Once again the LMP2 cars were the stars of the show, and once again they didn't get the air time they deserved. I guess they get ignored because they don't bring in any manufacturer money. It's a shame because these cars are viciously competitive with each other.
However, the P1 action was much better and the Rebellion had a great scrap with the Toyota early in the race.
It was off the chain to see the Ginettas out front for awhile, and hopefully the next round of BOP chicanery will get them more solidly into the fight. Toyota fought valiantly, but perhaps the last BOP adjustment was a little too much. In general, though, this round was much better than anything we have seen in the last two seasons.
The WEC took 2.7 seconds (or something like that) off the Toyota's pace with the BOP and they were still in the fight and on the lead lap. This shows what an utter farce the BOP has been until this point. They have dialed the Toyotas back or made the privateers faster almost every race since the beginning, and it's only now the cars are on roughly equal footing. Certainly the Toyotas are a bit disadvantaged at the moment, but it's nothing compared to the advantage they have had from the beginning.
Until now no matter what the BOP did, the Toyotas just found more speed and have always been a second or two faster in qualifying, and more in the race. Now they are supposedly "hopeless", which underlines how impossible it is to balance different technologies.Still, the balance was much, much better this time and with the BOP being automatic, maybe next race will be even better.
My DVR only got the last half hour of the first telecast and I have not had a chance to see the final hour yet, but race reports make it sound like it was a good show. WEC going to be a lot more fun if they can keep this up, but you can bet Toyota is going to put WEC under pressure to reverse the "unfair" treatment they are getting. Somewhere along the line if they don't get what they want they will threaten to pull out or skip a race or something. Toyota generally does not play that game, but it's happened with manufacturers so often in the past you have to believe it's just an inevitable pattern.
There is just too much money and too much prestige on the line. Rebellion can lose and it has had virtually zero affect on them, but when Toyota loses they just look bad getting beat by underfunded privateers in cars no ones has ever heard of.
First you have to realize race fans are a very small part of the car buying public, and most of us are smart enough to know this result was driven by Toyota getting the BOP bitchslapping. The general car buying doesn't know and doesn't care......... all they know is Toyota got beat by a team that almost none of them have never heard of. How many Camrys do you think that's going to sell tomorrow? Toyota can't afford to keep spending that $200 million a year if there are not big marques to beat and then they lose to essentially nobody. I don't know what they are getting out of this other than keeping team together and waiting for the new cars.
But, it's all set to change with Mega GT on the way, so we really need to take the time to enjoy what we have right now. The automatic BOP is so complicated I don't pretend to understand it, but it worked this time. Hopefully Rebellion will get slowed a little, and Ginetta will get a boost. We got part of what we wanted this race, but it will be much better if all three teams are truly fighting it out. We all hate BOP, but now that it's getting closer let's hope they hit it right for the next race.
So the final verdict is that WEC has been so bad it made an average race look spectacular, but at least we are now up to average with hope it will get better. That's good enough reason to tune in next time.