IMSA 2020

FLRacingFan

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So no clue how it happened but Bourdais miracled into another podium again. Both Mazdas were sputtering on fuel but I don't think we have a replay anywhere.
 

Doc Austin

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Sadly Sebring was a little disappointing, but almost anything would be after the IndyCar race we had last night. It's always great to see the sportscars run, but I'll be glad when we get a little more back to normal and have a more healthy field. I'm really looking forward to the new cars with maybe more manufacturers joining in. I think we were on the verge of a major sportscar renaissance, but this covid mess is depressing everything. Things were looking really good, and I'm optimistic we'll get back to that.

Action Express really nailed tonight. It was a beautiful race by both drivers. The Caddy was the car to have this weekend.

Mazda's advantage wasn't there this time, so maybe the BOP isn't that far off. Like last year, they were better on the fast tracks. I thing Mazda's drivers are underrated because they have gotten into some fierce scraps and raced very cleanly. Still shocked Multimatic is doing a better job than Joest, and I have no explanation.

The biggest surprise so far this season is just how little Penske factors into things. Cameron's car hit a bump in turn one and jumped completely off the ground at least once, maybe twice. Both cars just looked like they couldn't handle the bumps. I'm guessing they have something seriously wrong with their damper package because the car it's rear tires too.

The GT action was simply sizzling, but it's been that way for awhile. Lots of clean racing. I mean, the three leaders ran into each other in the pits, so the fight was pretty intense. It's always good when Corvette wins.

Overall, it was good, and we had a great sunset too.
 

FLRacingFan

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Of all the possible things for pro-am class entry to botch, that's got to be one of the most basic.
Missed it by 1.4 seconds. Pretty close but they probably still should’ve been aware.

Closer than one of the LMP2 podium finishers in the ELMS race today who were relegated after it was determined they’d missed the drive time by over six minutes for one driver...
 

Doc Austin

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Missed it by 1.4 seconds. Pretty close but they probably still should’ve been aware.
I think that's within a reasonable margin of error, but rules are rules. The line has to be somewhere, but a real shame to lose a win like that.
 

Charlie Spencer

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Missed it by 1.4 seconds. Pretty close but they probably still should’ve been aware.

Closer than one of the LMP2 podium finishers in the ELMS race today who were relegated after it was determined they’d missed the drive time by over six minutes for one driver...
I dunno, if I'm going to botch something, I think I'd rather do it big.
 

Kiante

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Wouldn’t be a huge surprise, the exclusivity deal went through 2020 and it hasn’t been as successful as anticipated so far.

The question is will Penske continue in IMSA or will be focusing of IndyCar?

I'm honestly wondering if maybe Ganassi or possibly Andretti would want to work with Honda/Acura with this project? Maybe Roger's ties to Ford could bring them back into IMSA in the LMDh class?

This relationship has soured quickly as well. Honestly, I would LOVE to see RCR considering they already build engines for Caddilac to field a team. Or to buy into team like Whalen or JDC? They still have a relationship with KCMG.

Man, this is going to be a crazy couple of years coming up...
 

FLRacingFan

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The question is will Penske continue in IMSA or will be focusing of IndyCar?

I'm honestly wondering if maybe Ganassi or possibly Andretti would want to work with Honda/Acura with this project? Maybe Roger's ties to Ford could bring them back into IMSA in the LMDh class?

This relationship has soured quickly as well. Honestly, I would LOVE to see RCR considering they already build engines for Caddilac to field a team. Or to buy into team like Whalen or JDC? They still have a relationship with KCMG.

Man, this is going to be a crazy couple of years coming up...
I would expect Penske to take a year or two off and come back with an LMDh program, whether those regulations debut in 2022 or 2023.

I believe CGR, Andretti, MSR, and perhaps RLL (depending on what BMW decide to do) will throw their hat in the ring for the Acuras. MSR wanted to run customer cars when the program debuted a couple of years ago but the Penske/Acura deal wound up with an exclusivity arrangement.

I don’t really know where the Cadillacs stand since they’re private efforts but I’d be concerned about Action Express at least, Jim France pulling funding was mostly why they contracted from two to one this season. Given the economic situation right now and for the foreseeable future I wouldn’t be surprised to see schedule shake-ups with condensed weekends, fewer races. It costs $5M just for a full season in GTD...
 

Kiante

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I would expect Penske to take a year or two off and come back with an LMDh program, whether those regulations debut in 2022 or 2023.

I believe CGR, Andretti, MSR, and perhaps RLL (depending on what BMW decide to do) will throw their hat in the ring for the Acuras. MSR wanted to run customer cars when the program debuted a couple of years ago but the Penske/Acura deal wound up with an exclusivity arrangement.

I don’t really know where the Cadillacs stand since they’re private efforts but I’d be concerned about Action Express at least, Jim France pulling funding was mostly why they contracted from two to one this season. Given the economic situation right now and for the foreseeable future I wouldn’t be surprised to see schedule shake-ups with condensed weekends, fewer races. It costs $5M just for a full season in GTD...
Porsche and Penske could be a thing with Porsche pulling out of GTLM. I honestly think there is no way Porsche stays away from IMSA for more than two to three years. Porsche's footprint is huge in Atlanta, it wouldn't be feasible for the investment they have put into the US market.

MSR I could see that happening, but I do not see Shank balancing IndyCar and Prototype racing. Now, imagine Herta and Marco getting involved considering they still have Mike Curb and company behind them. The guy who owns US Concrete loves Herta, Marco, and loves racing. Maybe shift RHR and Marco over the project to rejuvinate those two while giving Kirkwood more experience behind the wheel.

It would be a shame to see Caddy leave again, they have been killing it and I'd like to see them stay long term and if GTD is that expensive well I'd be calling to combine GTLM and GTD at this point. If its anything to make more affordable for privateers to participate. Maybe closer to GTE/GT3 regs? Sports car racing is hurting.
 

FLRacingFan

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Porsche and Penske could be a thing with Porsche pulling out of GTLM. I honestly think there is no way Porsche stays away from IMSA for more than two to three years. Porsche's footprint is huge in Atlanta, it wouldn't be feasible for the investment they have put into the US market.

MSR I could see that happening, but I do not see Shank balancing IndyCar and Prototype racing. Now, imagine Herta and Marco getting involved considering they still have Mike Curb and company behind them. The guy who owns US Concrete loves Herta, Marco, and loves racing. Maybe shift RHR and Marco over the project to rejuvinate those two while giving Kirkwood more experience behind the wheel.

It would be a shame to see Caddy leave again, they have been killing it and I'd like to see them stay long term and if GTD is that expensive well I'd be calling to combine GTLM and GTD at this point. If its anything to make more affordable for privateers to participate. Maybe closer to GTE/GT3 regs? Sports car racing is hurting.
Porsche/Penske is a thing that might actually happen from what I've heard/read. Obviously they had the RS Spyder program back in the ALMS days together, and then the one year of Grand-Am DP that was forgettable.

I did see again today that there's at least one GTD team angling for the Acuras and I don't know who else that could be besides MSR. You could assume it would be at expense of the GTD NSX program.

Not sure about Herta, because if anything it sounds like he'd like to move his team up with Hyundai, but if Andretti could do it it might not be a bad landing spot for RHR, maybe Marco too. Depends on what the extent of the relationship is though. With Penske the driver lineup has been an equal input of Penske (Helio/JPM/Pagenaud) and HPD (Cameron/Taylor/Rossi) preference.

FWIW I don't think GM will leave the top rank entirely, because they're private efforts with some factory support it really boils down to which teams can find funding and which can't. WTR have that with Konica Minolta and JDC have that with Mustang Sampling and a pro-am car in the Banana Boat. Can Whelen help keep afloat the #31, we'll see.

I don't really know what to say about GTE/GT3 at this point besides they probably can't co-exist much longer. Pro and Pro-Am GT3 sounds good but the implementation is probably more difficult than that (how much more power can they extract, etc.). But you can't just have Corvette go back to running around by themselves.

I don't think there are inherently a bunch of issues with sports car racing because IMSA was going to have its largest full-season grid before the pandemic hit, ELMS has been doing well and WEC at least had direction for once but it will require a lot of evaluation and adjustment. Sports car racing has traditionally been very cyclical to begin with.
 

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Important note in this one, Acura may be looking to go the Cadillac route.

RACER has learned a new contract is not expected to be offered to Team Penske, and if the plans making the rounds come to fruition, the ARX-05 effort facilitated by HPD would revert to a system last seen in the American Le Mans Series where multiple teams were engaged to run single entries.
 

Kiante

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Important note in this one, Acura may be looking to go the Cadillac route.



So, we are going to see possibly more privateers interesting turn of events for Acura. Maybe the Andretti or MSR deal is coming to fruition for real.

How the way Marshall stated in the article like the Penske-Porsche deal is already moving and will be ready to switch to the LMDh platform.
 

FLRacingFan

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So, we are going to see possibly more privateers interesting turn of events for Acura. Maybe the Andretti or MSR deal is coming to fruition for real.

How the way Marshall stated in the article like the Penske-Porsche deal is already moving and will be ready to switch to the LMDh platform.
More internet sleuthing - MSR are scheduled as testing both DPi and GTD on Wednesday at Mid-Ohio - "Chassis Development". Could certainly be a typo, but Goikhberg has prototype experience with JDC-Miller and I'm not sure why they'd have an endurance driver (Trent Hindman) doing chassis development on two NSX's. Hindman is quick and could be ripe to move up at this point in his career.

 

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Acura makes it official.


DailySportscar.com said:

Acura is believed to be fielding multiple expressions of interest in running ARX-05 in 2021 and beyond both from current IMSA outfits, and from others not currently active in the Dpi class, and indeed from outside the current IMSA paddock.
 

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The Roar has been moved from its traditional early January date to the week before the 24 for 2021, to cut down on international travel for teams and drivers and to lengthen the offseason with the finale being in November this year. It also sounds like they’ll try to have a public scrutineering like they have at Le Mans. If they’re fortunate there might be some WEC teams willing to run with these changes and them being in Florida for Sebring testing and the 1000 Miles in February/March.

 

Doc Austin

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Look for the Mardas to be blindingly fast this weekend.

BTW, I appreciate the race posters. I'de completely forgotten about the race. For some reason my DTV will not let me record the series, so I have to program each individual race. I've almost missed a few because of that, so I appreciate the reminders.
 

Doc Austin

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Not what we wanted to hear...……. Penske IMSA drivers advised to seek other options for 2021

I'm not sure what I was hoping for except Penske top reappear with a Porsche DPI, but I think everyone is waiting for the new cars before they make a jump.

I'm also not sure where this leaves us next year. Acura is supposed to go with another team, and my guess would be Shank since he's already running Acuras in GT3. If there is no Acura team, we'll have two or three Caddies and two Mazdas. That's an unacceptable field. IMSA needs to lean on Mazda and Acura to make cars available, but then again, who is going to bite when they will only get a year out of their investment?

I think it might be time to let the P2s back into the DPI class because we have a few of them just sitting around and some European teams would surely like to come over for the enduros. Let the pro am drivers have their own P2 class the way it is so we don't disrupt that, but we really need to keep the DPI division full of cars. That might take care of itself when we get the new cars, but if IMSA doesn't do something, next year is going to look pretty bleak.
 

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Road Atlanta gains the 6 Hours from Watkins Glen, Charlotte Roval gains the Lime Rock GT-only race and is condensed to a 100-minute sprint.

 

FLRacingFan

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There are rumblings WTR may make the move to become one of the new Acura teams, although that doesn't seem terribly likely given Wayne's desire to run a supported Le Mans entry. A full budget and a desire to go to Le Mans were reportedly big differences in the visions between Penske and Acura, which has been an American HPD-funded program so far. What is more interesting is that WTR are in discussions with "three or four" different OEMs, but GM still sounds like the most likely partner for the forseeable future.

 

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Farnbacher with an amazing move on the outside.

Seems like the Lexus struggles a bit in the wet.
 

Doc Austin

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That was a lot of fun.

In the dry the Acura and Mazda seemed pretty closely matched, even on the straights. Caddy lost a step in performance, but they got it back with the rain. BOP seems pretty reasonable now except maybe Caddy could use a little help. It was great having two manufacturers duking it out for the win, but three would be even better.

Helio was on a mission today, but honestly, I think the rain saved him. Mazda kind of got a little robbed by how the rain played out, but it was the same for everyone.

Even in the dry the competition was pretty knarly. Both GT classes are always free-for-alls, though today they seemed a little more restrained. Still damm good racing though.

I guess we kind of needed a wild race and we certainly got one.

Road Atlanta is next for the DP cars, but I would have loved to see them run at VIR. Anyone have any idea what time Atlanta is? I've love for it to be half day/half night.
 
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