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2015 IMSA GTLM Lookahead
2015 IMSA GTLM Lookahead
October 08 2014 03:32:44 AM ESTSportscar 365
2014 was a difficult year a number of levels. We had a merger of the two major sportscar racing entities in the United States, new cars, new tracks, new rules, bad calls, no calls, balance of performance...the list goes on and on.

Corvette's mid-season performance adjustment were obviously out of line, and something was going on behind the scenes that no one wanted to talk about. All became clear Monday morning after Petit Le Mans.

Headlines broke that Chrysler was discontinuing the factory Viper GTLM program effective immediately. Earlier in the season when it was announced that they were pulling their 24hr of Le Mans entries, it was clear that a review of the program was happening. Viper sales have been poor since the new Viper was launched, possibly due to the overwhelming competition by the new Corvette Stingray and the upcoming Z06 for a fraction of the Viper's price.

Looking back, it was clear that Chrysler was communicating with IMSA behind the scenes and they wanted to get something out of their investment before pulling the plug. In our opinion, this is very unfortunate for everyone involved. It takes an army of people and countless hours of dedication and time away from family to even get a program of this scale up and running, let alone running smooth and having a competitive car. On average, it takes a manufacture three years to have a well oiled and competitive team. In just it's 2nd full year of competition, SRT Motorsports managed to win the driver's championship. It has to be a shock to the system to have the high of winning the championship, then the next day be told that you are out of a job.

We salute the people like Ralph Gilles who are the true enthusiast who know what it takes and know what a program like this does for a company. Unfortunately in the corporate world, the bean counters almost always win. Those at Chrysler do not understand that despite lack of sales, Viper is the flagship for the entire Chrysler corporation. Corvette does not race just to sell Corvettes. It has taken many years for people like Doug Fehan to convince GM execs that. And when the times got tough, and GM went bankrupt, all of the programs were reviewed and Corvette Racing survived because the ROI was realized. Ask any fans at the race track and they will say they own more that one Chevy product.

Corvette Racing is a 15 year veteran of the sport and is clearly here for the long term. That being said, BoP has been a hot topic this season. It was noted by some fans that were present at the Corvette Corral at Petit that Doug Fehan, although democratic, was clearly aware and unhappy about the BoP situation. Corvette Racing ambassador Ron Fellows was said to be a little less democratic. Either way, a meeting with IMSA is in the works.

Risi Competizione has had a rough couple of years. Since the rise of AF Corse, Ferrari has not given the support to Risi like they once did. And to top it all, the team has had 3 cars destroyed in the past 2 seasons. All of that combined with bad luck and lack of anything in return has caused some stress. To top it all, the pit lane accident at Petit Le Mans, and IMSA's lack of action sent team owner Giuseppe Risi and team over the edge. Risi's decision to continue racing in the IMSA series is now in question.

Team RLL is confident that they will be back for 2015 with the V8 powered BMW Z4s. The current Z4 was always planned to only be used through 2015 with a replacement for 2016. It was just anounced that BMW will be developing a M6 GT3 for its future motorsport program. No word yet if a GTE or Le Mans spec version will be made. They may still be waiting for confirmation of "GT convergence" like many manufacture's.

Falken, winners of Petit Le Mans for the 2nd year running, have just announced that Falken will continue in the Tudor Championship for 2015. They are currently trying to acquire more sponsors for the possibility of running a 2nd car. Something that the team has had as a goal for a few years now. Falken has gained some success over the past few years and is now a serious contender.

Core Autosport took on the huge task of being to new home of Porsche North America's new factory team for 2014. Out of the gate they won Dayton and Sebring and ended up taking home the team and manufacture's championship. Look for them to be a strong force in 2015 as well.

At this time it is unknown if Aston Martin will make a return to IMSA competition. They left the 2014 season early after frustrations with BoP.

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Last comment:
Any word on Schumacher yet? Been a ~year now...
--- 72 from st. coll. on 12.15.2014 at 6:22PM

2014 Petit Le Mans: Results
2014 Petit Le Mans: Results
October 06 2014 10:55:22 PM EST
Going into the final race of the season, we all knew that Corvette Racing didn't stand a fair chance at victory. At the start of the weekend the Corvettes were seen at the top of the time charts in practice, but qualifying brought out the truth. They qualified 6th and 9th.

Any remote chance of the driver's championship disappeared after hour 2 of the race when a traffic jam in pit lane destroyed the front end of the #3 Corvette.

The #4 had a chance at the NAEC but couldn't keep pace with the Porsches at the end.

#4 finished 4th, #3 finished 8th 3 laps down.

Kuno Wittmer (Viper) won the driver's championship. Porsche won the manufacture's championship. The #912 won the NAEC team championship, and Porsche claimed the NAEC for manufacture's.


"The car was pretty good. We were sure it would be, and it showed. I was putting a lot of pressure on some cars and there were a lot of really tight moments, especially in traffic. I had to be both careful and aggressive. It was a very smooth first stint. In the second, I started to be more aggressive where I could pass two or three cars and got up to fourth. We had a really good last stop where I stayed in while coming in fourth. We went out in the lead and that was the first time we encountered the red light at the end of the pits. Kyle (Millay, engineer) told me right before we pitted that I needed to be careful with the red light, and I told him that I would take care of getting in the fast lane and he needed to tell me if the light was on or not. It's very difficult going from the pit box to the fast line and checking your mirror, and on top of that checking to see if the red light is on. I stopped but while I was sitting there I almost got hit by everyone - five or 10 seconds later I could see a big cloud of smoke coming at me. On the third stop we got unlucky because we were leading but was only halfway through a fuel stint."


"Leaving the pits, a bunch of us came out at the exact time so we were going down to the exit at the same time. Kyle (Millay, No. 3 engineer) was telling me over the radio that the pit lane was red so I knew I had to start to slow down. I couldn't see the Ferrari in front of me because the Porsche was covering him. And then I was going to slow at the same rate as him, and he seemed to be slowing down a little and I just followed him. Apparently he was still doing his belts so he just rammed the Ferrari and stopped right in front of me and kind of jumped sideways. If he had stopped there, it would have been fine and I would have slipped by. But he bounced out to the side in front of me and I collected him in his rear corner and did a lot of damage to the front of our car. It's so tough."


"It was great to come and finish the season with the team. I have had a lot of fun driving with these guys this year. It's a huge honor to drive the C7.R for Corvette Racing - a great experience. Obviously we wish we could have won the race today. We fought hard but unfortunately had the bodywork to repair early, which got us out of the game. So it was a bummer. I think we were able to shine at times, but at that time we were leading the race, and after that we were out of contention."


"We had a lot of promise today. We led for some of it, which is good to do. It was nice to be running up front on genuine pace as well, which was good. It just didn't quite run for us with the cycling of the pit stops and we were maybe missing a little bit of pace toward the end. We just couldn't quite hold off the Porsche and Viper. But that is what we saw at COTA. That is kind of the story to the end of the season. But I am pleased that we had a strong performance, particularly on our car because it has been a battle this year. I'm pleased for the guys for us to have a clean race with no mechanical issues and a strong race for the No. 4 car and Corvette Racing, so I'm going to take that and carry it to 2015 and look forward and not back."


"The first stint was tough. We had made some changes from warmup. I thought the car felt OK but I had only done four laps and the other guys were a little bit apprehensive. The car was difficult to drive for the first hour but made some tire pressure changes and equalized them as well. It definitely put us in the ballpark as far as balance goes. The car seemed fast. Pace-wise we seemed OK. Then it was about staying out of trouble. Unfortunately we saw our teammates have trouble at the pit exit. We knew that if we could stay away from that, we'd be in OK shape. It was so close in GTLM and everyone was racing hard even though it's a 10-hour race. Things happen."

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comments:I'll follow. I'll support CR as best as I can. With all of the announcements thus far it looks like kind of a dull class in GTLM for TUDOR. I really hope CR jumps to the WEC.
--- screx0472 from unknown on 10.07.2014 at 10:57PM

2014 Petit Le Mans: What to Expect
2014 Petit Le Mans: What to Expect
September 25 2014 09:21:27 PM EST
Going into the merger, everyone collectively on both side said the same thing......leave GTLM alone. For years, the ALMS GT class had been the closest and most competitive GT racing in the world. The new IMSA, now under ownership of NASCAR, have managed to destroy all that was good about that class by using a sledge hammer, instead of a scalpel to managed BoP/AoP throughout the 2014 season, on top of the countless terrible officiating calls.

Corvette Racing was not alone when it came to being shafted by the IMSA technical team.
-Ferrari went from being far off pace to being the class of the field, winning 2 races in a row with ease, then at COTA was dead last over 1.5 seconds off pace.
-Corvette managed to win 4 races in a row, mainly due to slower prototype traffic getting in the way of the other GTLM competition. They were never the quickest, but was handed a massive weight penalty. Clearly a move by IMSA to manage the points battle.
-Porsche won the first 2 races then went silent. Mid season they got some huge BoP breaks but still managed to be mediocre until the final BoP of the season was released before COTA. Porsche goes out and qualifies 1-2-3. Guess who has been sandbagging?
-Viper may be the only car that BoP was managed properly all year, and their results clearly show it.

IMSA will advertise that the GTLM points battle is extremely close and it all comes down to the last race. Anyone can win the championship! That may be true on paper, but we know the truth. The hand writing is on the wall unless there is some bizarre attrition at Petit.

For the sake of the sport, this is not fair for the fans, drivers, teams, or all the manufactures who write the checks to keep this series alive.

We have heard from many fans that had purchased tickets to go to Petit, but have chosen not to go because of the BoP situation. We have also heard from many fans who will not be watching the race on TV. Keep in mind many of these fans are also customers of these manufactures. If these customers steer away from the series, so may the manufactures if this series does not get it together for the 2015 season and beyond.

TUSC Team Points Post-COTA
1. 300 points - #93 Viper
2. 293 points - #3 Corvette
3. 283 points - #91 Viper
4. 277 points - #62 Ferrari
5. 276 points - #55 BMW
6. 275 points - #56 BMW
7. 270 points - #912 Porsche
8. 262 points - #4 Corvette
9. 252 points - #911 Porsche
10. 230 points - #17 Porsche

TUSC Manufacture Points Post-COTA
1. 308 points - Dodge
2. 308 points - Porsche
3. 300 points - Chevrolet
4. 300 points - BMW
5. 294 points - Ferrari

Tequila Patron NAEC Team Points Post-Watkin Glen
1. 28 points - #4 Corvette
2. 27 points - #911 Porsche
3. 27 points - #3 Corvette
4. 26 points - #91 Viper
5. 25 points - #912 Porsche
6. 25 points - #93 Viper
7. 21 points - #55 BMW
8. 19 points - #56 BMW
9. 18 points - #57 Ferrari
10. 12 points - #62 Ferrari
11. 10 points - #17 Porsche

Tequila Patron NAEC Manufactures Points Post-Watkin Glen
1. 36 points - Porsche
2. 35 points - Chevrolet
3. 32 points - Dodge
4. 23 points - BMW
5. 18 points - Ferrari

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Last comment:
Sorry to see Team SRT leaving, but from the time they pulled out of LeMans I just had a feeling they weren't long for the Series. In my opinion, bad move, the Viper vs Corvette rivalry is a big thing. I do res[pect their program, they had no control over the BOP situation, and they ran hard and clean all season, and all their drivers are good guys and very competent drivers, so congrats to Team SRT, sad to see you go. The hot rumor going is that Ford may be taking their place with either a new GT or a Mustang in GTLM, that would be great to see. If you long-timers recall, Ford dominated the GTS/GT1/GTO and TransAm series not that long ago with Mustangs, Merkur XR4's and Mercury Cougars fielded by Roush Racing. And, who can forget back in the mid 60's when Enzo Ferrari dissed Henry Ford and he spent big $$$ to beat Ferrari at LeMans, that could be fun to see again, I was too young to see it then, but now would be great. I have no doubt that GM Corvette Racing will be very vocal in the IMSA meetings, so here's hoping we go to Daytona with a fighting chance to put a Corvette on the top step of the podium on Sunday afternoon. A disappointing season to be sure, but it's over now, looking forward to hopefully better things in 2015.
--- GS10tk from Syracuse, NY on 10.07.2014 at 12:12AM

2014 COTA: Results
2014 COTA: Results
September 21 2014 10:47:01 PM ESTNigel Dobbie
Going into the double-header weekend at Circuit of the Americas, we were very excited and hopeful for both the IMSA and WEC race. We were prepared for a mega post-race weekend write-up...but after seeing the results, it was epically depressing on all fronts.

Tudor United Sports Car Championship (IMSA):
Going into the weekend Corvette Racing received an AoP "break" and gave back some of its rewards weight and air restrictions.....Results did not follow.

Corvette Racing qualified 7th and 9th and finished the race 9th and 10th. Garcia looses the driver's points lead, and Chevrolet slips further back in the manufacture's championship. Jake is not amused.

"The first part of the stint was good. I was able to challenge and overtake some of the cars that had been faster than us earlier in the week. It was obvious that we were struggling with overall pace. I tried my best to keep up during those two hours but that didn't make much of a difference in the end. It's disappointing result for the weekend but we need to recover at Petit Le Mans."

"This is not a pleasant feeling. The results for both cars today are not what we are used to. Antonio drove well during his double stint and made up a few positions early. But things went south for us in the second part of the race. The track conditions changed drastically in my stint as the surface got hotter, plus I had a braking issue that hampered our efforts. Now we have to focus on Road Atlanta and do what we can to move Antonio and Chevrolet back into the championship lead at the end of the last race."

"Obviously it was another tough day for us in the No. 4 Corvette. We continue to struggle with the pace of our competitors. It gets more and more frustrating. It was a challenge all weekend with the weather and track conditions. The rear tire pressures went up very high in the middle of the stint which made the car difficult to drive. Plus there was an issue with the passenger door on the driver exchange. Again it's another example of how things have gone for us this year. Hopefully we can end on a positive note at Road Atlanta."

"We kept it close with the big pack there for awhile and that was fun racing. We were just a little bit behind the eight-ball in terms of pace. We had to keep our nose clean and hope that some of our competitors ahead of us make mistakes so we can move up that way. The car was pretty good. There was a bit of understeer for part of the stint but it got better at the end."

"We had hopes of returning to podium contention this weekend but obviously it wasn't meant to be. Things aren't working in our favor in a number of areas. That shouldn't take away from the effort of Corvette Racing to control the factors we can control. Today's race was disappointing but we still have a very important race to close the year at Petit Le Mans. We will regroup and be ready."

FIA World Endurance Championship (ACO):
Getting this one-off WEC race program together was no small effort. Their intentions were to fight for victory, but just as seen in the IMSA race, results did not follow.

The #65 Corvette qualified last in class and finished the race last in class



2:03.302 - Porsche #910 (P1 in GTLM Qualifying)
2:04.847 - Corvette #3 (8th in GTLM Qualifying, quickest of the Corvettes)

2:04.411 - Porsche #910 (Quickest overall GTLM race lap)
2:05.956 - Corvette #4 (Quickest Corvette race lap)

2:05.245 - Ferrari #51 (Quickest overall GTE lap in Q)
2:06.878 - Corvette #65 (Quickest Corvette lap in Q)

2:06.122 - Aston Martin #97 (Quickest overall GTE race lap)
2:06.446 - Corvette #65 (Quickest Corvette race lap)

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It's really sad that I'd look forward to each race, and get antsy during the off-season, but I've kind of lost interest now...I'm pretty sure I hate IMSA.
--- Shifter from unknown on 09.25.2014 at 4:18PM

2014 COTA: Double-Duty
2014 COTA: Double-Duty
September 10 2014 06:12:41 PM EST
Corvette Racing will be bringing 3 cars to Circuit of the Americas. 2 main cars for the Tudor Championship, and 1 car for the 6hr World Endurance Championship race.

Seen above is the special livery for the WEC car, sporting the #65. This one-off race will be driven by the all-American driver lineup of Tommy Milner, Jordan Taylor, and Ricky Taylor.

All 3 drivers will be pulling double duty and will be racing in both the TUSC and WEC race on the same day.

To add to the excitement, the WEC race will be the first race ever to be run into the night at COTA.

Fans who have access can watch the WEC race live on Fox Sports 2, or you can use the commercial free, paid subscription streaming WEC app for Apple and Android mobile devices. Good news for those who have FS2, you will get the good ol' Radio Le Mans crew calling the race just as will the paid subscribers using the app.

BoP for the WEC round will be near identical to Le Mans but with a reduction in fuel capacity for everyone and the Corvette does get a very slight air restrictor increase (bigger opening).

The normal 2 car team will be looking for redemption in the penultimate round of the Tudor Championship. Corvette Racing was handed a heavy performance adjustment after having 4 wins in a row, and have been nowhere since. Championship points are closing and now it's go time.

Jan Magnussen, who sat out the last race due to a concussion from an accident in practice, will be rejoining Antonio Garcia in the #3 car.

Garcia/Magnussen won the COTA round last year in the ALMS and are looking to repeat.

Antonio Garcia and the #3 team still hold the points lead for Drivers and Team, but just.

Driver's Points Post-VIR:
1. Antonia Garcia 270pts
2. #93 Viper -6pts
3. #55 BMW -20pts
#56 BMW -20pts
#91 Viper -20pts

Porsche leads the manufactures points over Chevrolet (276-274) with Dodge third on 273 and BMW fourth on 272. Porsche North America will be running at 3rd car in the Tudor GTLM class in hope to give them an extra bullet in the gun for the manufactures championship.

AoP adjustments can be seen here: - Corvette looses 15kg and restrictor enlarged 0.3mm. BMW gains 25kg and restrictor enlarged 0.4mm. Ferrari restrictor is made smaller by 0.3mm.

The full weekend's schedule can be found HERE

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@TR6speed, I do know the regs are different for the WEC, but doesn't it seem a bit strange to you that a BOP adjustment was made to the Corvette even though the only race we compete against those cars was at LeMans? Last place in both the IMSA and WEC events does say something to me, especially when it involves one of the consistently best teams in all of racing. The whole thing just really pisses me off, but I'm sure most on here have figured that out and maybe even shared my sentiment by now.
--- GS10tk from Syracuse, NY on 09.22.2014 at 11:11PM

2014 VIR: Results
2014 VIR: Results
August 24 2014 07:44:04 PM EST
First, We all know the current BoP is a joke. The Corvettes have been so far off pace since the post-Mosport BoP changes that they have not been able to make it past mid-field and have been holding up the competition. Every other car in the GTLM class has been able to drive past the Corvettes in a head-to-head battle.

Saturday, Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette C7.R was involved in a major accident with the #911 Porsche. There was oil on the track. the Porsche ran over it and slid off. The Corvette soon followed and made door-to-door contact at a high rate of speed. The onboard data recorder showed a 16G impact. The driver of the Porsche suffered a broken arm. Jan Magnussen was not released to race on Sunday due to a possible concussion. Jordan Taylor filled in for Jan, but this effectively takes Mags out of the championship.

The team rebuilt the totaled C7.R in about 2 hours and was able to make qualifying. The Porsche was destroyed, but they had a spare tub available.

The #3 qualified P6, only 0.05 seconds off the front row. The #4 crew admittingly missed on the setup and qualified P9.

On race day, because of the huge handicap that IMSA has on the Corvettes, the competition was able to just drive by them on the straights once again. The lack of pace from the Corvette caused stack up and frustration caused the #911 Porsche to take out the #4 Corvette. This is the 5th race this season a Corvette has been taken out by a competitor.

The lack of consistent officiating has gotten to the point that it is literally a joke on social media. The Porsche that took out the Corvette was never given a penalty. The #93 Viper also made avoidable contact with another car and was not given a penalty.

The #3 Corvette ran a flawless race, but was only able to finish P7. the #4 Corvette finished 4 laps down after pitting for major repairs after the avoidable contact from the Porsche.

Driver's Points Post-VIR:
1. Antonia Garcia 270pts
2. #93 Viper -6pts
3. #55 BMW -20pts
#56 BMW -20pts
#91 Viper -20pts

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Last comment:
Live streaming at is not what I was hoping to see - what happened to IMSA's video of the race???
--- mikefeeser from unknown on 09.20.2014 at 12:13PM


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