IMSA and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship are, once again, having an identity crisis. Heading into the 2014 season, IMSA needed to find a way for ALMS LMP2 and Grand-Am Daytona Prototype entries to coexist. A season and a half later, things on track are looking pretty good. While there are still balance of performance issues to be finessed (top-speed, pace on restarts), both platforms have proven to be capable of topping timesheets and winning races.
The 2017 season will bring sweeping changes to both ACO and IMSA prototype regulations. IMSA has once again found themselves tasked with reaching a compromise between stakeholders with vastly differing objectives. For the FIA and ACO, the 2017 regulation changes will try to steer the category towards a more financially accessible future. In stark contrast to their European associates, IMSA may well be fighting to keep prototype racing viable in the North American market.
Two days from now in Le Mans, Ford will formally announce what many have long suspected. Taking aim at Chevrolet, Porsche, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, the Blue Oval will return to international sportscar racing with the new, Ecoboost-powered, Ford GT.
The decision by the Holmatro Safety Team to send James Hinchcliffe directly to IU Health Methodist Hospital, bypassing the infield medical center, likely saved his life. As has been demonstrated time and time again, IndyCar’s dedicated safety crew is absolutely first rate.
I went into this event really wanting to capture the audio that I never get to hear on a TV broadcast. I wanted to share the sounds of cars moving around the paddock, the pre-grid, live commentary echoing around the track and being drowned out as the cars pass. Of course, it’s not as good as being there, but I think the results are fairly representative.
Which cars sound the best to you? While it’s hard not to love the brutality of the Chevy V8, I have a soft spot for the howl of the Porsche six.
I had mixed feelings about the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s return to Laguna Seca. While I will jump at any chance to see racecars driven in anger, the lack of LMP2 entrants was a big disappointment.