Veteran motor sport journalist and Motor Sport Magazine US corespondent, Gordon Kirby, has posted a story on his bog in which Chip Ganassi’s sports car team manager Tim Keene and Extreme Speed’s director of operations Rob Hill share their opinion on the newly-merged TUDOR United Sportscar Championship or TUSC. Be sure to read Gordon’s post…It’s scathing!  Check it out here.

The debacle that was the Rolex 24 was the topic of our conversation here but this article goes beyond the yellow flag and late-race penalty, it gets tot eh very core of what these two gentlemen feel is a patented lack of direction or understanding of real sportscar racing. Perhaps the most heated comment was:

“I don’t think the series has a longterm plan,” Hill said. “I can honestly see sometime next year we’ll be running some kind of restrictor plate and they’re just going to continue messing with the cars trying to equalize everyone. I think that’s going to be their MO for trying to bring a fan base to this series.

“A DP is nothing more than a late seventies Trans-Am car with more bodywork. They’re an antique, tube-frame car and the mentality of the people we have to deal with is equally antique. They don’t want change, they don’t want technology. They’re not interested in selling technology and I think it’s going to kill them in the long run. They’re just hurtling toward the cliff and they don’t seem to realize it.”

Ouch! As Gordon himself laments:

“But the fact of the matter is NASCAR has won the battle for control of American motor racing and if people want to race in the TUSC they’re going to have to accept NASCAR’s constant rule tweaking and ‘performance balancing’. The traditional form of racing as we knew it with some type of interesting, forward-looking formula and a clear rulebook set in stone for a few years and has passed into history. “

Is it too early to cast aspersions? Well, possibly. Sure there will be teething issues but that from our vantage point on the outside but if teams have been giving the NASCAR boys a head’s up for several months, one has to ask why they didn’t listen and will they listen going forward? Could Hill be a singular voice in the paddock? Obviously not as Keene also offered equally indicting commentary on Gordon’t blog post.

It has to be said that the concept of the TUSC is brilliant but NASCAR’s heavy hand isn’t. They may know stock car racing better than anyone, and they do, but road racing sports cars is something different and so is their fan base. As I argued in the race review post I offered, NASCAR would do well to hire professionals and get out of the way. Savor their investment but stop trying to micromanage it and play politics with the series. At this point it feels incredibly self-serving and France family centric.

They should stick to NASCAR and be the investors and benefactors of the TUSC and leave the running and regulations to professionals in the road racing world. Unfortunately, judging by Hill’s comments, their egos may prevent that from happening. I feel bad for the teams and drivers because this should be a great series to rival WEC.

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S Gross
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S Gross

Great article, shame the P2 cars weren’t more competitive at Daytona. This shines a little light on why they weren’t.

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Well, then, go find new investors to buy out NASCAR’s share, and then they can kick them out and make up their own stuff. As the saying goes “He who has the gold makes the rules”.

GTurner38
Guest
GTurner38

The problem is the people making the rules seem to have a disconnect not only with the teams that have to live by them (assuming they can figure out what the rules actually are). They also have a disconnect with the fans they should be trying to serve. Grand Am didn’t have some massive share of the US and global sports car audience that would indicate that their way of doing things was what fans wanted to see. If that had been the case, they wouldn’t have had to buy out ALMS or subsidize DP teams. If they aren’t careful,… Read more »

tim wood (Austin_F1)
Guest

Isn’t there a new LeMans prototype in the pipeline? Until it arrives, I don’t know why they didn’t just let the DPs and P2s run in separate classes until the new prototype rules come into effect. Save everyone a lot of money and trouble and put on an even better show. I guess they just couldn’t stand the thought of the old DPs getting smoked.

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

The P2/DP regulations in america are frozen until 2017 in an agreement between IMSA/ACO. Initially the plan was for the ACO to develop new regulations as early as 2015 for LMP2 in Europe and for the current regulations to be frozen until then but it does seem that it will now be the end of 2016 , Not 2015 to coincide with the regulation changes in the US for 2017. Oreca – Onroak have already stated that a new P2 will be built for 2015. Closed Cockpit, which would then be homologated for two seasons internationally with one more season… Read more »

Tom Firth
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Tom Firth

Sorry just noticed I put Oreca – Onroak.

Onroak is Oak racing. Typo.

xlr8r
Guest
xlr8r

I’m about as frustrated as I have ever been with the future of domestic US racing as a whole, after watching that race. I really enjoyed ALMS the last 5 years since I discovered it, and I came to accept Grand Am for what it was in the last 2 years. I enjoyed both series for what they were, but this merger seems to have turned everything upside down, and TUSCC as a whole is far less the the sum of its 2 parts. Its less than either series on its own IMO so far. I can enjoy a race… Read more »

Tom Firth
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Tom Firth

I read this article and I agree with most of what Gordon Kirby wrote. The series was far too slow at the uptake of sorting out key decision making points, The Calendar, Technical regulations, Sporting Regulations etc went very quiet after the initial launch of the merger. Granted it was going to take time with everyone involved having vested interests on the machinery they ran and making sure that it made it to the merged series and the teams have had issues with costs, parity etc throughout. Now, what I don’t agree with is that this is Doomsday. The series… Read more »

Member
Fast Freddy

I’ll be more patient but it is a mess and I’ve never liked the DP cars. Calling them prototypes is some kind of insider joke that is not funny.

Cody
Guest

It may be a simplistic view for a relationship, but the first thing that came to my mind when having read “they don’t want change, they don’t want technology” was the only recent move to fuel injection. How can a premier racing series, regardless of what the fans understand, want, and were traditionally familiar with, still operate on carburation after 2010? most of the people watching the series at the time of conversion were not driving vehicles without fuel injection, and many were likely born after carbonation was abandoned in consumer vehicles. The series will change, and it obviously plans… Read more »

mimi69
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mimi69

More nose stuck in air snobbery. Fact is EVERY TIME the so called technology path has been taken it has failed and failed miserably. Even in Europe where this type of racing is king the ACO format does not work in a single county or regional series. Following a failed concept over and over again is not the answer. Let’s look at the facts. ALMS sold due to massive amounts of red ink and dwindling car count numbers that saw them having to add two spec classes in order to even have enough cars to run. ALMS their sanctioning body,… Read more »