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<A HREF="http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=motorsportsnews&loc_code=index&content_code=00358779" TARGET="_blank">http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=motorsportsnews&loc_code=index&content_code=00358779</a><p>I watched this race this weekend and was very pleased to see both the Prodrive 550 and 360 Modena run well. Even if the Corvettes had not run into misfortune and completed the race, I think the Prodrive car would have won. That car is really fast! I just wish that they could have run the whole season, it would have been much more interesting to watch than the GM parade. Not that I have something against the C5-R, just that they don't have any real competition. Hopefully, they will come back next season.<p>Ferrari needs to try and offer some factory support for both of these cars. I don't see how they don't see the marketing opportunity here. ALMS is getting good exposure now and it wouldn't take much for them to lend a hand.
 

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Re: ALMS - Laguna Seca (Carl Sims)

I know, it's a real bummer about the lack of Factory support for Ferraris in other areas of motorsport. I too would like to see some go the way of privateers but unfortunately, Ferrari has decided to place all it's money into F1. With all the sponsorship given there, and it's relative high visibility to potential and current customers, they get all the advertising they need. Not to mention the success of Reubens and Michael in the cars themselves. <br> About the closest thing to factory support given to a privateer racer as of late was the 333sp. For about 2mil, you could buy the car, an extra engine and a whole host of extra parts. After that, you were on your own. I think you could get the engine rebuilt by the factory but as far as all the stuff like service and in-pit technology, tough.<br> I think that Ferrari got tired of trying to homologate it's road cars for racing in LeMans and other Sports and GT racing. That was something that it did only some of the time anyway as Il Commendatore felt his cars should race anyway without having to build the required number. Just a thought.<br> If all goes well, and Prodrive, Raffanelli and the others that field the 360's show that they not only can challenge the C5-Rs and the Porsches but beat them on a regular basis, perhaps they might interest Maranello enough to rake in some support. <br> It's unlikely, but it would be nice. <br> I may be wrong but I think that's how the Corvettes got factory support. Chevrolet stopped racing them back in the day and only privateers fielded them since. Someone decided that the C5 would be quite the contender to take on the Viper threat and built a team. As soon as all the bugs were worked out, wouldn't you know it, Chevy said heck yeah we'll back you.<br> Aside from the factory support issue, one of the reasons that privateers have such a hard time going it alone is that constant rule changes make it difficult to field a close-to-production based car for a reasonable cost. I think there are two teams currently fielding 360's. One spent scads of cash to build out an off-the shelf 360 and the other, after rule changes, fielded two modified challenge cars. Pretty soon now, Ferrari will be selling (and perhaps is already doing so ) the 360GT. That car can run circles around the Challenge 360. So it goes without saying that the R&D for putting the GT car on the ALMS tracks would be minimal compared to what has to go into (and come out of) the Challenge and road going cars. If the teams are in fact racing the GT cars already, then it should only be a short time before they start becoming the cars to beat in the GT class as reliability has always been the issue to figure out for the Ferraris.<br> I've got to go see if I can find the articles about the pain and suffering that privateer Ferrari teams go through to put their cars on the track in the ALMS. I give them an incredible amount of credit though. Hanging tough with the Porsche crowd and the Corvettes takes a sense of humor and some focused aggression poured to cast a die hard never-quit attitude. <p> On a completely different thought though, wouldn't it be nice if Volvo developed a new P1800 for the sole purpose of fielding it in LeMans?
 

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Re: ALMS - Laguna Seca (kowalski)

You make a lot of good points.<p>I guess that when I see Ferrari dominating in F1, it doesn't draw a connection to it's road cars. But when I see those 911GT3s, the C5-Rs, the 360 Modenas running around in ALMS and the cars in the Speedvision series, and any other touring car series, to me, it ties back to the manufacturer.<p>I recall reading somewhere about how difficult it was for Prodrive to get technical information when they first started building their 550. Ferrari was supposedly stonewalling their effort to build out the V12. I bet they wouldn't have had a problem with them had the car not burst into flames at Lemans and won GTS as they were much faster than the C5-R.<p>I had not heard about a new 360GT. I did notice that there is going to be a new 360 team in ALMS for next year. Maybe they will be running one of them. <A HREF="http://www.imsaracing.net/menu/storyindex.cfm?evt=&byline=Dominique%20Le%20Moal&date=2002-09-24%2009:05:13&page=/2002/news/news02/092402a.cfm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.imsaracing.net/menu/storyindex.cfm?evt=&byline=Dominique%20Le%20Moal&date=2002-09-24%2009:05:13&page=/2002/news/news02/092402a.cfm</a>
 

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Re: ALMS - Laguna Seca (Carl Sims)

You know what's funny is that there's a rumor going around that a Maserati version of the Enzo is going to be developed for FIA GT rules. For homologation purposes, they'll do a short run of them. So... that means the Maserati will be more sought after because it'll be more rare and good racing exposure for the Maserati.<p>I guess you have to ask yourself...why? Why not just race prep the Enzo and keep the Ferrari name on top. I know F1 is the focus, but geez louise, Ferrari is pretty much THE premium sports car maker out there. Why not support both. Could you see Michael at LeMans? That'd be interesting.
 

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Re: ALMS - Laguna Seca (Carl Sims)

You are right in that all the GT cars from other manufacturers point directly to the road versions of themselves. It really is a beautiful thing to see the cars we drive ('we' being used generally-I myself would die to own a Ferrari or a Porsche) being raced sucessfully on the track. F1 cars really aren't supposed to resemble their more 'affordable' brand mates. Being the fastest (in the all around sense) cars on the planet, and remaining competitive means having the latest automotive and aerospace technology at a team's disposal. As F1 always has been, the cars are literally rolling test-beds for future automotive technology. With all that mumbo-jumbo said, the new Ferrari Enzo (formerly the F/X) is the closest thing to an F1 car there is on the street. It literaly looks like an F2002 with fenders and a full-width windscreen! From a styling standpoint, I think it looks rather odd from the back. But in action it's another story. <br> I myself have not heard about a Maser version of the Enzo, but it would be cool. It kind of makes sense though. If Ferrari really sticks to their guns on not entering any motorsport with factory backing other than F1, then using Maserati as a loophole in their own racing theology seems logical. The cost of keeping a team in F1 is astronomical and if Ferrari were to re-enter GT road racing as a factory Scuderia, it might really put a dent in their wallet. Although I would like to see the Maser Cambiocorsa in GT class racing.<br> As far as seeing Michael at LeMans, I don't know. Some drivers still race in different series but for the most part, the days of the same drivers racing LeMans, Indy, F1, Rally, Cycles, and whatever else are just about over with. Nowadays, there's licensing and contracts that fly around the driver's heads that bind them to one team almost. Schumacher is Ferrari's darling and I wonder if they would ever let him race in the 24. He still races Karts though when he goes home. Still, the suprise would be welcome if he ever went LeMans. What a sensation! Reubens, I think, is teaming up with Sauber Petronas driver Felipe Massa and MAYBE Luciano Burti in some sort of long distance Karting thing in Brazil. So apparently, there is some freedom to what racers decide to do.
 

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Re: ALMS - Laguna Seca (kowalski)

I always viewed GT as sports cars, and Touring as family sedans. In the US, that gets a bit mixed up with the BMW 3series in GT and Corvettes in the Speed Channel Touring series.<p>I think companies like Ferrari and Jaguar are very fitting in GT. Granted, Jag doesn't have a competitive model at this point, but I'd think it'd make more sense to campaign Ferrari in sports car racing.
 

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Re: ALMS - Laguna Seca ([email protected])

True. I believe that Ferrari would be successful with a well developed 360. <br> When I went to the races in DC, I was suprised to see a bunch of Jaguar XKR's racing in the Trans Am series. Paul Gentilozzi drove his XKR to a second and would have won if a slower car hadn't gone in as a third car into turn one when he was putting a pass on Leitzinger. Even though he was set back a good bit, he made up a lot of time on Leitzinger by the end of the race. But again, it all boils down to money and the XKR's that finished well were the best funded of the Jags. They were still behind the Vette though. I think that back in the last Daytona, Gentilozzi's XKR was modified to run in the GT class for the 24 there. I can't remember, but I think it did quite well.
 
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