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IMSA 2020

FLRacingFan

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Leaving SRO Europe, formidable team who’s already had success at Daytona and Sebring the last few years.

 

AdoubleU24

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I saw Alexander Rossi post that they were testing at Daytona today in the Acura DPI. Was it just their team?
 

AdoubleU24

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Any word on Fernando Alonso and the Rolex? Is he planning on running it again?
 

FLRacingFan

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Any word on Fernando Alonso and the Rolex? Is he planning on running it again?
Haven't heard anything on it but I don't think he'll be there because he's running the Dakar Rally in January and will probably take a break after all of that. I think it ends a week before the 24?
 

Doc Austin

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Any word on Fernando Alonso and the Rolex? Is he planning on running it again?
The Taylor lineup is set, so where would he go? Acura is set, Action Express can always call up the Mustang Sampling drivers for the enduros, so all the winning cars are taken, except maybe Mazda, and their program seems to be in chaos. Don't expect to see Fernando in anything but a front line ride, but most of those are already gone.

I read that Mazda wants to hand the entire program to Multimatic, which leaves Joest out. Joest will run the cars until Sebring, which makes no sense. If you're going to switch teams it's better to do it at seasons start. Completely uprooting the entire program like that mid-season is asking for an epic implosion. If it's me, and I want to cut ties, I do it now so I can get the next team organized, test and have everything in place when the season starts. I could be wrong, but splitting the season up like that just seems dumb and asking for trouble. There's got to be something going on behind the scenes because that car was finally competitive and reliable. It doesn't make sense to rip a winning program apart unless we aren't getting the whole picture. Mazda is better off paying Joest to go away quietly so they can start getting ready for next year.

I also don't know where this leaves the Mazda drivers, though I believe they are probably safe. They have all been with Mazda a long time. However, Spencer Pigot seems to be odd man out in Indycars because he has no funding, and he's a big Mazda favorite. If he can't be in Indycar, I hope Mazda picks him up. Think about this: provisional pole and front row start in the Indianapolis 500 in May, and dead meat by November. Whatever happened to results count? This guy is on the verge of breaking through to greatness and no one wants him?

It would be cool to see Joest run the Nissan but they are are not interested in another development program. That car is probably just gone. Nissan isn't interested and these cars have become too expensive for privateers to run them. That, and the car simply isn't competitive any more, so why bother?

I also don't see an privateers buying Cadillacs because the cars are soon going to be replaced. I also don't think it's fair Cadillac has to supply so many cars while Acura and Mazda get a free ride. There is talk of a privateer Mazda joining the series, but who's going to invest in a class that's already set to be replaced?

IMSA and the FIA had the answer in their hands and they simply dropped it. Now we are going to have stupid expensive and probably (at least initially) unreliable DPI hybrids, and super mega GT ****boxes in the WEC. No one can tell me a world wide DPI/P2 formula wouldn't have been better.
 

FLRacingFan

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This is a surprisingly good entry from JDC-Miller. Barbosa and Bourdais full-time with Loic Duval for the NAEC. Very good news for a DPi class that was looking somewhat shaky for a little while.

 

Kiante

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Leist is moving to IMSA with JDC-Miller as well:
Don't know if this has been posted yet. Sad that his time in IndyCar was cut short, he's only 21 with a lot of upside. This will be a great opportunity for Leist. Seems like GM likes him a lot as well to put him in the Cadillac.
 

FLRacingFan

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Light entry list for Daytona, maybe the smallest ever if I’m reading correctly. What it lacks in quantity I think it makes up for at least a bit in quality though.


 

Doc Austin

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Gee, no one saw this coming when they took the P2 cars out of contention? We could sure as hell use of few of them racing alongside DPIs right about now.

Eight DPIs and seven P2s fighting for the overall is the smallest possible acceptable field of cars for a top class. With only 8 we are a little better off than the 5 LMP1s in the WEC, which is the biggest joke in the history of endurance racing. IMSA needs to do better.
 

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Sidenote: Brickyard will be doing an 8 hour road course race with GT World Challenge America next year.
 

FLRacingFan

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Gee, no one saw this coming when they took the P2 cars out of contention? We could sure as hell use of few of them racing alongside DPIs right about now.

Eight DPIs and seven P2s fighting for the overall is the smallest possible acceptable field of cars for a top class. With only 8 we are a little better off than the 5 LMP1s in the WEC, which is the biggest joke in the history of endurance racing. IMSA needs to do better.
15 prototypes overall isn't a bad number and it's split between 8 and 7 so it's better than last year. It'd actually be worse if the classes weren't split because guys like Jon Bennett found out in a hurry it's hard to remain competitive in the single class for long, especially after Acura/Penske raised the bar for what it takes to succeed in these cars. The bronze mandate, reducing the schedule, and making the Rolex a non-points race for LMP2 has made the class relevant again and probably avoid death. 15-20 protos is the range they've been in at Daytona for a few years now. And there's a lot up in the air with Hypercar/DPi 2.0 convergence so at least for now they're not too worried about numbers at the top flight.

I'd say with IMSA running all FIA- and/or ACO-homologated cars now the barrier to entry is about as high as it's been in a long time, maybe ever. You can't put together some tubeframe thing in your shop anymore now like you could in Grand-Am or the first couple of years post-merger. When the 'cheapest' cars are LMP2s and GT3s and it takes about $700k to put together an LMP2 entry for the race it pushes a lot of people out. I think that and the fact that even at the GTD level you need multiple solid pro drivers to be able to be competitive is why numbers have dropped. There don't seem to be nearly as many international GT3 teams coming over this year like Land, EBIMOTORS, Herberth, and so on.

Meanwhile, GT4 cars are still the best value in sports car racing. About half the price of a GT3 at worst, and there's 26 of them at the Roar which isn't even mandatory for Pilot Challenge.

 

Doc Austin

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15 prototypes overall isn't a bad number and it's split between 8 and 7 so it's better than last year.
Yes, but imagine if all 15 were fighting for the overall, kind of like 2018. The P2 cars have been hobbled to the point they can't compete, so it's not the same as 15 cars that can go head to head.

It'd actually be worse if the classes weren't split because guys like Jon Bennett found out in a hurry it's hard to remain competitive in the single class for long, especially after Acura/Penske raised the bar for what it takes to succeed in these cars.
We have a different BOP almost every race, so what was wrong with using the P2 car as a baseline of performance? Do we even have a baseline anymore?

We had something special in 2018 and they had to mess with it. If they had left everything alone and allowed the P2s to stay competitive, I'm sure a few new teams would have joined in, and we would have had a few from the European series too, like United Autosports, who wanted to do the endures. Rebellion would have come too, and would have sure gotten a fairer shake than they've had in WEC.

When there was an equitable BOP, Bennett came with a handful of points of winning the championship, so with a fair BOP they could have kept running their P2 and been competitive, and wouldn't have had to buy the Nissan, which had become uncompetitive and really wasted their whole year. The Bennett Nissan never got a fair BOP because the manufacturers want their own private playground so they couldn't be embarrassed by cars and teams that the car buying public had never heard of. The manufacturers really have too much pull, and this is proven by their ability to sell or not sell their cars to whomever they please or don't.

Personally I'm not interested in P2 cars running for class honors because those cars are better than that. They are the absolute stars of the show everywhere they race them, so it didn't make sense to me to hobble them out of of contention.

I'de rather have a big field of potential overall winners. We may as well have kept the PC cars if we wanted an amateur feeder series for the prototypes. At least those cars were paid for.

Sure, the new P2 certainly has it's place, but I think IMSA should have BOPed them all together and gave the pro-am guys their own sub-class. That way we'de have factory DPIs, competitive professional teams that can buy a P2 car with a hope to win, and P2 pro am, and even those guys would have a chance to win........provided we get an equitable BOP.

I'm just a little miffed that we essentially had it all in 2818 and they had to mess with it. In just about ever type of racing I have ever seen, the longer they leave it alone the better it gets, and 2918 was as good as anything we've have since GTP.

15-20 protos is the range they've been in at Daytona for a few years now.
Contrast to Group C where any privateer could buy a competitive Porsche 962, and we are comparing 15 cars to 35. Privateers almost always want to be in with a chance to win overall.

And there's a lot up in the air with Hypercar/DPi 2.0 convergence so at least for now they're not too worried about numbers at the top flight.
They are going to have to do something about that projected $35 million dollar budget if any American privateers would be interested in running a hypercar. I'm sure they are going to be cool, but I don't think we will get a lot of them, even in the WEC. The idea is to build a series on cars that make sense, and hyper is going the other direction.

I'd say with IMSA running all FIA- and/or ACO-homologated cars now the barrier to entry is about as high as it's been in a long time, maybe ever.
I'm going to leave the production classes out of it because they seem to have a good formula and I don't care about them anyway. I just think we need a single prototype class, and merging DPI with European P2 would make a killer series. We already have the cars............there are over 30 competitive P2s in Europe and more in Asia. If they could compete to win, I'm sure that would draw a lot of them in.

When the 'cheapest' cars are LMP2s............ and it takes about $700k to put together an LMP2 entry for the race it pushes a lot of people out.
So how could $35 million hypercars ever have a chance here? I'll bet we never see one in this country.

I'm just disappointed that we were on the right track and IMSA changed directions.
 

LouieLouie

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I believe he's just in for Daytona but it's always good to see him come back here every year. That's a stout lineup they have.

Plenty of factory involvement at Daytona next month:



I love those Lambo cars. They look pretty cool. Even if you aren't a huge Lambo fan, its great to see something different and more manufacturers out there.
 

FLRacingFan

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Yes, but imagine if all 15 were fighting for the overall, kind of like 2018. The P2 cars have been hobbled to the point they can't compete, so it's not the same as 15 cars that can go head to head.

We have a different BOP almost every race, so what was wrong with using the P2 car as a baseline of performance? Do we even have a baseline anymore?

We had something special in 2018 and they had to mess with it. If they had left everything alone and allowed the P2s to stay competitive, I'm sure a few new teams would have joined in, and we would have had a few from the European series too, like United Autosports, who wanted to do the endures. Rebellion would have come too, and would have sure gotten a fairer shake than they've had in WEC.

When there was an equitable BOP, Bennett came with a handful of points of winning the championship, so with a fair BOP they could have kept running their P2 and been competitive, and wouldn't have had to buy the Nissan, which had become uncompetitive and really wasted their whole year. The Bennett Nissan never got a fair BOP because the manufacturers want their own private playground so they couldn't be embarrassed by cars and teams that the car buying public had never heard of. The manufacturers really have too much pull, and this is proven by their ability to sell or not sell their cars to whomever they please or don't.

Personally I'm not interested in P2 cars running for class honors because those cars are better than that. They are the absolute stars of the show everywhere they race them, so it didn't make sense to me to hobble them out of of contention.

I'de rather have a big field of potential overall winners. We may as well have kept the PC cars if we wanted an amateur feeder series for the prototypes. At least those cars were paid for.

Sure, the new P2 certainly has it's place, but I think IMSA should have BOPed them all together and gave the pro-am guys their own sub-class. That way we'de have factory DPIs, competitive professional teams that can buy a P2 car with a hope to win, and P2 pro am, and even those guys would have a chance to win........provided we get an equitable BOP.

I'm just a little miffed that we essentially had it all in 2818 and they had to mess with it. In just about ever type of racing I have ever seen, the longer they leave it alone the better it gets, and 2918 was as good as anything we've have since GTP.



Contrast to Group C where any privateer could buy a competitive Porsche 962, and we are comparing 15 cars to 35. Privateers almost always want to be in with a chance to win overall.



They are going to have to do something about that projected $35 million dollar budget if any American privateers would be interested in running a hypercar. I'm sure they are going to be cool, but I don't think we will get a lot of them, even in the WEC. The idea is to build a series on cars that make sense, and hyper is going the other direction.



I'm going to leave the production classes out of it because they seem to have a good formula and I don't care about them anyway. I just think we need a single prototype class, and merging DPI with European P2 would make a killer series. We already have the cars............there are over 30 competitive P2s in Europe and more in Asia. If they could compete to win, I'm sure that would draw a lot of them in.



So how could $35 million hypercars ever have a chance here? I'll bet we never see one in this country.

I'm just disappointed that we were on the right track and IMSA changed directions.
Honestly there wouldn't be anywhere close to 15 right now if they hadn't split them, it'd basically just be the eight we have at the top plus maybe one or two more at best. Jon Bennett just got married so he wouldn't be racing much longer either way and will focus on the composites business and running the factory Porsche team in GTLM. Patron got bought by Bacardi and that was the end for Ed Brown and the ESM team. Maybe you'd get a United Autosport or Jackie Chan DC car again but that'd be it. Even though the costs to come over for one race are extremely high especially for a race where you need as close to an all-pro lineup as possible. A lot of that change IMSA couldn't have done anything about.

Those P2 cars only won in 2018 because by that point in the summer they had hobbled the DPi machines so much they were barely recognizable compared to what they started out as. The Cadillac was down about 100 HP from where they started at one point, it was a joke. And of course the manufacturers wanted the split, they're the ones who fund the series and if it's not for them quite frankly the series isn't on TV and maybe doesn't even exist. P2 cars are a good formula for Pro-Am racing where funded drivers get to have fun and develop younger pro drivers but they were never intended to be the top flight of anything besides ELMS and AsLMS, which don't have any all-pro classes like WEC and IMSA. They might be based on the same chassis but there's a lot going on with production-based engines and the aero styling cues and suspension development that puts DPi cars at a different level. Manufacturers are always going to be the focal point of the top two series even if they're just cars supplied to customers, which I do think should be a requirement but Cadillac at least is customer-based and even Mazda has been talking to Spirit of Daytona (not likely to happen anymore) and Dyson Racing (more likely) about customer cars. Acura has been the only real bad OEM in that respect.

By the end of that saga the privateers were pushing for the class split too. PR1 was on record as wanting it and even JDC-Miller were pushing for it and actually blindsided IMSA when they announced a week after the split that they were gonna go buy some Cadillacs.
 

Doc Austin

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Those P2 cars only won in 2018 because by that point in the summer they had hobbled the DPi machines so much they were barely recognizable compared to what they started out as.
Remember that the P2 car was supposed to be the prototype baseline of performance, so they should have been competitive in the first place. It was IMSA's responsibility to get the BOP right, but it was certainly way out of whack in the beginning. United Autosports wanted to do all the enduros, but hot so fed up they left and haven't been back.

The Cadillac was down about 100 HP from where they started at one point, it was a joke.
Considering that P2 owners bought those cars expecting a fair shake, it wasn't very fair they started off that much down on power. IMSA just tilted things toward their manufacturers and only BOPed the field to match P2 cars after 3/4 of a season of getting smoked off. Toward the end of the year the P2 had a little advantage, but by then the manufacturers had enough of getting beat by privateers and I am sure they put pressure on IMSA.

And of course the manufacturers wanted the split, they're the ones who fund the series and if it's not for them quite frankly the series isn't on TV and maybe doesn't even exist.
The downsides is when those manufacturers bail, what do you have left except something resembling the WEC? Manufacturer money is great, but when it goes away it's so complete and sudden that it destroys entire series. Again, look to WEC.

P2 cars are a good formula for Pro-Am racing where funded drivers get to have fun and develop younger pro drivers but they were never intended to be the top flight of anything besides ELMS and AsLMS…………
Along with P3 cars, the ELMS had a 34 car season long starting field. Imagine if they added DPI.

They might be based on the same chassis but there's a lot going on with production-based engines and the aero styling cues and suspension development that puts DPi cars at a different level.
Engines for sure, but that's what BOP is supposed to take care of. As far as suspension, I don't believe you're allowed to mess with that much, but for sure the big teams will get their dampeners right and the little teams will struggle.

Manufacturers are always going to be the focal point of the top two series even if they're just cars supplied to customers, which I do think should be a requirement
If you take the P2 cars out and don't require manufacturers to sell cars, where are your entries going to come from? We are down to three manufacturers, but out of those no one can buy an Acura. We still have not seen a customer Mazda, and they are only talking about a single one anyway. That helps, but Imagine if they have three or four, and all that's required is manikng the manufacturers produce them.

but Cadillac at least is customer-based.
I have to give Cadillac a lot of respect for helping the series grow. GM would usually pull out whenever they get stomped, but since the Corvette program was formed they have turned into real racers.

.........and even Mazda has been talking to Spirit of Daytona (not likely to happen anymore) and Dyson Racing (more likely) about customer cars. Acura has been the only real bad OEM in that respect.
Doesn't Spirit of Daytona have a Cadillac or did it get destroyed?

Cadillac has proven they can supply a lot of cars and I don't know why the others can't match that. Oreca, Multimatic and Ligier are all in the business of selling cars, so the chassis should not be an issue. AER (I believe) are in business of making motors (Mazda), a company as big as Honda sure has the ability to supply customers. The and Nissan was always a customer program. As far as I can see, Cadillac has been the only company that has really stepped up.

By the end of that saga the privateers were pushing for the class split too. PR1 was on record as wanting it and even JDC-Miller were pushing for it and actually blindsided IMSA when they announced a week after the split that they were gonna go buy some Cadillacs.
I'm not sure of the timeline, but maybe the Cadillacs were not available when they were proposing that. However, this proves privateers want to play as long as it's not astronomical money and they can get a competitive car. Of the four we can write Nissan off. No cars from Acura, only one proposed by Mazda, and Cadillac can't fairly be expected to supply the entirety of the rest of the field. If we want a 20 car field, IMSA really needs to require every manufacturer make seven cars seven cars available, including their own team.

I don't see the big deal with hoarding equipment. Strength in numbers, and also the privateers can take up the fight and score points when the factory teams fail. You also need to sell enough cars to keep the chassis makers in business, as well as engine companies like AER.

We're not going to get anywhere if DPIs are required, but you can't buy them. We don't want to be like WEC with five top class prototypes.
 

StandOnIt

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Kyle's IMSA Lexus RC F GT3 racing in the GTD class. Not for sure, it could be a 5 liter V8
 

AdoubleU24

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@FLRacingFan did you go today or are you going this weekend? Curious how the Corvettes sound out there. I was thinking about going tomorrow but the weather looks pretty bad. May just hold out for the Rolex.

Sidenote, we should meet up for a bit if you go this year. I'll be there with the lady and I'm bringing my dad for his first time.
 
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