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  • 10-23-2006, 03:43 AM

    Sports cars only at Le Mans, imo

    I'd only like to see sports cars race in ACO racing. While I like to see sedans and coupes being raced, there are other series were they could race.

    I like the fact that the E34 M5 was raced unlike the E60 M5 (so far...the E39 M5's S62 V-8 won the Grand-Am Rolex race in Mexico in 2005), but it would have been out of place at Le Mans in 1994-1995 with the rebirth of GT at Le Mans after the death of Group C.

    E34 M5 race cars
  • 10-22-2006, 01:15 AM

    Sorry, I put that wrong...

    By representative I meant that there are much higher numbers of performance coupes and sedans than true sports cars on the road today and that trend is likely to increase in the future. For a series like ALMS to one day be truly self-sustaining, ALMS needs manufacturer involvement and investment. Neither Porsche or Ferrari are involved as factory efforts in GT2, the GT3RSR's and next year's 997 GT3 R are customer cars while the 430 is Risi and Michelotto's project. Porsche has an ideal situation because they can actually make a profit on their US GT3R (and GT3Cup) racing programs as people pay to further their advertising. American audiences haven't thus far been overly excited about going to see 6 Porsche's 1 or 2 Texan Ferrari's and a couple of challengers run around. Many feel it would help tremendously to have more manufacturers involved in GT2 but the ranks of manufacturers that offer competive 2 wheel drive sports cars that have the budget rationale and nothing to thin. So the ALMS push for GT2S which the ACO had resisted for many years, even though there was no intention of letting GT2S race at Le Mans.

    And ACO accepted the GTR M3 in 2001 even though they probably didn't want to and after it didn't compete, went back to the "sports cars" only rule.
  • 10-21-2006, 02:16 AM

    Re: IMSA can choose to accept homologation of whatever

    How do F430s and 911s not represent a modern performance car?
  • 10-21-2006, 02:11 AM

    sedan-style cars aren't accepted at Le Mans

    The ACO wouldn't allow the M3 at Le Mans and likely the Le Mans Series.
  • 10-20-2006, 06:48 PM

    Re: IMSA can choose to accept homologation of whatever

    The E46 is homologated now and any entrant can drop any engine that's in the mfg's lineup into it...or even super/turbo charge it. PTG could do either or both but will depend on a couple of things:

    1) What BMW wants (if PTG is to work with BMW for the '08 season then it wouldn't serve to tick 'em off)
    2) Who's gonna pay for it. I say we get all the forum people to save a track day and sponsor a car LOL.

    It would be great to have customer cars for Le Mans and ALMS like Porsche. Part of the problem is actually ACO. The GT2S classification is IMSA's baby and it took years to get ACO to go along with it and still use the Le Mans name. GT2S is not legal for Le Mans. ACO doesn't want sedans and although they can be pushed to accept a car like the M3, they don't typically want that. (wrong thinking in my opinion, the ranks of cars like F430 and 911GT3 aren't likely to become more representative of the modern performance car). BMW actually got approval forced through ACO for the GTR in 2001 (because the wanted to race it in ALMS) but then had the audacity (in the opinion of ACO) to not show up for Le Mans. Consequently, it'll take some wrangling before an M3 4 seat coupe gets a fair shake at the rules for ACO. With equal BHP potential, the lower drag, lower roll center 911s, F430, etc should be able to beat them every time.

    The Z4 M Coupe has some promise but 2 drawbacks...1 - BMW won't want to install an engine (rightfully so) that doesn't come in the car to make it competive and 2) The fairly strict geometery rules of ACO means that the suspension design of the BMW's, designed to meet the needs of production, packaging and costs of masses of $30k cars, has trouble meeting the potential of suspension geometeries designed with the allowances and budgets of $100k -$200k cars.

    That being said, for '08 if there's a ALMS V8 E92 M3, you can be sure that no rock is left unturned in the effort to get enough performance out of it to beat those "volkswagons with lockwashers"*.

    *Favorite quote attributed to well-known BMW Team Owner.

  • 10-19-2006, 11:03 AM

    Re: IMSA can choose to accept homologation of whatever

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I actually respect BMW and Porsche for wanting to race what they actually sell (in representative form of course). I just think it is a bad idea to have an entire year gap in the ALMS. The series is growing, the cars are all competitive in GT2, and things are not slowing down. You miss out on a lot of fan exposure and you miss out on a lot of valuable development experience.

    I would really like to see BMW do customer cars for Le Mans. This year could have been a development year for the M3, and next year they could have been selling customer cars. I would love to see something like 3 BMW teams in ALMS all racing the M3's.

    So, if PTG is not getting factory support next year, can they drop a V8 into their current chassis and let em' rip? :D
  • 10-19-2006, 10:52 AM

    IMSA can choose to accept homologation of whatever

    vehicle a manufacturer chooses to present. It's actually close enough to M3 E92 production to make that happen but BMW likely doesn't wish to introduce the race car so far ahead of the street car. IMSA would accept any BMW production based motor (which the original GTR V8 was definitely not)so you could easily put a V8 in the existing car or even in a E92 Coupe within the rules...but this takes time and more importantly money and most importantly doesn't follow in the strategy of the boss, in this case BMW AG and BMW NA. Any privateer could build either a V8 or turbo or supercharged E whatever they want and do very well. But they would do it without the blessing of BMW. Anyone need a motorsport chassis new? ;)

  • 10-18-2006, 03:09 PM

    The street version of the V8 M3 does not exist

    That is the problem. They can't homologate the E90 M3 with the V8 until they have it in production. I don't think the numbers are a big deal, but it has to be in production. They will probably have the GTR ready soon thereafter, but it is a moot point unitl the street version is shipping as far as the ALMS is concerned. That is my understanding anyway. I don't think it is a matter of capacity to build the GTR. Of course, if they were faster getting the E90 M3 out, this wouldn't be a problem... but getting a street version done and getting a race car done are two different things.
  • 10-15-2006, 05:23 AM

    my point

    is that Panoz is such a small car maker, but they are making over 20 all-new Panoz DP01s for the Champ Car World Series next year, making a new road car, and a new race car.
  • 10-15-2006, 04:43 AM

    Where is the V-8 M3 and GT1 M6? Panoz has a new GT


    The father of a friend of mine runs Gran Prix Imports in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is an authorized Panoz dealership. His son recently told me that Panoz is working on a sports car with over 600 hp.

    My friend is John Warn and his dad is Michael Warn whose grandfather, Arthur Warn, founded Warn Industries in 1948. Think Warn winches.

    Michael founded Gran Prix Imports with Matt Crandall who was the manager of the oldest Ferrari dealership in North America.

    Motor Trend tested an Esperante GTLM for the April, 2005 issue and said that the 2006 Esperante will use a lot of carbon fiber for its chassis which will boost rigidity and drop around 100 pounds. They also said that sketches for the Esperante's replacement look "voluptuous."

    "The base engineering for the next generation of the Esperante has also been conducted by Multimatic."


    New race car coming

    I was at the ALMS Portland Grand Prix in July and I talked with a guy who is responsible for the engines for Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz. He said the reports of Panoz entering GT1 are false. They will stick with GT2.

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