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      07-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
First, Rahal never competed in Le Mans even with Dr. T at the helm so why is it Jens issue? The ILMC is an entire different race series that happens to have some ALMS races and the 24hr LM race included- the reason for not entering besides the cost is that they had a very successful year last year and still could not win bc they are only two cars competing with fleets of Porsches and Ferraris- not an even balance and little chance of success. They didn't need a press release because they never said they were racing it, last year they announced they would compete for 2011.
Correct, RLL has never been to Le Mans, but I bet they would like a shot at it, and in my view the team deserves it. It's not a Jens issue I know that he goes to some of the ALMS races and I saw him at Mid-Ohio last year. If I remember correctly last year the #56 was pretty competitive until they had an issue that cost them a few laps and still managed third. Team Schnitzer has had some bad luck there in the past few years, but the results haven't been because the car was not competitive. Not to mention Rahal has won the 12 hours of Sebring the past two years against that same fleet of Ferraris and Porsches.

Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
It is very cost prohibitive to ship people and equipment overseas to race at Le Mans- competing in Le Mans (just the entry fees and "greasing") costs more than the entire ALMS season without even getting into shipping stuff.

The ALMS program is financed by BMWNA not BMW AG- the entire M3 GT2/GT program started as a "customer car" program with BMWNA as the BMW Motorsport customer- no different than Schubertt. BMW is getting out of the "works" team business and developing customer products- this is what Ferrari does and Porsche does for the most part- sure they have works drivers and supply engineers but they are not operating the day to day- (RLL does this in the US).
I understand the cost of racing in the 24 hours is a lot but I guess I'm biased since I'd like to see the team be given a shot. I know that if BMWNA is paying the bills it isn't worth the price to send the team out of the country to race, but that is where I feel BMW AG should have stepped in to help pay to send the team.

Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
BMW AG stopped racing the M3 LAST year because even with the success the car had, it had run its course as "GT" cars are dated, cost prohibitive and slower (in many cases) than GT3 cars. They performed an "update" to the Z4 GT3 (invested significant resources), built a DTM program from the ground up (6 cars at over 2.5 million each in development- new haulers and equipment for the 6 teams) and are continuing to build customer cars. Is it a posturing statement to the ACO that BMW is not racing in GTE- sure, but they are making their point as are the other brands- MB wants the SLS in, Audi the R8, Astin etc.
This is the fourth year for the car so I get it, that is a long time for a GT car and I know they have been trying to get the Z4 into the ALMS for 2013 but since that has the M3 V8 in it and there is no road version of that, they are having issues with it, plus even if they raced that in ALMS they can't go to Le Mans with the Z4.

The whole GTE vs. GT3 discussion is one that I think will be going on for the next few years because you can't deny the amount of GT3 based cars that are being produced right now. But I'm not sure what the ACO/FIA will do about it, if anything when it comes to GT3 and Le Mans/WEC. Time will tell.

Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
BMW does not have the money of VAG nor the engine contract in F1 like Mercedes (they only one 60% of the team and that is financed in part by engine sales). Audi and MB are also already invested in DTM- actually they are not saving money than in the past.

BMW AG also decreased it's investment in racing after F1 by investing in the future- they have almost $200 million invested in joint ventures- one of which is in carbon fiber and is the one other brands now are trying to catch up to and will shape the next generation cars significantly.

People tend to think racing brings innovation- it does in some areas like P1, but in GT racing no innovation is gained, the street car contributes more to the race car than vice versa.

Manufacturers in F1 are saying that now and are working on ways to curb spending because costs are too high and winning is solely on trickery and spending money, P1 is similar.

If Bernie is convicted of anything, Mercedes will be pulling out of F1 in all capacity as there is a statute in their organization that they cannot and will not have any dealings with criminals or organizations that are corrupt (statute was written post WWII)- it is also a clause in all the contracts they have parties sign. Up until recently Audi did not even race in the US, and MB still doesn't.
I agree with everything you say, but the fact is that DTM outside of Germany and especially Europe has very little interest/fanbase. I think it is great that they are back in the DTM, but I'd hate to see the rest of their motorsports program get cut because if it. Maybe 2012 is a rare year because of all the startup costs for the DTM season.

Originally Posted by mapezzul View Post
If BMW takes a break from ALMS it would not be the first time... there is always the Jag or Grand Am/ Continental/ Rolex (whatever it is called).
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