A year of changes.
Before we begin the frenetic 2013 race season let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the highlights of 2012.
Formula 1 comes back to America
In a news conference on July 27, 2010, Tavo Hellmund announced plans to build the track on about 890 acres of undeveloped land in southeastern Travis County. The majority of the site was previously planned for a residential subdivision called “Wandering Creek”. In the same news conference, Hellmund also revealed that Texas billionaire Red McCombs was the project’s largest investor.,
It was an exciting event on a beautiful track. Tip of the hat to Tavo Hellmund and Red McCombs. You deserve a lot of credit for defying all the critics and hosting a first class F1 event.
American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM to merge
September 05, 2012.
History was made Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway when officials from GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series announced a landmark merger that will see the two American sports car racing series under one championship beginning in 2014.
It will be interesting to see how they handle the performance differences between the LeMans Prototypes and the Daytona Prototype cars. The LMP cars are about 5 sec/per lap faster than the DP cars. Will they lighten the DP cars or try and slow the LMP cars?
Jeff Dahnert unveils the Majors Schedule
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 29, 2012) – Sports Car Club of America President/CEO Jeff Dahnert unveiled the U.S. Majors Tour schedule today at the Performance Racing Industry Show in Orlando, Fla. The highest level of amateur racing in the United States, the Majors schedule provides each Conference with a mix of tracks to form a geographic season-long championship.
It was also announced, that in 2014, the only two levels of SCCA club racing will be ‘Majors’ and ‘Regionals’. No more Rationals! I see what they are trying to do. According to my contacts, there are commercial ventures that want to sponsor high level club racing, but there were something like 90 ‘National’ races in 2012. Too many for these sponsors to handle. By breaking up the country and holding a limited number of ‘Majors’ races, these sponsors can lob some money at club racing. Many of the ‘Nationally’ licensed drivers (that never travel out of division) are grousing about the travel required to race a ‘Majors’, but lets’ face it. If you can’t or don’t travel out of division, you are a essentially a regional (little ‘r’) driver. This will give the division an opportunity to provide an enhanced divisional championship series and according to Dahnert there will still be a path to the runoffs via the regional events. I think this might work.
Danica announces divorce on Facebook
As the most accomplished and recognizable woman in American auto racing, Danica Patrick is no stranger to the spotlight. As anyone who has seen her popular Go Daddy commercials during the Super Bowl over the years can attest, she seems to have a sense of humor about her fame and be quite comfortable in her own skin. Patrick said of her decision to announcer her divorce from husband Paul Hospenthal on Facebook. “It’s really for the fans. My fans are very dedicated to me and I have such great ones. They invest in me. I want to be up front and honest with my fans and we thought that was the best way.”
Pueblo Motorsport Park Repaved
It took longer than expected but PMP finally received a much needed resurfacing. Turn 10 was also reshaped a bit. The apex at T10 has been moved about 10 yards south, and the flag stand is outside the track. All the drivers have given it rave reviews. One driver commented, “It’s much smoother now.” A driver of a tightly sprung DSR was overheard talking to his wife, “Hey honey I finished my session and I’m not peeing blood! WooHoo”. Once the newness wears off and some additional rubber gets deposited, the racing will be great.
HPR Installs Showers
The showers (with hot and cold water) are fully operational. This makes camping at HPR a much more viable option for workers, drivers and crew.
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy camping at HPR? After a busy day, climbing into my sleeping bag, falling asleep listening to a Rockies game or the distant howling coyotes is perfection. We all wait with baited breath to see the next big improvement at our favorite local track.
It has been said that change is the only constant, and it is always hard. Quite often change is for the better, as proof I offer a photo of sports car race from the not too distant past.
I can hear the drivers now, “What do you mean my helmet has to be below than the roll bar”? and the workers, “Why do we need to stand behind a barrier? That’s ridiculous!”
Hi 2013! What have you got for us?
p.s. if you haven’t heard about the new Spec Racer Gen3 project, check this out It looks (sounds) exciting!