Monday, September 23, 2013

ALMS at Circuit of the Americas

After qualifying the Muscle Milk car, Lucas Luhr ran straight to the back of his team's pit monitors as if he was running from the reporter. We think he probably wanted to put on a show for all the European teams in attendance for the WEC race.

Perhaps he was a bit underwhelmed by his own qualifying performance since he only had a 3 second gap to the P2 polesitter.

Having compared the lap times of the P1, P2 and GTE cars from the ALMS to those of the WEC, the WEC cars had faster lap times in general.

In P1 Picket racing really did not have any competition so we can understand if they down-tuned their engine just to run a conservative race. They have already proved that they are a match for Rebellion.

In P2 all the ALMS cars are Hondas, which we think are comparable to any Oreca or Morgan P2 chassis. But however the ALMS cars are using standard Michelin tires, while the WEC teams all have Custom tailored Dunlop and Michelins. Meaning the WEC teams are having the tire companies make them tires specifically for their chassis' configuration. The ALMS teams however do not have that luxury.

As for GTE, it was said that the ALMS teams are using 2012 spec Michelin tires. With the series merging with Grand-Am in 2014 perhaps Michelin did not see it as wise investment to make 2013 tires for ALMS teams, not knowing which direction the GTE class would take in the future.

The ALMS GTE cars were as fast as the WEC's GTE-Am cars. Incidentally the WEC's GTE-Am cars use  equipment that is at least a year old.

During the ALMS race, it was almost incomprehensible why Extreme Speed's 01 car stopped just after a couple laps to change drivers. Scott Sharp perhaps does not consider himself on par on speed with Anthony Lazarro. But Sharp knows the car better and is used to faster speeds (Indycar, P1). So the little speed advantage Anthony might have on him, Scott makes up for it with his knowledge of the car and of the racing scene. Sharp is more familiar with ALMS racing.

In the GT battle we felt Corvette Racing could have repaired the #4 C6R to allow Milner and Gavin to continue on and at least get to the 70% of the race distance.

The BMW intra-team rivalry dragged on for too long. Every time the #55 car found itself ahead of the #56, it should have simply moved over. With 3 races to go, there should not be anymore "go for the win and in case that's not possible I will help my teammate". It should be "help the championship contender at all times".  Joey Hand has nothing at stake in the ALMS, the precious time Dirk Mueller spent fighting with him could have been better used to put pressure on Antonio Garcia.