|GT: GROWING WHAT'S ALREADY GREAT 2013 AND '14 BOTH SHAPING UP AS DYNAMIC SEASONS|
|Regarding the 2014 sports car merger, GT prospects are tantalizing in the 2014 sports car merger. That's with a full year of split GT action in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series still to come. One of ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton's key bullet points at the September merger announcement was that its GT class – considered by many the best GT racing currently going worldwide – would be adopted basically as-is for 2014. That's fortuitous because ALMS GT in 2013, as ever, fits the 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' template. Corvette Racing enters with a target firmly on its back after sweeping the driver, team and manufacturer titles a year ago, despite a defeat at Le Mans. Stiff competition endures from Ferrari (Extreme Speed Motorsports, Risi Competizione and possibly more), BMW Team RLL with its new Z4 and new tires, SRT Motorsports in its first full year, Porsche squads Team Falken Tire, Paul Miller Racing and the just-announced CORE autosport entry, and the TRG Aston Martin. GTC should be bolstered as well with Flying Lizard and Alex Job – two of Porsche's most successful teams – leading the single-make category's grid this year. GRAND-AM's GT grid is nothing to scoff at either, with more than 30 cars entered in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and close to half of those projected for the full season. Slightly less modified than their GTE-spec counterparts, the variety between Ferrari, Audi, Porsche, BMW and GM leaves little to be desired. Several drivers have a one last chance to race upwards of 20 times a year across the two championships. For 2014, the closer-to-production GTE-spec cars will be in one class with a mix of Rolex GT and ALMS GTC in the second. The powers-that-be have to work to ensure the OEMs – and fans – are accepting of the prospects of the same manufacturers fielding close to the same cars, or with the same nomenclature, in two different categories. Ensuring a place for both all-pro and pro-am driver distinctions is also important, particularly given the number of gentlemen drivers who bring budgets across the GT categories. Aspiration-wise, too, Rolex Series teams could consider upgrading into the higher level GT class. Conceivably, it could happen with Porsche's new 991 and Corvette's C7 likely to premiere in 2014, and if older models are made available to interested customers. GX and GT3 are the other wild cards. GX's future depends entirely on its first year in GRAND-AM, and if it stays, would best fit into the second GT class for 2014 rather than added as a third. The GT3 platform, popular worldwide, has not yet found a permanent American home but did see modified versions of the Ferrari 458 and Audi R8 debut in GRAND-AM in 2012. Reports and rumblings of a worldwide single GT platform featuring GT3 rather than GTE base is also something to ponder if not immediately, certainly down the road. Still, GT can boast an already great product across the board heading into the year. All that's left to do is increased marketing of it without diluting the customer base that's brought the fields to such great heights. Tony DiZinno is a motorsports journalist who has worked with RACER, Michelin Alley, Motorsport.com and other publications. He is a recent graduate of Marquette University and a regular contributor to ALMS.com. His blog will appear every other Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter - @tonydizinno.|
| PORSCHE 911 GT3 NAMED 2014 WORLD PERFORMANCE CARAtlanta. At a ceremony at the New York Auto Show this morning, the Porsche 911 GT3 was named the 2014 World Performance Car.|
The World Car Awards (WCA) are presented annually in four categories – Car Design, Green Car, Performance Car and Car of the Year. Winners are determined by an international panel of 69 automotive journalists from 22 countries. Jurors are appointed by the World Car Awards' Steering Committee based on automotive expertise, experience, credibility and influence.
| ZEOD RC DRIVERS HAVE A NEW SET OF BUTTONS TO PUSHLE CASTELLET, France – GT Academy winners Wolfgang Reip and Lucas Ordóñez – plus three-time Japanese Super GT champion Satoshi Motoyama – have a totally new set of buttons to learn when they jump behind the wheel of the Nissan ZEOD RC.|
While Reip and Ordóñez began their racing career pushing buttons on their PlayStation controllers, the talented racers have been learning the control systems on the Nissan ZEOD RC which will make its race debut at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
|McNISH STILL COLLECTING AWARDS FOUR MONTHS AFTER RETIRINGScotsman awarded Segrave Trophy for second time in successful Audi career|
Reigning world sports car champion Allan McNish has been awarded the prestigious Segrave Trophy for the second time in his illustrious career.
The Dumfries-born driver who announced his retirement from Audi's Le Mans sports-prototype racing programme four months ago, was awarded the silverware at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London today (Tuesday 15 Apr).
McNish became the first Briton to claim t....
| BENTLEY MOTORSPORT RETURNS TO NORTH AMERICA• Continental GT3 to compete in North America with Dyson Racing|
• First race to be Pirelli World Challenge round at Road America
• Development over 2014 in preparation for 2015 championship
• New Continental GT3 race car on display at NYIAS
(New York, 16th April 2014) After an impressive performance at the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, Italy last weekend, the new Bentley Continental GT3 is set to reintroduce the celebrated British marque to North American....
| All-new Alfa Romeo 4C Debuts at the 2014 New York Auto Show, Marks the Iconic Italian Brand's Return to North America•2014 New York Auto Show debut of all-new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe and limited-edition 4C Launch Edition marks the Italian sports car brand's return to the North American market|
•Mid-engine proportions and inspiration from the brand's racing traditions highlight Alfa Romeo 4C's purposeful design for maximum performance
•Alfa Romeo engineers leveraged advanced materials and technological solutions from Formula 1, including a carbon fiber monocoque, aluminum chassis structures and a composite bo....
|IMSA STATEMENT ON APPOINTMENT OF MARCO MATTIACCI TO FERRARI FORMULA 1 POSTDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 15, 2014) – 'On behalf of everyone at the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), I'd like to congratulate Marco Mattiacci on being chosen as the new principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team,' said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett.|
'Marco has been a tremendous partner with us, with great savvy and integrity for many years. While in his position as president and CEO of Ferrari North America, his active support of the Ferrari Challenge, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Serie....
| 2013 GT ACADEMY WINNER MCMILLEN SOLID IN BLANCPAIN SERIES DEBUT AT MONZAOregonian has GT-R as high as second in class, takes fifth in pro series debut|
MONZA, Italy – Since his GT Academy win last September, Nick McMillen has spent a lot of time on the track. His all-GT Academy team finished second in class in a 370Z NISMO at the Dubai 24 hours, and he's raced numerous times in GT4 in Europe. But his inaugural Blancpain Endurance Series race in a GT3 Nissan GT-R in the three-hour sprint at Monza last weekend felt different.
'This is the big league....