25
Aug
09

Miscellaneous (non-)Monday motorsports mumblings, vol. 18

Okay, so it’s not Monday.  Better late than never, right?

——

First of all, the European GP.  Now that the FIA’s politicking has calmed down to an ominous growl, I can get back into serious Formula One fandom without worrying about shattering my fragile patience.  I gotta say, it’s impressive to see what Ferrari and Mclaren can do with the KERS system on an otherwise-underdeveloped car.  This is one of my favourite things about motorsports: watching drivers in different machines compete on the basis of unique strengths and weaknesses.  Formula One isn’t exactly Le Mans in that respect, but it’s close enough.

I’m also pleased to see Rubens Barrichello win a race, even if it was due to a pit error on Mclaren’s part.

On the other hand, what the fuck was The Bernie thinking when he approved the Valencia street circuit?  Valencia has a perfectly good road course that doesn’t inhibit passing the way the street circuit does, and if the FIA wants to go looking for an appropriate circuit outside of Spain there’s always Algarve.  Given the degree to which the FIA fucked with the F1 regulations in the service of closer racing and more passing, I’m a bit surprised to discover that they kept a circuit that nearly forces the field into a stately single-file procession…

…oh wait, no I’m not.  For a minute there I’d neglected to recall that the costs of the 2009 rules changes were borne by the teams, whereas costs incurred by threats to circuit revenue would be borne by The Bernie.  Dammit.  Well, maybe Algarve next year.

——

The Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is now a mere five days away.  I love that circuit.

——

I also love Road Atlanta, which will host the 2009 Petit le Mans in just about a month’s time.  The Petit le Mans is notable for its rich history, exciting venue, and the fact that its class winners automatically receive invitaitons to the (grand) Le Mans.  This year’s Petit le Mans is also notable for the return of Peugeot to the ALMS’s P1 class, which so far has been somewhat drearily dominated by Acura (though with fascinating hints of strong Zytek and Lola/AER entries in 2010, after a year’s worth of development).

Make that Peugeot and Audi:

Make that Peugeot and Audi and… Drayson:

Hell yeah!

——

Let’s have some car porn.  Blunt Object is woefully devoid of car porn lately.  Here’s the REITER Engineering Lamborghini LP560 GT3:

470-reitergt3-reiter(Image link goes to Planet Le Mans story)

Of particular interest is the following:

A genuine motorsport innovation and interesting added value for GT3 customers: During the concept and design phase the REITER development team produced the REITER Convertible Concept (REITER CC/32). It allows the GT3 car, available for 265,000 Euro net, to be converted to a full-spec GT2 race car cost-efficiently in an ‘After Sales Solution’ for approx 30,000 Euro net. In this way customers receive a REITER LP560 GT3 race car which can start worldwide in the GT3 classes and also in the GT2 categories including the LM GT2 class.

I’d be a bit shocked if a “convertible” GT3 car could make a real showing in GT2, but the idea is rather intoxicating.  With BMW and Panoz and Corvette making life interesting in the ALMS and Aston Martin and Spyker doing the same in the LMES, GT2 could get downright fascinating in the near future, and adding REITER Lamborghinis to the mix can’t be a bad thing.

——

We close by noting that both Acura and BMW are running ALMS-themed advertisements on the haunted fishtank.  This bodes well for what has become my favourite racing series.  Nil desperandum!


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