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Audi vs. IMSA va ACO/FIA

962 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  chernaudi
In the Audi Sport topic, I posted a commentary on the new ACO regulations and possible complaints from privateers. This was fueled by comments on a certian website(www.mulsannescorner.com). The guy who runs that site is obvioulsy anti-diesel. However, it's not Audi's fault that others have struggled, as I put in the other post. In fact, I feel that IMSA tried to use competition adjustments to lure teams( namely Aston Martin) to run a full season. And we all know the can of worms that that opened. Read his comments, and read my Audi Sport post, and think for yourself.
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I don't think Mike is anti anything.
Re: (16v)

I hope so too. Especally when Mike admires a car that was pretty much a spirt of the rules breaker-the Porsche 917, a car that at first scared the living crap out of those who drove it, and broke the spirt of the late '60s LM rules.
I'm not trying to make Mr. Fuller out to be a bad guy-he's great for trying to bring attention to the technical side of Sports car racing, which has always interested me, and does a damn good job of it if I may say so- but some of his comments seem to be criticizing Audi too much for having the balls to make a bold technical choice. And I don't recall Mike saying anything bad about the R8, although it used FSI direct injection, which gave it a 1-2 lap fuel economy advantage over everyone, not to mention more power, and the whole rear of the car could be quick changed in about 4-5 minutes. He just gives that impession to me by how he rags on Audi complaining about IMSA's competition adjustments. All I can say for that is basically IMSA giveth, IMSA can taketh away-just ask Aston Martin.
Audi make a bold choice, just like with FSI, quattro, and even entering in to auto racing in 1981 after a 42 year absence, and tackling Le Mans. It also doesn't help when it seems that he doesn't consider how bad the Dyson Lolas were early in the year. An Audi R8, with 50 less hp( 550 vs 600) and with 35 more kgs of ballast( 935 vs 900) were simply kicking the crap out of them, not just in reliability, but in speed occasionally( R8 out qualified the Lolas at Mid Ohio, and ran fastest overall lap at Houston in the race, and was fastest in pre qual practice at Houston and Lime Rock). He's an American citizen, and thus allowed his right to an opinion.
Maybe if Henri Pescarolo ran his cars in the ALMS, the performance deficit wouldn't have been so bad. Because the Pescas could go as fast as the R10s at most circuits, with out IMSA's help( a Pescarolo ran a 3:30 at LM testing, a time the R10's ran in qualifing). Pescarolo kinda screwed himself at the race because 1, he didn't think that the R10's would be raced flatout almost the entire race( Audi wasn't expecting a trouble free race, so they ran a fast pace), and 2, Henri used the same tire compounds that Audi did, which didn't suit his cars.
I'm just saying that if Mike is weighing both sides of the issue, make it more clear, and don't seem as if you're blaming Audi, or IMSA, ACO or FIA for Audi making a bold technical choice and making it work. Besides, they aren't completely invincable-just ask Rob Dyson or Don Panoz. Panoz used a front engine car with a pushrod, NASCAR based 6 liter Ford V8 to beat the R8 several times. So I just want it to be known that, just like in the past, Audi's sucesses are just as much due to their competitors' shortcomings, as to their superiority.

Modified by chernaudi at 8:12 PM 11-26-2006
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Re: (chernaudi)

I've known Mike for quite a while, not to speak for him or anything but I think he wants parity among competitors (which is what most fans or engineers would want too, right?).
Re: (16v)

There should be some parity, but not by artifical means, which has angered competitors and alienated fans-the last thing sportscar racing needs, as it is growing.
There always was partiy in the R8 days to a huge degree-here's the rules, build what you want, and may the best man and machine win. And it does kinda go against what sportscar racing is all about-all make/models of cars being unique, with their own advantages and disadvantages, and who ever has the best total package should win the most races, and those who aspire to reach the goals should try to advance themselves before pleading poverty in the win column to the sactioning body.
And as for Audi being the only major factory involved in sportscar racing other that Porsche, what can be said? Even when the R8's were run by privateers, Audi Sport still helped pay for part of their expenses, just a John Judd did for Pescarolo, and Lola and AER for Dyson, at least on the development side.
Maybe I'm too far stuck in the Ford vs Ferrari, Porsche vs Ferrari, and group C days. But the point is that even when there's all privateers involved, economic Darwinism takes over.
Look at NASCAR( not to ruffle your's or Mike's feathers, but this is a prime example). None of the teams are factory owned, nor are fully factory backed. However, you have Jack Roush, Rick Hendrick( both of whom were actively involved in sportscar racing in the '80's and 90's), Richard Childress, Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi&Felix Sabbates(spelling?), and Joe Gibbs muscleing out smaller teams with fewer resources( to the degree that none other than Chris Econamaki called modern day NASCAR a charity case). And remember, the cars are built to the same rules anymore to the point that they basically look the same except for the paint scheme, sponsors, and the Ford, Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota emblems on them.
In other words, convince Toyota to stop spending money on that waste of time called F1( I'm sorry if either of you are F1 fans), where they blow I don't know, $2-300 million a year and have little or nothing to show for it, Ford, Chrysler and GM to cut back on their NASCAR programs( the same for Toyota),MB to ditch the McLaren F! team, and come back to sportscar racing, and throw Audi and capable privateers in, there'd be one helluva show every race with out constant fiddling with the friggin' rules!
But alas, that's never gonna happen, atleast soon. Ford and GM can't afford to do much else other than NASCAR, and face reduced TV exposure, MB is hemorraging money to keep Chrysler in the pink. Toyota has screwed themselves so many times at Le Mans that the figure that against Audi/VW around( Or so it seems-I'm just an outside observer, but Toyota was supposed to race at LM in'00 against the then new R8) that they can't score in a brothel, even against the relatively conventional R8, even though they probably have a good shot if everything goes right.
I thought that the ACO trying to promote advanced technology was supposed to encourage manufactures to enter sportscar racing. So far, only Peugoet has thrown their name in the hat, and who know what is to come from this( Peugoet is either really hot a friged cold- at LM in '92 and '93, they were hot, in F1 they were cold, in WRC, they were hot at first, then cold a few years later.) They're either wallowing in Champaign, or seemingly shooting themselves in the head, figuratively speaking.
Maybe a adjustment based equivancy formula is the only way to encourage mfg's back in to sportscar racing, but not the way IMSA did it this year- making adjustments every race, in what some teams( and many fans) considered to be a haphazard way that apparently drew criticism from not just team and fans, but the ACO and FIA, who could very easily suspended support of the ALMS, or fined or sued IMSA.
Hopefully, next years system( only 2 adjustment periods) will work out. Remember, Audi initailly happily agreed to the adjustmets, until it seemingly got out of hand. I want to see close racing, but I think that traditional sportscar racing( and for sure endurance events) just doesn't seem to cater to it from where I sit, and this is from a NASCAR and FIA GT fan, and from me watching ALMS/24 Hours of Le Mans races for years. I'm not trying to say that anyone is 100% right or wrong, but there are better ways of doing things like the competition adustment stuff.

Modified by chernaudi at 2:28 PM 11-27-2006

Modified by chernaudi at 2:30 PM 11-27-2006

Modified by chernaudi at 2:30 PM 11-27-2006

Modified by chernaudi at 2:34 PM 11-27-2006
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Re: (chernaudi)

I just read at another forum that Mike questions whether or not open cockpit LMPs have cockpit heating and cooling issues(actually, he says that open cars have little if any problems with this). I agree with him. Even at low speeds, there is some air circulation. I wonder what he really thinks of the ACO wanting to make all LMP1 cars closed cockpit(GTP) cars?
Re: (chernaudi)

have you asked him?
Re: (16v)

Actually, I'd of though he'd have something at his site. I don't remember anything specific other than his comentary on the extra 25kgs that all cars with out A/C would have to carry.
Also at his site( you probably already know this) there are photos of the R8's engine and gearbox. And in the Panoz LMP1 section, you'll see the that the Ford/EEP is, other that the intake and fuel injection system, and the fact that it's made out of aluminum, it's just like what Ford runs in NASCAR, and was also used in the De Tomaso Pantera, and the Ford 351 Boss Mustang( there are other differences, but that comes with Ford's complcated engine formulas/naming, ie 351 Windsor, 351 Cleveland( 2 completely different engines), 351 Boss( souped up Cleveland) and 351 SVO( Windsor/Cleveland hybrid, with alu.heads and cast iron(NASCAR) or alu(Panoz) block). In other words, without going in to too much detail, pretty low tech stuff.
But the 302 Windsor SVO engine used in Trans Am could be a good engine. It may be an old design like the other Ford engines mentioned, but it may work if someone had the guts to try. The R10's engine supposedly weights as much as 550-600lbs. The R8's weights 380-390lbs. I'll bet you and Mike that someone can get the 302 to weigh as little as 450lbs if they really tried. Use direct fuel injection, and it will get good gas milage, and the pushrod OHV system eusures good torque through out the rev range, which I feel is a problem with the Mugen 4.5 V8, and the Judd 5.0 V10. And even the EEP 6.0 V8 wasn't a very big engine from the photos.
I wonder how you and Mike feel about that ascessement? I'd ask Mike myself if I knew where I could reach him. And you'll have to do some looking at this site, but George wrote an editorial piece(FourWord: Diesel-the New Unfair Advantage) where he argues(and probably does a better job of it that I am) the point of why Audi shouldn't be criticised for their dominace. I don't like it when thems have it easy all the time, but sometimes you have to give the devil his dues. Audi never had it easy, except when others screwed up( Panoz with the LMP 07, Dyson and ( initally) Zytec trying to used old LMP 675 cars against the R8, and Dyson using a initially unproven car early in the year that struggled to finish a race). It's all about having the total package. Most of the cars that Audi raced against this year were fast in short burst, and Audi made up for their slight lack of pace with effcient pitwork, and not having major car issues. And a lot of it, if you ask me, is due to guys abusing their cars, which is not what sportscar racing is about, isn't it?
And then there's relevance in the market place. Audi wants to sell TDI cars. AER, Lola, Judd, Courage, Pescarolo, etal., don't have really anything to do with road going cars( George also touches on this somewhat in his editorial). The R10 uses technology that is shaping the next generation TDI diesel engines, just as the R8 did with FSI. And as George wrote, there should be penalties for excessively bad fuel economy and noise pollution( who ever said race cars were noise pollution is full of crap, but there isn't much we can do in this PC ruled world anyways). We are going to have to face it. This is the future, and there's little we can do to stop it. And racing is a forum to promote such automotive devlopments, and always has been.
I'm not saying that every dog shouldn't have its day, but shouldn't everyone, as George wrote( and I'm not trying to speak for him), aspire to be as good as they are, and not just winning races, but promoting the old addage "race on Sunday, sell on Monday"?

Modified by chernaudi at 8:47 PM 11-28-2006

Modified by chernaudi at 8:58 PM 11-28-2006
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Re: (chernaudi)

Quote, originally posted by chernaudi »
I'd ask Mike myself if I knew where I could reach him.

the contact link is at the bottom of the index page
Re: (16v)

I'll try and email him Thursday or Friday. I really want to know his thoughts on the current NA gasoline engines, and why no one has the guts to use the Panoz Elan/Ford SVO small block V8, the only NA engine that matched the R8's 3.6 TT V8's power and torque, or a more reliable and proven turbo engine( like the Nissan R390's and that is compaired to the said NA engines).
Re: (chernaudi)

Ok. I emailed Mike. I read the disclaimer at his site, so I know it could be a few days before I hear from him. I specifically asked him about his thought on why no team in the ALMS/LMS is using the Panoz Elan/Ford 6.0 V8-the only NA engine that matched the R8 engine's power and torque.
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