2018/2019 WEC Super Season

Discussion in 'Sports Car Racing' started by FLRacingFan, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    First official event is here with the Prologue test at Paul Ricard. 36 cars entered for the full season, and 37 for the season opener at Spa - the most ever for the series outside of Le Mans.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    It sounds increasingly likely that the series will air on Velocity (and maybe other Discovery networks) after being dropped by FOX. I've heard elsewhere that it may be the beginning of an effort to turn it into a SPEED-esque channel.

    http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/paul-ricard-thursday-notebook-6/
     
  3. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    @Doc Austin

    Toyota were allowed to run outside of the EoT early in the test to push their new cooling system to extreme levels. Once they were done with that their quickest lap registered 5th for the test. So Toyota's "official" best lap times and trap speeds aren't representative, which gives me a lot of hope for this season. For Rebellion, running second-quickest on their first true test day with the car (which they only have one of right now) is very encouraging.

    http://www.dailysportscar.com/2018/...ologue-achieved-by-running-un-restricted.html

    http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/toyota-ends-prologue-with-1-2/
     
  4. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Yeah, I saw that, but I'm not sure what to believe. The problem with BOP is you never know who is or isn't sandbagging.

    That's encouraging, but is it real? Again, who is or isn't sandbagging. I would be delighted to be proven wrong and Toyota actually ends up 5th fastest at the opener.

    Don't get me wrong. I am extremely hopeful, but I've been following endurance racing for the last 50 years, which makes me skeptical

    I am also suspicious that once you spend $100-200 million running a car, do you come to a test and show everything you have and then risk getting whacked with a BOP penalty? I'm still convinced the FIA is going to give Toyota a sweetheart deal, but I will be delightfully wrong if the privateers have a fair chance.

    I won't be surprised if Rebellion is the best privateer,I won't be surprised if their Oreca is the best chassis, and I certainly won't be surprised if the Gibson has anvil-like reliability. I think the Rebellion stands the best chance of keeping Toyota on their back foot.

    I don't want to sound bitter or anything, but factories almost always scorch the earth and destroy every series they get involved in. Only Indycar seems to be able to keep manufacturers from blowing the cost of competition out of control, and the FIA has never had a handle on this. IMSA is considerably better at BOP than the FIA, but they are also getting a lot of flack for the P2 cars being 1 second a lap off the pace at Sebring.

    Where the FIA consistently goes wrong (and where IMSA needs to tighten things up) is they allow the factory to crush the privateers with impunity, drive them out of the sport, and then bail themselves when another factory comes in and kicks their ass. After 15-16 years or so of dominating sportscar racing, how long did it take Audi from completely disappearing as soon as they couldn't keep up? It was like a couple of years and that was all they could take. History is full of manufacturers driving the costs out of control, and as soon as they can't win they walk away crying about how expensive it is. Funny how it wasn't too expensive when they were winning, eh?

    Please don't get me wrong. I don't hate Toyota. I drove them for years. I just want a fair race. I also don't want Toyota to win Lemans this way because they deserve better. As many times as they have almost won it and gotten hosed instead, I want them to go up against Porsche, Audi, Peugeot and win it outright like they almost did a few years ago. Toyota deserves a ther first Lemans victory to be brilliant and stunning, and against the best of the best, and winning it this year would not be that.
     
  5. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I don't think anyone was really going all out here. After the cooling system test Toyota focused on long-distance running and just put a ton of mileage in, something like 3600 miles. The privateers still have a lot of potential left in them since they're so early into the development curve. The Rebellion had a 5-6 lap shakedown a few days before going to Paul Ricard. DragonSpeed did a rollout of their BR1 just last Friday. The Ginetta doesn't have much testing mileage and the second car was just finished being put together at the circuit. Really, the only privateer with proper testing mileage was SMP with their BR1 and they were running two new cars this week as well.

    It's hard to say until Spa but I honestly think the EoT is far more even this year. Toyota are going to have to rely on their electric energy a lot more this year.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

  7. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

  8. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Best times from the Prologue:

    #11 SMP - 1:37.034
    #1 Rebellion - 1:37.044
    #17 SMP - 1:37.574
    #4 ByKolles - 1:37.795
    #7 Toyota - 1:38.142 (when running within EoT)
    #6 Manor - 1:38.156
    #10 DragonSpeed - 1:38.264

    It doesn't sound like these changes should affect performance too much, but I don't know if raw pace can overcome Toyota getting two laps more per fuel stint. That's why they run a hybrid though. We'll see next week.
     
  9. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    sounds political to my untrained eye. It's like they are trying their best to insure a hybrid has all of the advantage.
     
  10. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    The FIA is giving the privateers the hose. Didn't see that coming, right?
     
  11. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Well, the hybrid should provide some sort of advantage, or there'd be no point to running one. And the point of hybrid is efficiency. Toyota still get only 67% of the allowable fuel energy per lap of the non-hybrids, 75% of the allowable fuel per stint, 73% of the maximum fuel flow, weigh 40kg more than the non-hybrids, and have a smaller refueling restrictor than the non-hybrids. The privateers will also be able to develop their aero throughout the season, while Toyota won't. The non-hybrids are still very early in their development curve and should have pace.

    Looking at last year's data, the three Toyotas each stopped seven times, for total times spent on pit road of 7:19, 7:22, and 7:29. Aside from the opening stint, they appeared to be going 24 laps per stint. Say they can do that again next weekend, the non-hybrids should be going 22 laps per stint. Assuming the entire race goes green we should get about 181-182 laps in at an average lap time of 1:58.0 (it'll be lower, but it's round and helps in calculations here). The privateers could have to make eight stops in that scenario, and they'd only have to top off for a few laps on the final stop (pitting around lap 176 or so). A short fill should have a pit lane delta of 35-40 seconds, which should be made up if the non-hybrids are consistently running two-tenths to a quarter of a second quicker than the Toyotas per lap. They're not doomed. We'll just have to see next weekend.
     
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  12. LewTheShoe

    LewTheShoe Team Owner

    ^ FL, an impressive post. Well done, man! ;)
     
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  13. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Except the privateers were assured they would get a fair shot. The EOT thing is supposed to be equivalence of technology, not Toyota being gifted an advantage.
     
  14. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    It should be roughly equivalent. Toyota should have an efficiency advantage, the non-hybrids a pace advantage, and by the end of six hours they should be on par with each other. Like I said, the efficiency advantage for Toyota could only prove to be a one-stop advantage at best over six hours according to what stint ranges they're aiming for. We don't even really know what the potential of the non-hybrids are since most of them have only the one weekend of real track time. There's a lot more speed to be found in them than in the Toyotas. Once the race weekend is over, we'll have an idea of whether or not things are shaking out as they're intended to.
     
  15. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    I hope we have good season, I'm just skeptical of the FIA and their ability/motivation to run a fair deal.
     
  16. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    A reputation that they've certainly earned - they totally forgot about the privateers when things were good with Porsche/Toyota/Audi.
     
  17. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    They never take care of the privateers. They are obsessed with chasing those manufacturer dollars and it is always a the expense of the privateers. This time they promised the privateers a fair shot to get them to buy in, but Toyota is going to trounce them and the FIA will just let it happen. Then the privateers will bail and we will have squat, kind of like we would have had this year without them.

    See a pattern? The privateers are the backbone of the sport, and nothing is ever done to keep them in the fight. You don't have to win for racing to be fun, but if you don't even have a chance it's no fun at all.

    Toyota would have been better off waiting for the new formula and winning against other manufacturers when it would really mean something. Like I say, no one will care if they lose against a bunch of teams the car buying public has never heard of, and if they lose it would rightfully be supremely embarrassing. Toyota is so hell bent to win Lemans apparently they will take it any way they can get it, and I think Toyota deserves better than that.
     
  18. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I did a little data dump to get a better idea of what the average lap times were at the Prologue. This is what I got.

    Toyota - 1:40.2
    Rebellion - 1:40.5
    SMP - 1:40.6
    DragonSpeed - 1:41.2 (1:40.7*)
    ByKolles - 1:41.4
    Manor - 1:41.9 (1:41.1**)

    * Excluding Henrik Hedman, who's a Bronze driver being given special dispensation to run in LMP1
    ** Excluding the #5 car, which was literally being built up at the track as parts came in

    That is not bad at all for brand new cars.
     
  19. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    I have to admit this is really encouraging, so let's hope it's real and no one was sandbagging. If these times are a real life representation, we are going to see some hella racing.
     
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  20. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Please forgive this bit of self indulgence, but allow me to present my collection of sports prototype racing model cars. My last real job was building cars for some teams and drivers. It sort of turned into a hobby and grew out of control. My focus has shifted to model aviation and I would love to sell the whole thing. If not, I am willing to sell it piece by piece.

    If nothing else, please enjoy the video.

     
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  21. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

  22. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    That’s seriously an amazing collection.
     
  23. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    It took a lot of years to build it, but I need the room and finances for other things. I had my fun building and admiring them, and now it's time for someone else to enjoy them.
     
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  24. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight




    You almost have to cheer for Jenson because if he wins Lemans, that gives him 2/3 of the triple crown. If he gets that, how does he not go to Indianapolis? Wouldn't it be cool if he and Alonso were slugging it out at Indy to be first (after Graham Hill) to get the triple crown?

    This just in: Nasr Joins Villorba Corse For Remaining ELMS Rounds & Le Mans

    First, I'm all for having more competitive drivers in sportscars, especially P2. Nasr took to the DPIs really quickly (except having an penchant for running into Helio), and really should have won the Long Beach round except for an unlucky pit strategy. The guy is lightning fast in a prototype and we can expect him to carry that into the ELMS rounds.


    What I like here is that sportscar racing is now the favored destination for guys who run out of opportunities in F1. You hate to see guys like Nasr go to waste while others who are less talented get the rides. In sportscar racing a good former F1 driver can run up front, win races and have a useful career. Examples of open wheel drivers who succeeded in sportscars recently include Christian Fittipaldi and even Juan Montoya, and it's only a matter of time before Helio starts winning races and contending for the championship. It's great we are getting this kind of talent in sportscars because that raises awareness and interest and that c[COLOR=rgb(0, 0, 0)]an only bring the sport good health.[/COLOR]

    I'm pretty sure Alonso will go great guns in the WEC, but it's hard for cheer for Toyota against a bunch of privateers. I would have much rather seen him put in an epic drive and win Lemans against the odds in something like the Rebellion, which would be a story for the ages. The more good drivers we get in quality privateer LMP1 and P2 cars, the more likely we will have an upset, which is always good fun.


    Even if you have millions, you don't make it to F1 without a lot of talent. U hate to see even the ride buyers run out of opportunities, but now all f these guys can race in a competitive international series. That, and people recognize the names and want to tune in. All of this is good news for sportscar racing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  25. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Alonso Fastest In Opening Practice At Spa

    Toyota is 1, 2 in Spa open practice, a little over three second faster than the privateers. It's still early, but that's not an encouraging sign. I hope the privateers can find some speed and make a race out of this.
     
  26. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    #3 Rebellion and the DragonSpeed entry both were within a second of the leading Toyota. Only problem with DragonSpeed is Hedman is going to kill them when he's in the car. I figure the other Rebellion will get up to pace with the sister car soon enough though. The #1 car that placed 5th is the fresh build with no miles on it.

    Sounds like the #6 Manor may be pulled due to the whole TRS thing in China...
     
  27. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    That's much better. The Toyota is very developed and the P1 Privateers cars have not run nearly as much, Hopefully the privateers can find some more speed.

    A handicap Toyota doesn't have to deal with.

    What's that about?
     
  28. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Can someone please tell me how I can find this race on TV? I can't find anything.
     
  29. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    First and last hour are on Velocity if you have it. They’re also streaming the entirety on MotorTrend if you subscribe to that.
     
  30. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Here's the latest info on practice I could find: Spa WEC: Toyota pulls clear of privateer rivals in FP2

    Damm, it's still two seconds. Honestly, that's much better than I feared but it's still too much. I figured the privateers could find some speed and the Toyota would be stuck, but according to this they are pulling clear.

    I was hoping the privateers could get close enough to push the Toyota into a mistake or make them break, but two seconds a lap isn't going to do it.


     
  31. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Thanks so much.

    The schedule on my cable box says something else, so I guess I will have to turn it on and see. Any idea on air times?
     
  32. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I’m decidedly less optimistic after FP2. Jeez. Nonhybrids are way quicker than last year but not quick enough.
     
  33. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I think 7-8:30 AM Eastern Saturday and then 12:30-2 PM. So a half hour of pre and post race too.

    Mine didn’t update until two days ago and Velocity barely mentions it on their web site, so it could be some different programming listed depending on your provider but the race will show anyways.
     
  34. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    They might have been ok if the FIA had no slapped a BOP on them after the last test. About all we can hope is the privateers can push the Toyota hard enough to break it.
     
  35. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Thanks. I'll check it on Sunday night for an update and if we don't get one I will set the DVR for the times you mentioned.

    Honestly, Velocity has nothing but crap "reality" programs, half of which are reruns, so it's hard to see why they don't just carry the whole race. I also don't like having to jump networks. What would be wrong with leaving it on one network for say, I dunno, the whole race? Who is going to complain about missing a rerun of all girls garage, especially on Sunday morning? That or maybe WEC wants too much for the TV rights and buying little snippets is the only affordable way.

    This has always been the fate of sportscar racing. We either get pitiful coverage or no coverage, or it's so spread out in pieces over multiple networks that it's exasperating to watch, change, watch, change. Thankfully at least IMSA seems set to have an NBC deal for next year that puts it all on one network. NBC seems to be committed to Indycar and Sportscars, and was definitely committed to F1 before they lost it to ESPN. NBC coverage is always superior to just about anyone else, so that's a positive step. Maybe through IMSA NBC can work some sort of WEC deal.

    Something else, the ELMS has 35 confirmed P2 and P3 full season entries. I wish we could see that too.
     
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  36. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

  37. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Thankfully both Le Mans races and Sebring will air in their entirety on Velocity. All other races are just the first hour and last hour though. Lame. I get that they were caught off guard by FOX but signing a deal where it seems like four hours per race are exclusively online is...not good.
     
  38. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Well, that sucks. We could very well lose two cars even before the opening race. I think the Ginetta is a pretty decent looking car and would be disappointed if they can't run.

    See, this is another thing the privateers are always up against, and it's not something you can BOP. The factories are always going to kill the privateers when it comes to funding, so they don't really need a whacked out, jacked out BOP that puts them 2 seconds off the pace and compound their survival problems. Like, who's going to sponsor that? Sure, Manor's problems stem more from their sponsor's supposed corruption issues, but if that doesn't work out, how do you find another sponsor, after the season starts, willing to fund you at two seconds off the pace? Not much the FIA can do about Manor's sponsor, but they can at least give the privateers a chance on the track and they have ignored that responsibility. Who's betting the FIA will adjust the BOP mid weekend? Yeah, me neither.

    So, Manor spends millions getting set up, and now they can't even practice. How can any of these small teams survive when they have things like that thrown at them? an, I hope Manor gets this worked out and has a good race. I really want to see those cars run.
     
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  39. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

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  40. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

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