Hello Everybody, and welcome to another edition of SMB!
Daytona and Bathurst have come and gone already this year, and it’s only the beginning of #F1UnveilingSeason and so I wanted to recap some of those events and share some of the things I’ve been thinking about lately.
Firstly, Daytona 24hr was a bit of a “meh” race in my opinion. I felt as if there was a fair bit of hype surrounding the race that went by the wayside. Joest Mazda was supposed to make a huge comeback but it seems like something out of Joest’s hands (perhaps AER on at least one occasion) let them down. Acura had the same aura going about them this year as well, only to flounder in the mid to late stages of the race. Finally, the rain put a damper (sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that one) on the last quarter of the race, with 5 of the last 7 or so hours being under red flag, and ultimately ending there. I suppose the only good thing about the race was Alonso’s fantastic final stint to overtake former F1 competitor Flippe Nasr to the red and checkered flags.
Bathurst, as always, was a fantastic race, and it will only get better next year, as the Intercontinental GT Challenge season for 2020 will see an expanded entry list of manufacturers competing. The last hour was intense and the final pass happening under 10mins to go, and in a very unlikely spot on the track to boot, is just one of the reasons you cannot miss that event every year.
Apart from that, there hasn’t been THAT much to talk about. However, here are the coles notes from my head:
BMW is in the middle deciding what to replace the M6 with in GT3 (I had forgotten that they got rid of the 2dr M6 and that means they can’t homologate a new 4dr M6). My guess is that they somehow collab with Toyota for a common GT3 chassis between the Z4 and the Supra. Which then means the RCF will likely go away as well. Toyota have already scrapped the Lexus from SuperGT after only just debuting the LC500 this past year, so I wouldn’t put be surprised.
Speaking of BMW, they also hinted at an exit of WEC after only one year to perhaps focus on DPi instead. This would make sense from a commercial standpoint, given that they are expanding their factory in the Carolina’s and would be eager to increase their sales in the US. With the exception of the GTLM program, the lone on again off again Turner entries in IMSA just don’t cut it. They are ever-present in the Michelin Pilot series, but don’t have the same level of prestige in the main show, to be honest.
Rolling on with DPi, the same could be said for Ford, with more rumours turning that they will cease the GTE and GTLM factory teams in favour of DPi for next year. That case has become stronger with Ben Keating Purchasing an early chassis number to run in GTE-AM at Le Mans this year, with an apparent go-ahead to run in the 2019-2020 WEC season. I really look forward to seeing what happens with the Ford GT’s after this WEC season. I hope they don’t pull a Dodge and just forget that they ever happened. Again, Keating would be the recipient of dragging a dead horse but I guess it’s better than nothing.
The last thing I had going on in my head is the announcement that Brabham will try to enter a GTE-PRO WEC team for the 2021-2022 season, after only selling their car for less than a year. It will be interesting to see how they get on, but if smashing the Bathurst track record two weekends ago was of any indication, I think they’ll turn out just fine.
That’s a wrap for this post! I have plans on doing a post on race team planning as an SRC in the coming weeks so be on the lookout for that.
I’d also like to share that I will be going to the Toronto Autoshow this year, and if last year was any indication, there should be plenty of awesome race cars to take photos of! This also marks a significant year, as Canada will have it’s own F1 team, with the Stroll controlled Racing Point F1 entry. They will unveil the car later this week at the show and will be available for photos! I can’t wait!
Thank you all for reading this latest edition of Steve’s Motorsport Blog. If you liked this post, please feel free to smash the like and subscribe buttons and do also share this and comment!