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Sportscars 2023


elfenix
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WEC 2023: Hypercar

WEC schedule (watch on motortrend tv, carries the eurosport feed)

March 17: 1000 Miles of Sebring, 11 am

April 16: 6 Hours of Portimao

April 29: 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

June 10-11: 24 Hours of Le Mans

July 9: 6 Hours of Monza

Sept 10: 6 Hours of Fuji

Nov 4: 8 Hours Bahrain

 

 

Biggest change in WEC is the filling out of the Hypercar field.  In addition to the pair of Toyotas that ran full time last season, we're adding a lot of cars for the full season: the pair of Peugeot 9X8s that underwent live testing at the end of last year, a pair of Ferrari 499Ps, a pair of Penske Porsche 963s, a CGR Cadillac V-LMDh. Glickenhaus returns and has committed to running a pair of SCG 007s for the 24.  Later in the season we should see two more Porsche 963s in the form of customer cars to JOTA and Proton Competition, though they may not make the 24.  ByKolles returns to the top class with the Vanwall Vandervell 680.

LMP2's final year in the WEC (not enough pit space or track space at most places, really, and a lot of teams will be following JOTA and moving to customer LMDh cars as I expected) sees 11 entries: 2 each from Prema, United, WRT, and Alpine (back in LMP2 as it awaits its own Hypercar next season), and 1 each from Vector Sport, JOTA, and Intereuropol.  LMP2 will continue on as the top class in ELMS and ALMS and will still have slots for the 24 Hours. 

The second big change is the elimination of GTE Pro from competition, as we are going Am teams only for GTE's final season.  4 Ferrari 488 GTE Evos (3 run by AF Corse and 1 by Kessel); 3 Aston Martin Vantage AMRs (2 by TF Sport and 1 by Northwest AMR); 6 Porsche 911 RSR-19s (2 by Iron Lynx/Dames and Proton, and 1 each by Project 1 and GR Racing).  Next year sees GT3 equipment replacing this class. 

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IMSA 2023: GTP Returns

Jan 28-29: Rolex 24, 12:30 pm on NBC and bounces around

March 18: 12 Hours of Sebring, 9:05 am on Peacock Premium, comes on USA about halfway through

April 15: Long Beach (w/ Indycar), 4 pm on USA

May 14: Laguna Seca, 2 pm on NBC

June 25: 6 Hours of the Glen, 1 pm on USA (only covers half of it c'mon man)

July 9: Mosport Park, 11 am on NBC

July 22: Limerock Park, GT cars only

Aug 6: Road America, 10 am on USA

Aug 27: VIR, GT cars only, 1 pm on USA

Sept 17: Indy road course, noon on NBC

Oct 14: Petit Le Mans, 5:30 pm on USA, only covers about half of it c'mon man

I expect most of these will be on peacock in their entirety.  IMSA puts everything on its youtube channel a few days afterward but the quality is not as good as peacock (you also get the IMSA radio broadcast which doesn't always seem to be watching the video feed)

 

The big news for 2023 is the introduction of the GTP class to replace DPi at the top.  The other big news is that Detroit and Mid-Ohio have been dropped from the calendar, with a new race on the infield at Indianapolis replacing Detroit (I guess, since Roger is the promoter).

GTP features 9 cars on the entry list for Daytona this weekend, 2 Ganassi Cadillac V-LMDhs (the number 2 car will be in WEC this season), 2 Penske Porsche 963s, 2 RLL BMW M Hybrid V8s, one Acura ARX-06 from each of Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyers Shank, and 1 Cadillac from Action Express/Whelen Engineering.  Once more 963s are built expect to see entries from JDC-Miller and Proton. 

LMP2 continues on with up to 10 entries for the 4 enduros, Laguna Seca, Road America, and IMS

LMP3 features up to 11 entries for the 4 enduros, Mosport, Road America, and IMS

Up to 9 Pro GTDs and 24 Am GTDs fill out the largest part of the grid and, as with previous years, get two races to themselves at Lime Rock and VIR.  The Ferrari 296 GT3 replaces the 488 in class.  The Pro car is run by Houston's own Risi Competizione.  The Corvette C8.R again gets special dispensation to run a GTLM car in a GT3 field.  The C8.R GT3 will make its public debut before the Rolex 24, but will not be in competition until next year. 

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Qualifying for the Rolex 24 will be on IMSA.tv with no geo restrictions Sunday at 12:20 pm

 

Some highlights from Lanky Turtle

 

 

296 GT3 sounds really interesting.  bmw sounds great. 

Edited by elfenix
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First angry laps for GTP, MSR Acura on pole followed by the #6 Porsche then the WTR Acura, then the CGR Caddies, then the #7 Porsche which Nick Tandy binned in the Le Mans chicane.  All 9 cars in the 1:34s with an 8/10ths spread between them. 

DPi race lap record was 1:33.724 set last year for reference.  The new cars are heavier and run longer stints so use harder tires, but not bad considering this is the first real laps for them.  It's also windy as shit which changes the  balance, particularly into the Le Mans chicane. 

The GTPs are nearly 6 seconds clear of Ben Keating's pole sitting LMP2, which was less than 3 seconds faster than the pole sitting LMP3.  I wonder if that will allow IMSA to un-nerf the P2s later this year?

Edited by elfenix
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Nine races for GTP, 11 total.  Anyone know the reason IMSA has such a limited schedule?  In 1987 (when I attended my first race) there were 21 events, 16 involving Prototypes, at just about every popular road course in the US (RIP Riverside).  Three street races rounded out the schedule.

Looking at the IMSA site they have an article titled “Why Every Race Matters on WeatherTech Championship Schedule” and I just think no, no, no.

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1 hour ago, Duval Street said:

Nine races for GTP, 11 total.  Anyone know the reason IMSA has such a limited schedule?  In 1987 (when I attended my first race) there were 21 events, 16 involving Prototypes, at just about every popular road course in the US (RIP Riverside).  Three street races rounded out the schedule.

Looking at the IMSA site they have an article titled “Why Every Race Matters on WeatherTech Championship Schedule” and I just think no, no, no.

$$$.  this is a giant commercial (iow, money being spent) for the car companies and the money isn't there to support more races in the top classes. 

also there's scheduling conflicts that happen, especially when you look at the crowded GT3 calendar.  a lot of these drivers and teams are also running WEC and IGTC.  some may even be running in crevantic's 24 hour series. 

 

you also came in at the peak of sports car racing's popularity.  Group C was just something else (and ACO/FIA missed an opportunity not branding LMH as Group C - IMSA paid attention to its history).   that collapsed in the early 90s and there was about a decade of wilderness where ACO struggled to get a touring series off the ground. 

Edited by elfenix
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I remember talking to one of the Miata drivers after a spec-Miata race at the Houston GP years ago. He said he liked Miata racing a lot, but his true love was racing karts -- but he had to switch to Miatas because kart racing was too expensive. 

Edited by wood
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It's funny how the track seems so big surrounding those Mazdas. But that was fun racing.

The comment about the Go-Kart racing being expensive is some serious stuff. Years back, the CART Stars of Tomorrow were racing outside of Pittsburgh at what was then BeaveRun Raceway. Now it's called PIT Race Park, or something like that. It's a nice road course that has different configurations and also a really cool Karting track.

Well, they had a celebrity race associated with the CART event and I (quite funnily) was asked to take part. They put me on the pole position, next to the woman who designed the track. She had raced sports cars in Europe so, she was legit. Well, my focus was on keeping my Kart on the track and I just wasn't thinking about Left Foot/Right Foot at the same time. It took me about three laps to really get into it and it was a blast. I did not finish last, and I stayed on the asphalt.

Anyway, Juan Montoya's little brother was in that program, as was Graham Rahal. The trailers that some of these kids had were awesome. It was really humorous as well to see little kids in full racing gear working on adjusting their Karts. 

Karts are fun. 

 

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29 minutes ago, PittsburghTiger said:

It's funny how the track seems so big surrounding those Mazdas. But that was fun racing.

The comment about the Go-Kart racing being expensive is some serious stuff. Years back, the CART Stars of Tomorrow were racing outside of Pittsburgh at what was then BeaveRun Raceway. Now it's called PIT Race Park, or something like that. It's a nice road course that has different configurations and also a really cool Karting track.

Well, they had a celebrity race associated with the CART event and I (quite funnily) was asked to take part. They put me on the pole position, next to the woman who designed the track. She had raced sports cars in Europe so, she was legit. Well, my focus was on keeping my Kart on the track and I just wasn't thinking about Left Foot/Right Foot at the same time. It took me about three laps to really get into it and it was a blast. I did not finish last, and I stayed on the asphalt.

Anyway, Juan Montoya's little brother was in that program, as was Graham Rahal. The trailers that some of these kids had were awesome. It was really humorous as well to see little kids in full racing gear working on adjusting their Karts. 

Karts are fun. 

 

Yeah, don't wanna sidetrack, but karts really are amazing, and lots of pro racers still prefer the pure racing in karting. I dunno if any of y'all went to the Lockhart GP a few years ago, but some of the trailers and huge setups some teams had for that were really eye-opening. There were multi-million $ investemnts all over that paddock, complete with full kart garages, multiple drivers/karts, and multiple paid mechanics for some teams, while some teams were just Mom, Dad, & a kid working out of an old pickup. Same with the vintage car SVRA racing at COTA. Dudes are showing up with huge semi-tent setups and paid mechanics, in the same paddock as guys running everything from the back of their station wagons - for what really amounts to a track day. Must be nice to have that kind of money to just blow on fun shit.

Edited by wood
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2 hours ago, Updawg said:

Every year I tell myself I will stay up 24 hours straight to watch it or Le Mans. Definitely will never happen if nbc is showing it

i think the most i've done of le mans is about 21 hours.  daytona maybe 19. 

nbc audio is now picking up imsa radio instead of nbc hosts. 

Edited by elfenix
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8 hours ago, Updawg said:

Every year I tell myself I will stay up 24 hours straight to watch it or Le Mans. Definitely will never happen if nbc is showing it

This would be the year to do it.  IIRC, it will be the 100th anniversary of LM.   So, I finally hit the hay sometime after 0100 and Corvette is down either 1 or 2 laps.  Turn on the boob tube this morning just a second ago and they are in the lead.  Let's go 'Merica!

Edited by Bevo&Pevo
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Don't follow IMSA racing at all, but I absolutely love the 24 Hours of Daytona and watch it religiously the past 10 years or so.  Probably helps that it fits my F1 pattern of waking up on Sunday morning and watching before football comes on.  The multiple classes on the same track is probably my favorite part, but also seeing names from other series show up and run is really cool too.  I could do with less WeatherTech ads but whatever...

Digging the new look Cadillacs!  Look like the lovechild of an LMP and a Corvette.

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IMSA radio pointed out that the P3 cars usually run in either no-pit sprints of 55 minutes or ELMS's 4 hour races. they're not really built for big enduros. which is part of why the lead car is 13 laps ahead of 2nd. 

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