|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.|
|EFFORT RACING AND PORSCHE MOTORSPORT ANNOUNCE EXPANSION OF YOUNG DRIVER PROGRAM IN NORTH AMERICAHouston, Texas, January 28, 2015. Pirelli World Challenge GT-A champions EFFORT Racing and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) have announced the next step in Porsche's overall strategy to search and support young sports car racing driving talent - the new Porsche Motorsport North America Young Driver Program for 2015.|
The two drivers who will pilot the EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R racecars are veteran Ryan Dalziel (Winter Park, Florida) and Michael Lewis (Laguna Beach, Califor....
|IMSA, FERRARI CHALLENGE NORTH AMERICA ANNOUNCE THREE-YEAR EXTENSIONFerrari Challenge North America To Continue Under IMSA Sanction Through 2017|
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2015) – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Ferrari Challenge North America today announced a three-year extension of its partnership to continue running the Ferrari Challenge under IMSA sanction in North America through the 2017 season. Established in 1993, and now in its 22nd year, Ferrari Challenge also has series in Europe and Asia Pacific.
|A DAY OF CLASSICS – VOLKSWAGEN TRIO EXTENDS ITS LEAD AT THE 'MONTE'Volkswagen duos defy difficult conditions at the Rally Monte Carlo|
◾Ogier/Ingrassia, Latvala/Anttila and Mikkelsen/Fløene lead rivals by just short of a minute
◾Day three: extremely tricky tyre selection for infamous 'Monte' stages
Three doses of pure 'Monte' – Volkswagen overcame extremely demanding conditions and a hugely difficult tyre selection to extend its three-car lead at the top of the overall standings at the Rally Monte Carlo. With just the final Sunday of rallying to come, Sébas....
|BMW TEAM RLL FINISHES 2ND AND 4TH AT 53RD ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA; NO. 25 BMW FINISHES ONLY .478 SECONDS FROM VICTORYWoodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 25, 2015… BMW Team RLL finished second and fourth in this weekend's 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona on the 40th anniversary of BMW Motorsport's very first race in North America and the start of the 1975 IMSA season for the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL. With car numbers chosen to honor that car, the No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM finished second and the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM took the checkered flag fourth.|
Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus, Bruno Spengler, and Dirk Werner completed 725 laps ....
|ACTION EXPRESS RACING WINS THIRD SEGMENT, PROTOTYPE LEAD TIED AT 18-HOUR MARK OF PATRÓN ENDURANCE CUP AT ROLEX 24◾PC-Leading CORE autosport Captures Third Consecutive Segment|
◾Corvette Racing Leads GTLM, Riley Motorsports Takes Narrow GTD Class Lead
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2014) – Joao Barbosa leapfrogged three competitors shortly before the end of the 18th hour of the 53rd Rolex 24 At Daytona due to quick work by the Action Express pit crew. That enabled the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP co-driven by Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais to win the five points for leading the T....