was to enable as many current competitors as possible to continue racing with their existing equipment.

“We also want to thank the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) for its input as we strive to maintain the important ability of teams to qualify for and race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

 
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Pabig

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Very disappointed to not see LMP1 on that list... Would have loved to see the Audi vs. Toyota battle at Daytona.
 

celticfang

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Pabi, IMO it's the end of Group C all over again, when that ended everyone was wondering where sportscar racing would go next and what'd happen to all the old machinery.

Couldn't somebody in theory get a customer Audi or Toyota and detune it to P2 specs?
 

Fisha695

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Very disappointed to not see LMP1 on that list... Would have loved to see the Audi vs. Toyota battle at Daytona.
There were only like 2 P1 cars that ran the full ALMS season last year (I believe a few more showed up for Sebring & a few other races but not many), and as of last I've heard there are no P1 cars that have committed to run the entire 2013 ALMS season and I believe only Audi has committed to Sebring for 2013 & even that was as far as I understand a "soft commitment" not a concrete decision to show-up.



Pabi, IMO it's the end of Group C all over again, when that ended everyone was wondering where sportscar racing would go next and what'd happen to all the old machinery.
If anything I think it's the end of P1 in all Le Mans branded series as most of the P1 teams would rather run the WEC for the "World Championship" instead of running some low-paying regional series. P2 & the GT cars will stay strong on the regional level but the P1 cars are basically are their way to WEC only.

Couldn't somebody in theory get a customer Audi or Toyota and detune it to P2 specs?
In theory yes, in practice probaly not, especially since I believe 2014/2015 is the introduction of new LMP1 rules & possibly new LMP2 rules.

Bringing that up it is important to remember that these Grand-American Le Mans Series (what I've taken to calling this new series) classes are for 2014/2015 only and it's basically for the sole purpose of making the spending on new cars gradual. LMP1/P2 get new rules in like 2014/2015 which means that come 2016 there will enough trickle-down tech to lower the cost enough to bring those cars into the GALMS to replace the then 4 (5 if you count 2016) year old "new" DP cars which chassis wise are just modified versions of the previous gen DP cars.

The Proto-Challenge class I feel will be relegated in 2016 to the "Saturday Show" (which if you notice none of the support classes have been announced yet) and the 2016 PC car will likely be a Riley closed-cockpit entry probaly based on their track-day car.

It's gonna take atleast 5 years til it all gets sorted out which is just the nature of the beast with things like this (it's nowhere near as simple as 2 basketball leagues merging for example), however it's just a matter of will the casual fans stick it out during the transition & if they don't will they come back when it's all worked out...
 
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