Monday, September 2, 2013

Token Privateer

We are still fuming at Rebellion Racing's decision to ditch the ALMS for the WEC. If they were really worried about escalating costs, and still some meaningful racing for 2013, the ALMS would have been a more than adequate choice rather than the WEC.

So far they haven't had a single overall victory (even though they did get overall race win points at Sebring but not the overall winner's trophies), despite racing in a global series we are willing to bet they have had less fan exposure than either Dyson racing much less Muscle Milk.

We can only speculate as to why they decided to leave the ALMS. We believe during the 3 races they had inthe ALMS this year, Rebellion's Lola B12/60 was already in its final evolution. Meaning the car had all the latest updates it would receive for the season Lola Cars was no longer developing the chassis. Despite being faster in qualifying than the Muscle Milk HPD ARX, in race trim Honda was more than a match for the Lola.

Yet for the first 3 races of the 2013 season, the Honda was running in its 2012 configuration, namely it was an ARX-03a, meaning it had the classical smaller front tires at the front and bigger ones at the rear. During that time at Sebring Muscle Milk was having the best of Rebellion until - ahem - Klaus Graf had a moment of over exuberance. But then Muscle Milk won the next 2 races.

After LeMans Muscle Milk's car became and ARX-03c, that's when it acquired the large front wheels which allow faster cornering, and incidentally it became a faster car. Given Muscle Milk's seemingly generous budget had it been necessary during the season they could have probably commisoned Wirth Research for a wing extension device Toyota pioneered, which might make them even more of a threat.

Maybe at the thought of all that Rebellion decided they rather be beaten by factory teams and collect their token Privateer trophy in the WEC rather than being beaten by an equal.

As we said above this is only pure speculation. In the ALMS they would have been a much more valuable entertainment component then they currently are in the WEC. Despite the global presence we even wonder if the WEC's viewership and fan participation is greater than that of the ALMS'.
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On a side note, now that Muscle Milk has clinched the ALMS championship we would love to see them do a one off WEC race during the WEC/ALMS double header weekend at Circuit of the Americas (September 20th-22nd). This would only be logical. Strakka racing had a fully updated ARX-03c, but were not geared for victory the way Greg Pickett's troops are. So yeah we are longing to see how this Honda would do against the Audis and the Toyota.