Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

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Thread: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

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    Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    The rumors began over the weekend, but since it's "officially official" now, I thought to post the details thus far...

    GRAND-AM: ALMS Merger Made Official
    John Dagys breaks down today's merger announcement and the preliminary details of the unified American sports car series...
    John Dagys | Posted September 05, 2012

    VIDEO: GRAND-AM/ALMS Merger
    RELATED: Details Of Unification Emerge

    History was made Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway when officials from GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series announced a landmark merger that will see the two American sports car racing series under one championship beginning in 2014.

    First revealed in a SPEED.com exclusive last weekend in Baltimore, the long-awaited unification had been more than six months in the making, involving GRAND-AM founder Jim France, ALMS founder Don Panoz and the series' two respective President and CEOs, Ed Bennett and Scott Atherton.

    It involves the merging the assets the Panoz Motor Sports Group, which includes ALMS/IMSA, Road Atlanta and the lease of Sebring International Raceway, into a new entity with GRAND-AM.

    No name has been given for the unified series, nor confirmation of an exact class structure for 2014. However, a number of ALMS and GRAND-AM cars were on display at the announcement, including a Corvette Daytona Prototype, SRT Viper GTS-R and Corvette C6.R ALMS cars, as well as Dempsey Racing's P2-class Lola B12/80 Judd.

    Atherton alluded to the likely inclusion of the ALMS GT category, while France confirmed the class structure will feature a mix of existing ALMS and GRAND-AM cars.

    "Our vision is that we'll see a combination of those cars and our teams, both series, competing together for the championship," France said. "It will be a very compelling championship and I believe it will truly have some global recognition."

    Both championships will continue to run individually next year, with the 52nd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2014 serving as the first official unified race.

    CONTINUE AT: http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/artic...-made-official
    Last edited by nadepalma; 09-06-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    Though ALMS and Grand-Am racing are a bit of an acquired taste for some, the merger is good news for racing fans.

    I wonder what they'll eventually call it? Since all involved seem to want to keep their association with the Le Mans' organizers at Automobile Club de L'Ouest, perhaps that needs to be incorporated into the name somehow? Grand-American Le Mans Series (GALMS), perhaps?

    Running, organizing, and promoting a racing series is really tough work. The economic climate doesn't make it any easier. In light of the CART/IRL merger and now this news, I wonder what other racing series out there could possibly look to collaporate or merge at some point down the line?
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I hope they keep the ALMS dates at Road Atlanta and VIR. That series is so much better then the Nascrap I live near.
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I'm a huge ALMS fan, specifically the corvette racing team.... I watched this news live. I think this is going to suck, but I hope they prove me wrong.

    My logic behind this is that the GT class in ALMS has nothing needed to make it enjoyable and competative. Literally, nothing. With the news of team BMW RLL leaving after this season I'm saddened. They are the next best car to the corvette. Porsche is making a run for the championship these past few races, which is cool to see.

    I watched a few grand am races the other night, there is no regard for anything in those races. People take people out all over the course in those races, ALMS is more strict and clean for the most part. Yes there is contact and crashes in ALMS, but not every 5 minutes. ALMS should be kept by itself and nothing should change.


    Sigh....

    On another note... Bring home the championship this year team vette!

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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I am thinking ALMS was needing this more than NASCAR bankrolled Grand Am. I hoping for larger DP fields throughout the season. The Corvette DP is a beautiful car.

    http://www.netcarshow.com/chevrolet/...ytona_racecar/

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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I'm hoping for but not expecting:

    1 GT class (ALMS, no need to change the C6R formula)
    1 Prototype class (no preference)
    less "rewards" penalties and more actual competition
    decent marketing. This is where the nascar side should come in
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    Road racing has never been able to grow in the US mainly because it has never been unified like stock car racing has. Even football could not grow in the US until the two leagues combined to form the NFL. We are now at a crossroads where this COULD be the beginning of another sports giant in the US.....If NASCAR does not F it up.

    Autoextremist.com says Ford and GM went to both ALMS and Grand Am and made it clear they were not going to continue to bankroll both series and that a merger needed to happen. Grand Am was started by NASCARs France family for the sole purpose of making sure the ALMS would never grow beyond a certain point. So, if both series died, they wouldn't care as long as the ALMS was gone. So, the ALMS didn't have any choice. It was either sell to the France family or die. So, it was a $20,000,000 buyout. Merger? Bull. Like Chrysler and Daimler was a merger. The ALMS people who are placed in positions of power will be run out in time because they are not part of the hillbilly France empire. The France family long ago made it clear they do not care about the technology of the cars, or actual racing. They care about *ENTERTAINMENT*. Fans of LeMans and road racing love the *CARS*. They say, "Hey, Audi won LeMans again this year!". Look at the post above where the guy is saying, "Man, I sure do love TEAM CORVETTE! I hate it that the excellent BMW team is leaving". He is not naming the drivers. Why is this important? BECAUSE IF I AM GM AND PAYING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SUPPORT AUTORACING, I WANT PEOPLE TO BE FANS OF **MY CARS**, and not just be fans of the DRIVERS like in NASCAR. The "Daytona Prototypes" are built on the exact same principal as the NASCAR cup cars. Tube chassis low tech garbage where the only purpose is to have low cost identical performing cars. The Audi LMP LeMans cars blow that crap away.

    NASCAR *MUST* understand that the road racing crowd is a completely different audience from the Cup crowd. It is much more affluent. It is much more educated. It is also much more educated about its sport. The ALMS had credibility beyond North America. These are all things NASCAR would like to tap into. BUT.......NASCAR would have to have a sea change in how they do business.

    My understanding is.....Don Panoz was not a racing promoter. He went to see The 24 Hours of LeMans in person, and it was a life changing experience for him. He came back to the US, and wanted to bring his new religion to America. Please. For the love of all that is holy......Will SOMEBODY kidnap the France family and fly them to LeMans this next June? They -CLEARLY- have no idea. The 24 Hours of LeMans is such a magical event, and has changed so many people who have gone. They need to experience it, and THEN just maybe they will "GET IT".
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I actually think that this will be over all great for both series, though initial challenge is going to be in how you combine the classes. Maybe look at which classes are the closets and combine those, I am looking forward to this.

    The reason that I am looking forward to this is often in a series everyone starts to do things the same way as time goes on. The Daytona Prototypes weigh in at 2,200 to 2,275 pounds and produce 500BHP while P1 and P2 cars weigh in at 1,980 pounds and produce 475-575 (P1) or 450-500BHP (P2). Drop the weight of the Daytona prototype by 200-275 pounds down to 2,000 pounds even and increase horsepower to 550-575BHP and it will be able to compete with the P1 class.

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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffInDFW View Post
    Road racing has never been able to grow in the US mainly because it has never been unified like stock car racing has. Even football could not grow in the US until the two leagues combined to form the NFL. We are now at a crossroads where this COULD be the beginning of another sports giant in the US.....If NASCAR does not F it up.

    Autoextremist.com says Ford and GM went to both ALMS and Grand Am and made it clear they were not going to continue to bankroll both series and that a merger needed to happen. Grand Am was started by NASCARs France family for the sole purpose of making sure the ALMS would never grow beyond a certain point. So, if both series died, they wouldn't care as long as the ALMS was gone. So, the ALMS didn't have any choice. It was either sell to the France family or die. So, it was a $20,000,000 buyout. Merger? Bull. Like Chrysler and Daimler was a merger. The ALMS people who are placed in positions of power will be run out in time because they are not part of the hillbilly France empire. The France family long ago made it clear they do not care about the technology of the cars, or actual racing. They care about *ENTERTAINMENT*. Fans of LeMans and road racing love the *CARS*. They say, "Hey, Audi won LeMans again this year!". Look at the post above where the guy is saying, "Man, I sure do love TEAM CORVETTE! I hate it that the excellent BMW team is leaving". He is not naming the drivers. Why is this important? BECAUSE IF I AM GM AND PAYING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SUPPORT AUTORACING, I WANT PEOPLE TO BE FANS OF **MY CARS**, and not just be fans of the DRIVERS like in NASCAR. The "Daytona Prototypes" are built on the exact same principal as the NASCAR cup cars. Tube chassis low tech garbage where the only purpose is to have low cost identical performing cars. The Audi LMP LeMans cars blow that crap away.

    NASCAR *MUST* understand that the road racing crowd is a completely different audience from the Cup crowd. It is much more affluent. It is much more educated. It is also much more educated about its sport. The ALMS had credibility beyond North America. These are all things NASCAR would like to tap into. BUT.......NASCAR would have to have a sea change in how they do business.

    My understanding is.....Don Panoz was not a racing promoter. He went to see The 24 Hours of LeMans in person, and it was a life changing experience for him. He came back to the US, and wanted to bring his new religion to America. Please. For the love of all that is holy......Will SOMEBODY kidnap the France family and fly them to LeMans this next June? They -CLEARLY- have no idea. The 24 Hours of LeMans is such a magical event, and has changed so many people who have gone. They need to experience it, and THEN just maybe they will "GET IT".
    Damn son, you went off. But most of that is completely true. ALMS is pure. Multi tire competition keeps things real. I LOVE the fact that there are different brands, with that the consumer wins. They are running bio fuel, e-10, and e-85, not just a standard fuel. The cars and teams are so much more involved. It's a team sport, people love to watch the cars, its not just about entertainment in ALMS, its about proving things. Tires, fuel, strategy, more than just left turns. This type of racing is in my opinion the best. There are so many factors, and my heart races every race. The GT class specifically has the best IMO racing, limits to length, width, tires, restrictors ect.... These are real cars, not just shells on skateboards. They are passing information down to the consumer on this, corvette is a HUGE example of this.

    Not to mention the michellin green x challenge. fast, clean, efficient. This is world class racing at it's best, and its not just for entertainment.

    The cars all sound different too, its not the same sound over and over again. The new viper is extremely loud, the bmw high pitched, the groan of the honda prototypes, the quiet whisper of the GTC porsches, and of course the sound in the deep, the v8 5.5L corvette.

    Don't let this breed of racing die, for it will mean the end of technological gains through real racing.

    The 24 hours of le mans is by far the best race in the world. Endurance, hard work, planning, all play a part. In 2011, team corvette won the GTE class at le mans, that was a huge, huge gain for those guys.

    ALMS for the win!
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffInDFW View Post
    Road racing has never been able to grow in the US mainly because it has never been unified like stock car racing has. Even football could not grow in the US until the two leagues combined to form the NFL. We are now at a crossroads where this COULD be the beginning of another sports giant in the US.....If NASCAR does not F it up.

    Autoextremist.com says Ford and GM went to both ALMS and Grand Am and made it clear they were not going to continue to bankroll both series and that a merger needed to happen. Grand Am was started by NASCARs France family for the sole purpose of making sure the ALMS would never grow beyond a certain point. So, if both series died, they wouldn't care as long as the ALMS was gone. So, the ALMS didn't have any choice. It was either sell to the France family or die. So, it was a $20,000,000 buyout. Merger? Bull. Like Chrysler and Daimler was a merger. The ALMS people who are placed in positions of power will be run out in time because they are not part of the hillbilly France empire. The France family long ago made it clear they do not care about the technology of the cars, or actual racing. They care about *ENTERTAINMENT*. Fans of LeMans and road racing love the *CARS*. They say, "Hey, Audi won LeMans again this year!". Look at the post above where the guy is saying, "Man, I sure do love TEAM CORVETTE! I hate it that the excellent BMW team is leaving". He is not naming the drivers. Why is this important? BECAUSE IF I AM GM AND PAYING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SUPPORT AUTORACING, I WANT PEOPLE TO BE FANS OF **MY CARS**, and not just be fans of the DRIVERS like in NASCAR. The "Daytona Prototypes" are built on the exact same principal as the NASCAR cup cars. Tube chassis low tech garbage where the only purpose is to have low cost identical performing cars. The Audi LMP LeMans cars blow that crap away.

    NASCAR *MUST* understand that the road racing crowd is a completely different audience from the Cup crowd. It is much more affluent. It is much more educated. It is also much more educated about its sport. The ALMS had credibility beyond North America. These are all things NASCAR would like to tap into. BUT.......NASCAR would have to have a sea change in how they do business.

    My understanding is.....Don Panoz was not a racing promoter. He went to see The 24 Hours of LeMans in person, and it was a life changing experience for him. He came back to the US, and wanted to bring his new religion to America. Please. For the love of all that is holy......Will SOMEBODY kidnap the France family and fly them to LeMans this next June? They -CLEARLY- have no idea. The 24 Hours of LeMans is such a magical event, and has changed so many people who have gone. They need to experience it, and THEN just maybe they will "GET IT".
    I am hoping for the best but expecting the worse. This is NASCAR after all. The new series should leave the ALMS GT field alone, eliminate the pathetic Grand-AM GT & Daytona Prototypes, keep the ties to Le Mans, keep the tech, keep the tire wars, and keep the fan atmosphere i.e. walking the grids and paddock free of charge.. In summary the new series should just continue the ALMS formula and put the damn races back on TV!
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I'm all for tire wars, could care less about fuels choices (but likely good for sponsors).

    Big thing I want is a GT class that is PRODUCTION based, ala the 60's Trans Am series, no tube frame cars, production chassis only. This is the key for me, there needs to be some sort of equaliztion to keep some parity, but the Continental Challenge series has been pretty good at this so I know it can be done (just need to be more powerfull than that). I'd also require stock block (and likely heads, in this day and age getting 500-600 Horsepower out of a stock block and heads isn't that crazy.)

    I'd prefer to see the DP style cars as (at least with the Corvette's), I can see some manufacturer recognition, where the ALMS cars don't have that.

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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by XCR440SP View Post
    I'm all for tire wars, could care less about fuels choices (but likely good for sponsors).

    Big thing I want is a GT class that is PRODUCTION based, ala the 60's Trans Am series, no tube frame cars, production chassis only. This is the key for me, there needs to be some sort of equaliztion to keep some parity, but the Continental Challenge series has been pretty good at this so I know it can be done (just need to be more powerfull than that). I'd also require stock block (and likely heads, in this day and age getting 500-600 Horsepower out of a stock block and heads isn't that crazy.)

    I'd prefer to see the DP style cars as (at least with the Corvette's), I can see some manufacturer recognition, where the ALMS cars don't have that.
    That will never happen due to driver safety. These cars are hauling ass every other weekend throughout the whole summer. Before cars became tubed chassis there was a racer seriously injured way too often. Now, we are shocked when someone is hurt.


    This is going to end very badly though. ALMS is actually racing where Grand Am is spec car racing with different cars. The fact that they limit them in everything is pitiful but that is why they have so many makes racing because every one has a chance.
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I like the idea of combining the series. I prefer watching grand am over alms because the competition has always been greater which made for better races. Alms just never seemed to have many competitors which is why i stopped watching. Alms to me always seemed like the rich mans race where as grand am seemed to be easier for the smaller guy to get into. Hopefully they can keep the cost down in the gt classes so new drivers can enter the series and be competative otherwise I will lose interest.

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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    I'm fan of both. This sounds pretty exiting to me. Its alot better than nascar.
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    Re: Official: Grand-Am & ALMS racing series will merge in 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by CorvetteAddict24 View Post
    I'm fan of both. This sounds pretty exiting to me. Its alot better than nascar.
    As long as the lameness of nascar stays out of it, left hand turns, 1 tire brand, shells on skateboard frames... that's just not racing.
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