|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.|
|AUDI: GROWTH ALSO IN MOTORSPORT◾Audi Sport's activities will feature even greater diversity in 2015|
◾Le Mans prototypes and DTM as top-level commitments
◾New race car for GT racing and racing series for rookies
Ingolstadt/Neckarsulm, December 17, 2014 – AUDI AG is proud of another year of record sales. In motorsport, the brand with the four rings is poised for growth as well. The world of Audi Sport which, in addition to the motorsport commitments in factory-backed and customer sport, includes the RS models, the A....
|AUDI CELEBRATES ITS SUCCESSFUL RACERS◾More than 500 guests at Audi Sport Finale 2014 in Neckarsulm|
◾Le Mans victory, DTM titles and numerous successes in GT racing
◾Audi R18 e-tron quattro for Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen
Ingolstadt/Neckarsulm, December 18, 2014 – At the Audi Forum Neckarsulm, with more than 500 guests in attendance, Audi celebrated the Audi Sport Finale 2014, the Audi motorsport squad's traditional close of the season. The evening was centered on the success achieved in the 2014 season and bid an emot....
|IMSA BECOMES MEMBER SANCTIONING BODY OF SFI FOUNDATION• Membership Allows IMSA To Benefit From SFI's Equipment Safety Standards |
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2014) – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has formalized a membership agreement with the SFI Foundation, Inc. (SFI) in which IMSA will adopt certain SFI Quality Assurance Specifications to enhance safety at IMSA events.
SFI is a non-profit organization established to issue and administer standards for the quality assurance of specialty performa....
|SUCCESSFUL SEASON FOR AUDI SPORT CUSTOMER RACING◾Three championship wins and twelve other titles for Audi teams|
◾Endurance racing success in Germany, Belgium and the USA
◾Driver variety ranges from gentleman drivers to top-flight pros
Ingolstadt, December 15, 2014 – The Audi R8 LMS ultra has never before been as successful as in the past racing season. The teams of Audi Sport customer racing won a total of 15 titles in Australia, Asia and Europe. Three major endurance racing victories complete the track record of the successful mo....
|TEQUILA PATRÓN ESM RUNS FIRST LAPS IN HONDA COUPEShakedown test for new HPD ARX-04b Honda coupe|
◾Extreme Speed Motorsports' Scott Sharp takes the wheel for initial run
◾Race debut set for Rolex 24 at Daytona
Dec 15, 2014 -- Tequila Patrón ESM attacked the 2015 sports car racing season today by running the all-new Honda Performance Development ARX-04b Honda prototype coupe for the first time. Tequila Patrón ESM principal Scott Sharp was first inside the enclosed-cockpit racing machine.
'This HPD coupe is very exciting for us, there has ....
|McLAREN GT SIGNS OFF THE 650S GT3 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME WITH A PODIUM FINISH AT 2014 GULF 12 HOURThe 650S GT3 secured a hard-fought podium finish at the 2014 Gulf 12 Hour endurance race at Yas Marina Circuit over the weekend, signing off a successful and competitive year for McLaren GT. The works factory-run effort entered two cars as part of the final stages of the intensive development programme for the 650S GT3, bringing both cars home after a gruelling 12 hours of hard racing, finishing 3rd and 12th overall. This first competitive outing underlines the performance and reliability of th....|