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harperdc
Jul 24, 2007






Miscellaneous Racing Series 2021: Finally, Finally Putting it in H

This is the Misc. Racing Thread, home for discussion of all kinds of racing that aren't Formula 1, IndyCar, or NASCAR. Feel free to post about sports car racing, touring cars, rallying, off-road racing, motocross, and anything else you can think of. So much good racing is available to watch (especially online officially) that we can share and discuss while enjoying speedy race cars.



So what kind of racing are you talking about here, then?

We talk a lot about sports-car racing. It’s the racing, primarily on road and street courses, of cars which come closest in design and spirit to street cars. And at the top of sports cars are what’s called prototypes -- single-seat racers with closed tops and fenders. The Grand Prix cars of long-distance racing.

But this is a place for all sorts of series: Australian Supercars, Japanese Super GT and Super Formula, the World Rally Championship, Supercross (I will get murdered if I don't mention or watch Supercross), and more.

Why should I care about sports car racing?



There’s a wide variety -- of cars, drivers, locations, and of race distances. It’s where your favorite drivers from Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR past will wind up. Races are often long (6-, 12- and 24-hour races are not uncommon), and feature multiple types (classes) of car racing on the same track but in individual class battles alongside the overall ranking. The world of sports car racing tends to be friendlier and more approachable than other parts, while still attracting many colorful characters.

Okay. So what's new for 2021?
One word: H Y P E R C A R.

Our long, international nightmare is over. The new ruleset for the top category of the World Endurance Championship (and by extension, the 24 Hours of Le Mans) is FINALLY active this year.



So who's joining in? Let's recount some of the changes for the WEC and IMSA:

  • Toyota has a Hypercar, the GR010, which has a twin-turbo V6 and a hybrid system. They're the favorites once more for Le Mans and the WEC overall championship, and have retained the same drivers as 2020.
  • Glickenhaus will join them in the Hypercar ranks this year, the quirky American independents making use of a turbo V6 without hybrid. We'll see how the team goes.
  • Alpine have moved up to the Hypercar class with a *checks notes* LMP1 car. Ok! I guess it'll be allowed for 2021, and then they might join with a Hypercar. We'll see!
  • ByKolles promise they'll have something, sometime soon. There's a chance they'll show up during the WEC season, but who knows.
  • Aston Martin have decided to focus more of their motorsports efforts on the foolish efforts of Lance Stroll Formula 1, so they won't be joining Hypercar, and also have bowed out of the GT Pro category as well.
  • Porsche have left the IMSA GTLM (GT Pro) category with their factory team after 2020, and BMW have limited their IMSA running to the endurance races, so the full-time list of GT Pro entries is the two Corvettes and a private Porsche



As well, longer-term we already have four announcements for factories joining the Hypercar class from IMSA or WEC in coming years:

  • Peugeot will be joining the World Championship in 2022, and should have more news as the year goes on.
  • Porsche is confirmed for the WEC and IMSA with a LMDh, team TBD but they should also sell cars to private teams!
  • Audi will also be in both the WEC and IMSA with a LMDh, teams TBD and likely also to have private efforts
  • Acura/Honda just this week confirmed they're carrying on in IMSA in LMDh. Yay!

So, what are the series I should know?



The FIA World Endurance Championship is the highest level of sports-car racing. It’s an FIA World Championship, same as Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship, which means a lot. The WEC schedule includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which means almost as much, if not more, as Le Mans remains a hugely popular event and a major marketing point for all these big manufacturers. The WEC features LM Hypercar cars, LMP2 cars, and two GT classes, and is pretty fun to watch. Its season is back to running during the calendar year, and though the first race is moved from Sebring to Portugal, it will continue on as a global championship this year.



Alongside the WEC is another series that is based mainly in one country but almost equal to the WEC in terms of longevity and prestige: IMSA in the United States. Its a US and Canadian-based series, but many teams and drivers will also compete at Le Mans on an annual basis. IMSA also has a number of high-profile races: endurance epics include the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, the Sebring 12 Hours in March, and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in October, plus marquee shorter races at Long Beach, Road America, and more.

Other regional series which are directly under the WEC and ACO (who co-organize the WEC along with the FIA) include the European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series, which both act as feeders of a sort to the World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans. There's no direct relegation/promotion, but teams gain experience in the regional series and sometimes step up to the WEC; also, all of IMSA, Asian Le Mans and European Le Mans all receive invites to the 24 Hours of Le Mans annually.



But there are other series in this sports car world! Many of them fall under a sports car rulebook called GT3. These are cars made by big companies (Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Audi) which are sold to customers. GT3 cars are expected to be balanced to achieve a similar level of performance -- in theory, a driver could take each of those cars around a track and get roughly the same lap time.

This has led to a boom in series aimed to customers, as the cars are relatively affordable, well-built, fairly easy to drive (especially compared to customer cars from the 1970s and ‘80s) and eligible to race in a lot of exciting events. The 24 Hours races at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Nurburgring in Germany are highlights for GT3-type racing worldwide.

Great! So how/when do I watch?

First, you need to know when a race is! Custard Undies recommended this link to Motorsport.com's schedule for racing series. Use it, learn it, love it.

Because the sports-car world is so diverse, there’s a lot to watch. Happily, much of it is readily available online or even via YouTube.

  • WEC: It has a streaming app/website for live events, and a YouTube channel for replays. Note: Included as part of MotorTrend's streaming app in the U.S., so the WEC streaming app is blacked out. Boo!
  • 24 Hours of Le Mans: Part of the above WEC package, but also has plenty of coverage for free via YouTube and other partner streams.
  • IMSA: For live coverage, from 2019 IMSA is partnering with NBC in the U.S., will have live coverage on various NBC channels, and IMSA Radio is always free and excellent. They've now added an IMSA-specific NBC Gold package for US coverage which will likely be rolled into Peacock in 2021, while coverage outside the U.S. will depend on the market. Also check out the YouTube channel afterwards. Outside of the U.S.? IMSA TV provides free coverage using the IMSA Radio audio. Should also be visible via http://imsaradio.com. This also includes the lower-level series that IMSA also has, including the Michelin Pilot Challenge, Lamborghini Supertrofeo, Prototype Challenge, etc.
  • European and Asian Le Mans Series: These both stream free, AsLMS via YouTube.
  • Formerly known as Blancpain GT Series: Online via YouTube
  • Super GT: The 2020 season was carried much more widely than in the past! Will update with more details closer to the season start.
  • Other events: Most all of these have some free streaming component, which we put in the thread as they come up.

Recommended Links/Follows

  • Racer -- racer.com -- Good coverage of American racing
  • Daily Sports Car -- dailysportscar.com -- Great coverage of all sports car series

Other questions? Reach out and ask! Recommendations? Please suggest and we'll try to add them in.

Come join us on Discord! https://discord.gg/kg3d2Uu

Misc Threads of the Past
Misc Racing Thread 2020: Put it in H!
Misc Racing Thread 2019: I woke up to a smoking hulk
Misc Auto Racing 2018: Mazda gonna Mazda
Misc Auto Racing 2017: gently caress off Whincup
Misc Auto Racing 2016 : Downgraded From Silver Posters to Bronze
Misc Auto Racing 2015: At least our criminals are non-violent
Misc Auto Racing 2014: So long and thanks for all the McNish
Misc Auto Racing 2013: Beware: Ferrari Ahead
Misc. Auto Racing 2012: No War But Class War
Sportscars 2011: Racing with Class (ILMC/ALMS/GrandAm)
2011 Daytona 24 Hours
2010 Daytona 24 Hours

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harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




Other Wonderful Misfit Series of Note

Sports car racing is a lot, but it's not all of what we cover/discuss in here. Here are some primers for other big series that fall under our umbrella.

Formula E



The electric racing series Formula E was really impacted by COVID-19 last year, having to run a series of races in Berlin to make the championship whole. It's becoming a better and better series to watch, and hopefully they can get more of the international races in this year. So far for 2021, the season has only been tentatively set and is likely to change further still.

    2021 Formula E Schedule
  • Saudi Arabia - February 26
  • Saudi Arabia - February 27
  • Rome, Italy - April 10
  • Valencia, Spain - April 24
  • Monaco - May 8
  • Marrakesh, Morocco - May 22
  • Santiago, Chile - June 5
  • Santiago, Chile - June 6

Super GT



Anime GT remains the absolute hipster choice for those who are into motorsports. Three manufacturers battling in the top class, active tire development by multiple manufacturers, and an incredibly varied GT3 and local class, the battles in Super GT are often spectacular.

Do yourself a favor and find the championship finale from last year and just watch how it ended. Amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4hfJ3_x8Ig

    Super GT 2021 Schedule
  • TBD

World Rally Championship



Unfortunately, I am unhappy to report that Sébastien Ogier is once more the reigning champion. (but winning with three different makes? wow. dang)

But that doesn't mean the WRC will be bad. Far from it! And the season has already got underway, even if the Monte Carlo rally was a bit of a dull one due to COVID restrictions in France. The series should be interesting, particularly because of the switch to Pirelli tires, and also to see if anyone can challenge Ogier. And if COVID allows, we'll have the Safari Rally back for the first time since 2002!! The WRC has plenty of events in reserve in case the calendar has to change.

    2021 WRC Schdule
  • Rally Monte Carlo - January 21-24
  • Arctic Rally Finland - February 26-28
  • Croatia Rally - April 22-25
  • Rally Portugal - May 20-23
  • Rally Sardinia - June 3-6
  • Safari Rally - June 24-27
  • Rally Estonia - July 15-18
  • Rally Finland - July 28-August 1
  • Ypres Rally Belgium - August 13-15
  • Rally Chile - September 9-12
  • Rally Spain - October 14-17
  • Rally Japan - November 10-13

harperdc fucked around with this message at 11:09 on Jan 30, 2021

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




Rolex 24 at Daytona is this weekend!

For the U.S.: The Rolex 24 will be on streaming via TrackPass from NBCSN; I don't believe this has been fully rolled into the Peacock service yet, but I'm outside the U.S. so I don't have a full grasp on the limitations. The race coverage will bounce from NBC (for the first hour) to NBCSN to the streaming platform and back. The first and last hour of the Daytona 24 will be on broadcast NBC!

For those outside the U.S., find your details here:

quote:

How to Watch in Canada:
Canadian viewers can watch the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races live with Discover Velocity.
Additionally, TSN will broadcast tape-delayed, one-hour cut-down shows from WeatherTech Championship events.

How to Watch in Latin America:
FOX Sports Latin America will broadcast WeatherTech Championship events in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and Uruguay.

How to Watch in New Zealand:
Sky TV will broadcast WeatherTech Championship race events for New Zealanders.

How to Watch for Those in the Military:
American Forces Network (AFN) will broadcast WeatherTech Championship races to those serving in the U.S. armed forces. AFN is available in 174 territories and 140 ships around the world.

How to Watch Elsewhere:
For those not located where live television coverage is not offered, IMSA.com/tvlive will stream the video feed and audio commentary from the IMSA Radio team of John Hindhaugh, Jeremy Shaw, Shea Adam, Brian Till and Jamie Howe.

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Also respect to Americans who had the weird idea in the 2000s of "What if Le Mans... but series?"

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




algebra testes posted:

Also respect to Americans who had the weird idea in the 2000s of "What if Le Mans... but series?"

the ACO stubs out their Gauloises and looks over the glass of wine "what, we should do this more than once a year? and in other places?"

really glad I grew up in the era of ALMS and came back once the Grand Am/IMSA re-marriage happened, sports car racing is the wonderful phoenix that will burn brightly but also die out quickly. I didn't watch the first season but the WEC has also done a good job of re-establishing and stabilizing the World Championship.

Custard Undies
Jan 7, 2006

#essereFerrari




Great work again harperdc

Cannot wait to watch some endurance racing again!

net work error
Feb 26, 2011



Nice new op OP.

Daytooooonnaaaaaa

Banzai 3
May 8, 2007
I'm only here for the weekly 24 bitchfest.


Pillbug

IMSA Trackpass in the US will last through the end of 2021 if the signup page is to be believed.

Also, Roborace continues to trundle along based on the Twitch notification I got yesterday.

WindyMan
Mar 21, 2002

Respect the power of the wind

WATCH MORE SUPERCROSS OR I WILL MURDER YOU





No, seriously. I think the only reason why you're not watching Supercross at this point is because you're racist against dirt bikes or something. Every drat race there are thrills, spills, full-contact passing, unpredictable racing, manufacturer parity (new in 2021: GasGas and it's already won!!) and a competitive championship.

To pique your interest, I will direct you to the highlights from Arlington 2019, one of the two closest finishes in the history of Supercross that happened that year, where the winner overcame a 13 second gap to steal it at the line:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbxhLJAQan4

Supercross is both the AMA and FIM championships for the discipline, so you've literally got the best riders in the world doing this every week. It's unique in that the track layout is different every time the circuit comes to a venue or returns to the same venue, so track knowledge can only be built up in one day. In Covidtimes most venues are pulling double or triple duty with 2 or 3 races in a week, including mid-week races, but they still manage to mix up the track very well. They're also racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time? So that's cool.

The season runs from January to May before switching to the outdoor Motocross season for the summer. (Pro Motocross is OK but not as good as Supercross!) There are two bike classes (450cc and 250cc) split up into three divisions (450SX, 250SX West, 250SX East), with every race day featuring the 450 class and (usually) one of the regional 250 classes.

Many, many bikes participate in qualifying practice, but only the top 40 bikes qualify for the night program (what you see on TV) with the heat races and LCQs. From those, the top 22 make it to the main event. Some 450 events are Triple Crown races that have a special 3-heat overall format, and some 250 events are crossover races where both regions compete with and against each other. If that sounds confusing, the easy way to put it is that there's a lot of variety in the competition!

The racing really is unpredictable. You could get a 10+ second butt-kicking win by the leader, but you could also see the leader blow a 10-second lead by self-crashing in a corner, on a jump, in the sand section, or over the whoops. The track degrades through a race and through the race night overall, so riders really have to stay on their toes just to stay upright, let alone go bar-to-bar with one another. Aggressive block passing is allowed and expected (but you can be penalized for 1st degree bike murder) and revenge re-passing is totally a thing that happens and is very entertaining when it doesn't go well!

It is still a very good time to jump in to Supercross. The younger 450 veterans and many up-and-comers from the 250 class are all competing to make a name for themselves—literally half the field is capable of winning any given race now. From 2010 to 2017 only two riders won the championship. In the last three years there have been three different champions, and 5 or 6 others that could legitimately compete for it. Without a single currently-dominating rider, and with at least four or five of the seven manufacturers good for several race wins through the season, I have absolutely no idea how this season is going to play out. Which makes it exciting to watch!

If you want to watch, there's good news! All live streaming coverage of Supercross has moved to Peacock this season, so the $5 a month you're already paying for Indycar practice and The Office will get you live Supercross practice, qualifying, and yes! Every race session. Every race will be on NBCSN as well, though not all of them live.

2021 Season & TV Schedule
2021 Track Maps

WindyMan fucked around with this message at 17:20 on Jan 30, 2021

Bloopsy
Jun 1, 2006

you have been visited by the Tasty Garlic Bread. you will be blessed by having good Garlic Bread in your life time, but only if you comment "ty garlic bread" in the thread below

Daytona last year was the race that got me into sports car racing so I'm excited to watch it again.

Cygni
Nov 12, 2005

raring to post



Daytona starting, prolly gonna be some fellers in discord! Already Mazda problems, lol

Bloopsy
Jun 1, 2006

you have been visited by the Tasty Garlic Bread. you will be blessed by having good Garlic Bread in your life time, but only if you comment "ty garlic bread" in the thread below

Lol at the Porsche. Bye bye bodywork!

Powershift
Nov 23, 2009




Clown show starting early this year

net work error
Feb 26, 2011



Jesus how long are they going to keep interviewing a single NASCAR driver

Bloopsy
Jun 1, 2006

you have been visited by the Tasty Garlic Bread. you will be blessed by having good Garlic Bread in your life time, but only if you comment "ty garlic bread" in the thread below

So have they actually interveiwed a non-Nascar driver yet?

Powershift
Nov 23, 2009




wtf was the 62 thinking

MazeOfTzeentch
May 2, 2009

rip miso beno


P3's have either all died or have their pros in, they're being far too calm

Nybble
Jun 28, 2008


HIT IT VERY HARD


Rolex24 has been great. Was about to post about KMag leading, but he just got a penalty that I’ve not heard of before? “Wheel rotation on the jack stand” - What’s that mean?

an oddly awful oud
May 1, 2008

all my friends are pieces of shit

Nybble posted:

Rolex24 has been great. Was about to post about KMag leading, but he just got a penalty that I’ve not heard of before? “Wheel rotation on the jack stand” - What’s that mean?

You’re not supposed to have the car in gear while up on the jacks for a tire change for reasons of safety. If you do put the car in gear early and you’re not sufficiently pressing the clutch, the drive wheels will turn and that alerts the stewards that you’re not following the safety rules and you’ll incur a penalty.

Cygni
Nov 12, 2005

raring to post



Gettin spicy at the front

Bloopsy
Jun 1, 2006

you have been visited by the Tasty Garlic Bread. you will be blessed by having good Garlic Bread in your life time, but only if you comment "ty garlic bread" in the thread below

Sucks for the DPi Cadillac. 9 mins left and the rear tire blows sending it back to 5th.

All in all a fun race.

MazeOfTzeentch
May 2, 2009

rip miso beno


Nybble posted:

Rolex24 has been great. Was about to post about KMag leading, but he just got a penalty that I’ve not heard of before? “Wheel rotation on the jack stand” - What’s that mean?

Picture a mechanic trying to remove a rear wheel and suddenly it starts turning at the idle of a 600hp engine. Hands don't much appreciate that sort of thing. It's to protect pit crew.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




Bloopsy posted:

Sucks for the DPi Cadillac. 9 mins left and the rear tire blows sending it back to 5th.

All in all a fun race.

9 minutes left and the top five are still that close? Yikes

Nybble
Jun 28, 2008


HIT IT VERY HARD


Appreciate the explanations!

And yeah, it was a super tight race for even a short endurance race, let alone a 24 hour one. Shame that tire blew again, must have been something wrong either in the setup or the wheelwell for them to lose another tire. Feel like we were robbed of a last lap thriller, but overall a fantastic race and glad so many of the classes were close for most of the race.

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Yeah DPis and GTLM were absurdly close most of the race.

Gt3s it became clear about half way that the Mercs had it.

Dudley
Feb 24, 2003

Tasty



harperdc posted:

9 minutes left and the top five are still that close? Yikes

To be fair that's what happens when you BoP the same cars for years and if anyone does lose a lap you give it back for free every time a crisp packet blows across the track.

Still though, it was fun.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




Dudley posted:

To be fair that's what happens when you BoP the same cars for years and if anyone does lose a lap you give it back for free every time a crisp packet blows across the track.

Still though, it was fun.

partially it was a "they've still got five cars running that close?" because DPi only had seven cars total, so that many had survived that late was amazing.

but yeah BOP, getting laps back under the cautions, and really reliable cars adds up to 24-hour sprint races.

Frond
Mar 12, 2018


It was a good race at the front for sure.

Frond
Mar 12, 2018


Dudley posted:

To be fair that's what happens when you BoP the same cars for years and if anyone does lose a lap you give it back for free every time a crisp packet blows across the track.

Still though, it was fun.

To be fair, the drivers are also (generally) very good in DPi...the LMP3 class is pretty dire aside from like 1 cars. Like in LMP3 it was clear Pigot and Askew were way above anybody else's level.

net work error
Feb 26, 2011



Is lmp3 a season long class or was it just for daytona?

Bloopsy
Jun 1, 2006

you have been visited by the Tasty Garlic Bread. you will be blessed by having good Garlic Bread in your life time, but only if you comment "ty garlic bread" in the thread below

Do drivers have contracts with teams? Nick Tandy drove a Porsche but now drives for Corvette Racing. Can they just switch teams whenever they want?

an oddly awful oud
May 1, 2008

all my friends are pieces of shit

Bloopsy posted:

Do drivers have contracts with teams? Nick Tandy drove a Porsche but now drives for Corvette Racing. Can they just switch teams whenever they want?

They usually have contracts with either the team or the motorsport branch of the manufacturer behind the team. Often this gives them leeway to drive with other teams/in other series unless it’s in direct competition with the main contract.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




Bloopsy posted:

Do drivers have contracts with teams? Nick Tandy drove a Porsche but now drives for Corvette Racing. Can they just switch teams whenever they want?

Usually, but it’s mostly shorter term than other sports. Tandy was a factory-supported Porsche driver, but because Porsche decided to close their IMSA GTLM team after the 2020 season, he jumped to Corvette Racing for this year.

For sports car racing it’ll look a lot more chaotic and flexible - oftentimes drivers are contracted to an OEM, meaning they will drive for that brand in multiple areas (eg in IMSA and at Le Mans and the Nurburgring 24 Hours as an example). Or it’ll be a “gentleman driver” (see: rich dude) who contracts with a team or multiple teams in multiple series.

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Eg there were a bunch of Porsche factory drivers at this race spread among 3 teams. Those guys will probably be the back bone of the factory effort at Le Mans, then drive with private teams at the Nurburgring 24 hr, and Spa 24.

Dudley
Feb 24, 2003

Tasty



net work error posted:

Is lmp3 a season long class or was it just for daytona?

The class is there but only 5 of the 7 cars are entered for the season, basically just the Ligiers.

Which is at least better than LMP2 where only 3 of the 10 will be full season cars and GTE where only 3 of the 6 will be.

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

To be fair some of those LMP2s are racing in Europe.

Unlike the BMWs that just get parked in RLL's garage or whatever.

harperdc
Jul 24, 2007




algebra testes posted:

To be fair some of those LMP2s are racing in Europe.

Unlike the BMWs that just get parked in RLL's garage or whatever.

The drivers/teams/paint schemes are driving in Europe, but not all the chassis go back and forth. The engines certainly do though, I think there’s a pool of engines all the P2s get allocated from.

The BMWs are a bit of a shame, but hopefully this is just the low year - BMW is actively developing the M4 GT3, and you’d imagine that‘ll both be better suited to road racing and also be a shoo-in for the GTD Pro class.

Plus, a big key for the IMSA makes has been activation (marketing efforts at events - like car corrals for local car clubs for the brands), and that’ll be much easier in 2022. Hopefully. Endurance only is a weird compromise but hey, BMW is suffering a bit now for cash.

an oddly awful oud
May 1, 2008

all my friends are pieces of shit

If there’s one thing that BMW loves more than motorsports, it’s pulling out of motorsports

CactusWeasle
Aug 1, 2006
It's not a party until the bomb squad says it is

BMW drivers should pull out more often

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spaceblancmange
Apr 19, 2018



Only hitting me now that there is no Bathurst 12h this year.

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