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harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





BMB5150 posted:

Yeah just wanted to get the OP and sportscar stuff. SuperGT I'm not well versed in (harperdc, you're being called) but can definitely can get a little thing for Blancpain.

I'll get something together tonight.

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harperdc
Jul 24, 2007









Super GT - Top Sports-car Racing Fun Time!

The beauty of sports-car racing is how specialized it becomes in different places while using some of the same pieces. This holds true for the Autobacs Super GT championship, Japan's top-level sports car series and one of the more competitively balanced, interesting, and fun-to-watch racing series out there. With a 20-plus year history, a legacy of awesome and batshit crazy cars, and fun action, it should definitely be on your radar.

The Super GT series consists of two classes: GT500 and GT300. This means there are two races within the event happening at the same time. GT500 cars have white windshield strips, white headlights and white number plates; the GT300 cars use yellow. All cars have two drivers, with some teams using three for the 1000 kilometer endurance race in the season. Pit stops are mandatory, tires and fuel etc.



GT500 is the top level class. Teams campaign factory and factory-supported cars in the form of the Nissan GT-R, the Honda NSX (sans hybrid), and from 2017, the Lexus LC500. These cars are built using a shared tub with DTM, and also use the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbo base as also agreed with DTM. The teams develop their engines and aerodynamics, in addition to the rest of the chassis.

Each manufacturer has good and bad teams. The last few years, the #1 Motul Nissan and #12 Calsonic Nissan were the standouts (the #24 and 46 both competitive), the #38 ZENT Toyota and #37 Keeper TOM'S car were the lead Lexus cars, and the Hondas were...there, I guess? The #17 Keihin car competed, but on the whole, the NSXes haven't been fast enough. Hopefully their trials and tribulations will lift a bit next year, as Mugen returns with a team in the championship too.

The last few years have seen the factory Motul Nissan team match consistency with speed and win the title, but with much of the same in 2016, one of the longest-running teams in the competition, the #39 Denso SARD team, FINALLY took home the title at the last race of the year. This means a driver's title for former Worst Thread favorite Heikki "Fast Heikki" Kovaleinen, who's now enjoying life as a factory driver in Japan.

There's enough good drivers and balance between three makes to mean the racing is great, and even between drivers in the same make, there are great battles. The "red" and "blue" Nissans have gone at each other as hard as any drivers in the world at times, same with the Lexuses. It's fantastic to watch.



GT300 is the lower-level class and consists of cars following two main rulesets: GT3 and JAF (Japan Auto Federation aka Super GT). Plenty of GT3 cars are represented in Super GT, including the Nissan GT-R, Mercedes AMG-GT and SLS, Lamborghinis, BMWs, Porsche 911s, Audi R8s, etc. All the ones you'd expect from privateers.

The other cars fall under homologation from the Japan Auto Federation, thus allowing for some wonderfully batshit crazy local creations to join the party. These come in a couple flavors. First, you have the infamous Toyota Prius. Operated by a Toyota dealer team in central Japan, the two cars are shaped like Prius sedans and used the Prius hybrid drivetrain but are mid-engined and make use of a Toyota LMP engine. Again, in a Prius.

The other factory-supported oddity is the Subaru BRZ, which is operated by Subaru Sports and makes use of a standard layout but uses the old WRC engine. This sounds absolutely sensational in person, btw.

The second format are what's called Mother chassis cars. These are a common tub/safety cell and share a "GTA" V8 engine roughly based on an older Nissan V8. Four teams competed with these last year, three as Toyota 86s (including the Tsuchiya team which won the championship) and one as the Lotus Evora. Another one has been unveiled in the offseason - another Toyota dealer team, running a Mark X sedan based off the Mother chassis.

That all these cars are balanced well to be competitive is reason enough to watch Super GT.



The last point to make is regarding the tires. To put it simply: Super GT is the last series with an active tire battle between multiple manufacturers. In GT500 and GT300, Michelin, Bridgestone, and Advan (Yokohama), and Dunlop all provide teams with tires that are developed throughout the year and actively help the teams to go farther than they could on a spec tire. Secretly, that's the reason why Super GT and DTM haven't shared a race yet - DTM cars on spec Hankooks would get smoked by any of the Super GT crews.

How fast are they? This year, the GT500 race fastest lap at Fuji Speedway was a 1:30.6. That's two seconds faster than the best in-race time for the WEC LMP2 cars. A lot of that is down to the sticky, sticky rubber.

=================

How and When to Watch

If you're in Japan, it's o...okay so you're not in Japan. Well, luckily for you, Nissan has helped support promotion of the series by putting the Japanese coverage live on YouTube with commentary support from Radio LeMans. You can find the Super GT races at the NISMO.TV YouTube page, and if you're in a time zone to watch, or just want to watch afterwards, give it a shot. The 2016 races they covered are also up still. This is the final round of the season, for instance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s7wvfN_7bI

Now, to complete an otherwise long guide about Super GT, here's the 2017 Schedule:

Round 1 - Okayama - April 8-9
Round 2 - Fuji Speedway - May 3-4
Round 3 - Autopolis - May 20-21
Round 4 - Sportsland SUGO - July 22-23
Round 5 - Fuji Speedway - August 5-6
Round 6 - Suzuka Circuit - August 26-27
Round 7 - Chang Int'l Circuit (Thailand) - October 7-8
Round 8 - Twin Ring Motegi - November 11-12

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oDWQf0ATcA

LETS ENJOYING GT RACING 2017!!!

harperdc fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 09:28

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Alain Post posted:

yeah the rally was good btw. Still need to un-neuter the events and get some properly long rallies back in the sport.

Bring Safari Rally back to WRC please.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Marshall Pruett has been doing write-ups on the new P2 / DP chassis in the lead up to Daytona this weekend, one thing I didn't realize about the Oreca is that the tub is based off the prior P1/P2 tub...aka the tub a lot of teams were using last year, including Rebellion's P1 car. So it's really no shock they wound up in P2 this year.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





I forgot just how good the AMG V8s sounded, my goodness FWIW the Lexus GT3 sounds great too.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Powershift posted:

The best pert of 24 hour racing is the slow descent into madness that sleep deprivation brings.

Slow?

And yeah I think the "broadcast" on IMSA TV is blacked out in the US, but the in-cars with RLM should be visible. Listening to the radio call via the app right now until I get home again.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





CactusWeasle posted:

Was.... was the IMSA Twitter hacked?

I have no clue why it's all Darth Vader themed but I guarantee it will garner at least one Racer and one Jalopnik article.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Peanut President posted:

Maybe "Retiree in Florida Hits Mazda With Cadillac, Drives Away To Pick Up Rolex"

This is beautiful.

Different car but the shenanigans AER were doing with the 31 car...a bit of karma eh.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Powershift posted:

Went and did some poo poo, came back, instantly ginetta in the wall.

I can only assume the part i missed was completely uneventful smooth sailing, as there still appear to be cars driving around the track.

also, lol, mahk webbah posing for the camera.

I think you missed like two other caution periods, it's been a rash of yellow flags the last two hours.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





That Ferrari is going to go "pole to win" in the most roundabout way possible. Long tangled with the #22 AMG and the Ferrari opens up the gap more.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





And now it's SVG on old tires vs. Whincup in the Ferrari on new tires. HERE WE GO

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Safety car due again, SVG's AMG put one of the Porsches into the wall just after the Chase.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Penalty announced for the 22, and now SVG has stuffed it into the wall.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Mcqueen posted:

poo poo can a Porsche. poo poo can yourself. Park in the middle of the road. Good job

the 22 punted the 88 Ferrari earlier in the day too

[edit] Engel "All I've seen this weekend is a lot of mistakes from Shane" FUuuuuuuuuuuuuck

harperdc fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2017 around 06:36

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Maro Engel shot his loving shot though boy, my goodness

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Bathurst 12 Hour has just gone full clownshoes plaid.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





The SVG Apology Tour underway.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Alain Post posted:

anyone following MotoGP testing, I'd give a shout out to Vinales as a good bet to win the title but he's already the second favorite on most betting sites so the odds actually aren't worth it probably

Still hoping that Iannone/Suzuki works out

I hope Iannone keeps the Suzuki sticky-side down, he lives up to his name and caned the Ducati way up the grid last year but crashed far too often.

A four-way title fight of Marquez, Rossi, Vinales and Iannone with the factory Ducatis not far off would be faaaaaantastic.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





DirtRoadJunglist posted:

Not gonna rate Lorenzo very highly on the Duke yet, then?

Nope. Haven't seen updated practice times, but the Ducati always takes guys time to adjust. I'm sure he'll be close, but this feels like an off year.[edit] if you're going to trust one of Dovi or Lorenzo to get it right with the Ducati, do you go with the guy who knows the bike, or the alien? I feel like it's almost even, and the Suzuki will be better anyways.

I also can't remember offhand if any fuel/etc allowances that Ducati and Suzuki both got to encourage and help them will go away.

harperdc fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2017 around 05:41

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Alain Post posted:

Kenny Roberts Jr. is becoming a MotoGP Legend!

I know people will scoff at that one but he's one of a very small number of 500cc/MotoGP riders to win a title while not on one of the top bikes.

Now I need to go back and read again how that even happened. I think it was just consistency while everyone else threw things away.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Yeah, I caught up more with that afterwards. It really does sound like the weak field situation. KR Jr knew the bike at a time when Criville wasn't super hot and Yamaha was doing an impression of an Italian team.

Also read a bit more about this year's testing, and Ducati's mystery box. What's in the box?

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Xisticide posted:

Maybe? I'm not sure what constitutes a different model in the eyes of SRO/FIA but I'd guess the answer probably has something to do with how big a sack of cash comes with the question.

The official line is something like they don't want to confuse people by having a GTLM/GTE Corvette blast past a GT3/GTD on track.

Part of the reason they've now gone with Cadillac for the DPi instead of having a Corvette DP blast past the Corvette GTLM. Plus, as they pay a sponsorship amount to IMSA as a manufacturer, it appears they don't want privateers rocking up in GTD under that banner.

Partially also they didn't want their (factory) GT3 deal for PWC and Cadillac beaten out by a privateer Corvette. Or even challenged by that.

GT4 makes sense for both the Mustang and Camaro.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





So that's Cadillac, Mazda, Honda, and the half-factory Nissan program. Four DPis, and with a possibility they could spin out more than just one team per (or that Caddy could add another car or two). And this means each WEC P2 make would have a DPi partner in the US.

It all makes far too much sense.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





George Zimmer posted:

I can seriously see IMSA totally gutting P2 internationally with the exception of ELMS. It just seems like a far better arrangement. ACO might have to cave in eventually.

On the other hand, being a WEC P2 team means you get an invite to Le Mans, and is probably a more interesting option to many single-seat washouts with money than a Europe-only short series or an American series without said LM24 invite. (And there's almost nothing stopping one-off Daytona 24 or Sebring runs too).

Keep in mind P2 is picking up the slack for a weak P1 class this year, it's just something of an Oreca benefit.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





BMB5150 posted:

Didn't Penske buy an Oreca? Or did that stall out? If not then can see Ligier with how they did with Shank or Dallara because of Indycar.

e: Funny thing, I think none of Penske's Indycar drivers can drive for him in IMSA thanks to being official GM drivers?

And his NASCAR drivers are Ford guys. They'll find a way.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





1500quidporsche posted:

Given the fact that a spectator died in the first event of a new set of rules designed to make the cars faster I think "try to find stages not focused on high speeds" is a fairly restrained response from the normally knee-jerk prone FIA.

Spectator was (IIRC) standing in a marked "DO NOT STAND HERE" spot. On the outside of a corner.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





MazeOfTzeentch posted:

JDC-Miller on top in FP1 at Sebring.

Looks like the BoP is fairly decent, at least on raw pace. The fuel stuff with the caddy could be a backbreaker for them. ESM's a bit off though.

ESM's car/package is probably the least developed so that kind of tracks.

GramCracker posted:

Question, easiest way to watch the Sebring 12H this weekend?

In the US: all the fun is on Fox Sports One (or streaming there)

Outside the US: IMSA streams it live (with Radio Le Mans broadcast team).

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





The 36 Hours of Florida is also real tough, period. It was a definite surprise to wake up and see only three or so prototypes in contention, but like mentioned before, they got Sebring'd.

I think Mazda will get it together. They won't quit, and I'd imagine that team will get the engine working better. If it's reliability, it shouldn't be insurmountable.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





I hope they at least know what was broken, because they've been testing the gas engine for a while. Daytona was the first race for the full package and a 24-hour race. Sebring is Sebring. You would imagine the shorter street and road-course races will go much better for them, but it's still a worry. Next three rounds are Long Beach, COTA and Detroit, which may be tough (2/3 are street courses) but not impossible, right?

They've spent so much time testing it's hard to imagine they're this far behind. But it's also too easy to use the unique nature of the first rounds as an excuse, too. Hmm.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Alain Post posted:

Spoiler alert, Vinales is the new Lorenzo and will make MotoGP boring again.

Counterpoint: he appears to really wind up Marquez, so that could be fun.

Counter-counterpoint: they're both Spanish.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





uwaeve posted:

for the technologically-retarded among us, is the stream then watchable after the fact, or is it only a live thing?

It's live on YouTube and then archived on the Nismo TV YouTube account later, including with the RLM commentary.

Can't wait to hear about Orange Jacket Man again! Also planning my trip for the Fuji 500km in May, too.

[Edit] apparently Radio Le Mans and the previous commentators aren't involved this year. Interesting.

harperdc fucked around with this message at Apr 5, 2017 around 00:27

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





njsykora posted:

Huh, that seems weird. Why would you get internal commentators to do it when RLM are probably doing it anyway?

RLM has been contracted with NISMO to do coverage the last few seasons. Remember back in 2014 when Nissan was pushing an ad line that showed off how much they were racing worldwide? Super GT was first a part of that, and the response was so good they kept at it the last two seasons. So they were doing Super GT both because it's interesting and had no English support and because they made the business work.

Seems like NISMO have gone a different way this year, yet they still had last year's comments (including jokey ones) in the ad...

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





MazeOfTzeentch posted:

Sports car racing this weekend: everyone's in socal except the dudes in Austria

also Super GT from Okayama, go see Nismo TV on YouTube for the live/recorded coverage.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Alain Post posted:

Repsol Honda had a double retirement in MotoGP so it was a great weekend all around.

at the same corner with zero pressure, no less. The bike gods were awful cruel this weekend, but Dovi got it the worst of anyone

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Sean Rayhall putting Karam on blast is fan loving tastic.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





CactusWeasle posted:

Are you loving serious Toyota. Goddammit you dont deserve anything.

very late to react to the rain (or just trying to push through a quick shower?) but yeah Are Kamui did something silly.

I don't think they lost a ton of time, and still half a race left for those damned Porkers to break things to happen.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Cygni posted:

ratfink gt3 > anime gt3



incorrect, friend, and I will try to prove that to you later today.

in completely coincidental news, if you're on the west coast of the US you'll probably be able to catch all of the Super GT Fuji 500km tonight. Why a race mid-week? Because it's holiday time in Japan, and they run the two days of the race weekend during the annual spring holidays in what is commonly called 'Golden Week'.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





Kilonum posted:

Time? I have the day off from work tomorrow so lol sleep (US East Coast)

Available here: https://youtu.be/S0UIrIOb2J0

Race is set to start in ~another hour or so. Beautiful clear day already, should be a good race.

[Edit] race starts ~1 am ET, 10 pm PT, and 6 am GMT. Cars just finished with the warmup a minute ago.

harperdc fucked around with this message at May 4, 2017 around 04:02

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





fuseshock posted:

I'm going to the IMSA race. Never been to one, let alone COTA. Anyone have any suggestions on where to sit? Main GS or T1?

As somebody who just spent a day walking an entire loop of a racing track while the race went on: try to cover as much ground as is feasible, because you'll see so much different between the fast sector 1 corners versus the hairpins there.

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harperdc
Jul 24, 2007





CactusWeasle posted:

Yeah no other race today is beating this

The 500 could. The F1 definitely won't. NASCAR could if they sacrifice another jet dryer to the gods.

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