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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/2/22 10:17 a.m.

This past weekend, I was stuck at home with Covid. Long story short, it sucked, even though I’m triple-vaxed, so take from that what you will.

But through my viral haze, I managed to shuffle around the garage and actually watch some racing, some of which was some form of SRO challenge someth…

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/2/22 11:45 a.m.

Here's a related question:

Is this kind of racing aimed at the fan or the entrant? 

What do I mean? How many classes raced during the Indy 500 or any F1 or NASCAR Cup race? Exactly. And it's super-easy to follow.

But when you have several different classes of touring cars plus BMWs and Porsches that look fairly similar in multiple classes, yeah, it's tough to explain to the masses. It might welcome more teams and/or make it easier to people to get trophies, however. 

Discuss. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
6/2/22 11:53 a.m.

My GF and I sat down to relax one Sunday afternoon. I turned SRO Sears Point on and she asked me what the different colors in the overall standings meant during one of the TC/x races. I had no idea, decided to look into, and how convoluted can a series make things? It's worse than IMSA continually adding prototype categories to the point SRFs are out there just to bolster numbers.

What happened to simple GT/TC or GS/ST classes? Or GT1/2/3/4

Bring back the old Conti/Koni series that ran with Grand-Am. Showroom cars with some mods and 70+ car fields going at it. 

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
6/2/22 11:59 a.m.

Whatever the race at NOLA that was broadcast this past weekend was pretty brutal. The competition was actually very close, but showing the same three? corners doesn't make for an enjoyable viewing experience. Yes I know the track is in a sugar cane field, but perhaps one more camera from the opposite end.....just sayin'.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/2/22 12:02 p.m.
759NRNG said:

Whatever the race at NOLA that was broadcast this past weekend was pretty brutal. The competition was actually very close, but showing the same three? corners doesn't make for an enjoyable viewing experience. Yes I know the track is in a sugar cane field, but perhaps one more camera from the opposite end.....just sayin'.

NOLA was a last, last, last minute change after they pulled out of Ozark for safety concerns. So I'm not too surprised they didn't have time to get all the infrastructure in place.

j_tso
j_tso HalfDork
6/2/22 12:19 p.m.

It does get tricky to explain the differences when the cars look the same. 

David S. Wallens said:

Is this kind of racing aimed at the fan or the entrant? 

I'd say it's for the entrant. Multiple classes is a sign they want more people to come out and play.

DirtyBird222 said:

Bring back the old Conti/Koni series that ran with Grand-Am. Showroom cars with some mods and 70+ car fields going at it. 

It's still there, now called the Michelin Pilot Challenge. Whole races are on IMSA's youtube channel the week after.

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
6/2/22 12:19 p.m.

"all the infrastructure in place." uh.....er camera locations? Do enjoy me some MB putting a beat down on 'everything' else....wink. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/2/22 12:42 p.m.

For a hot minute there (circa late 2000 through early 2010s), Grand-Am, the series that became today's IMSA, featured just two classes: Prototype and GT. 

And. It. Was. Glorious. (At least for the fans/media.)

If it looked like a doorstop, it was in one class. And if it looked like a real car, it was in the other. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
6/2/22 4:05 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

If it looked like a doorstop, it was in one class. And if it looked like a real car, it was in the other. 

Thanks, now I can't un-see that mental image:

jb229
jb229 New Reader
6/2/22 4:16 p.m.

So, SRO is for the entrant, it's broadcast because the person paying to run the car in the series gets value out of it but their broadcasts are 1. online and free in part because 2. they often just use the existing track cameras, or install track cameras if there aren't any I think?  It's treated by the entrants as a step above the Champcar or WRL stuff because it does have SRO classes, although SRO classes are determined nationally so watching an SRO race in Europe will be very different from the US or Australia.

In the US SRO the TC classes are based on the TCR global rules, sort of?  TCX/TC/TCA in decending order of power and price cap, with TCA(merica) being built and run by family teams that might have otherwise done MX-5 cup or similar and TCX being cars that might be outdated TCRs or just modified TC/TCA cars up to the TCX level.  TCs are off the shelf TCRs.  (I think, I may have that reversed and their site is not helpful)

The GT classes are similar, except you can't just build your own.  Acura runs a factory training team with NSX GT3s, and it's also possible to run older GT3/GT4 cars that are no longer allowed or competitive in other GT3 series. 

As far as I know most people involved consider it a ladder series for both drivers and teams before attempting IMSA.  Entrants vary wildly between races and over the course of a season, I think there was a Las Vegas race that had 8 cars total at one point.  This is all from memory though, because their websites are extremely bad.  I was at the VIR race where the Bentley caught fire in the pit lane a few years ago, but I had actually left at that point because it was a sparse crowd and the racing wasn't very interesting.  This was right after it had switched from being PWC.

Johnny_at_NineLives
Johnny_at_NineLives New Reader
6/2/22 4:16 p.m.

wait till you look at moto america racing. (motorcycle) 
somehow every class is called "super ..." i went to watch a race because I like racing and it's my job but I was completely lost until the baggers came out. 

j_tso
j_tso HalfDork
6/2/22 5:44 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

2 distinct classes was easy to follow compared to ALMS that had 5 classes on the track and one of them was just Porsches. However, the Daytona Prototypes weren't easy on the eyes.

Separating them further by driver class just makes it confusing for fans, and is definitely a concession to entrants.

Frankvolrath
Frankvolrath
6/2/22 5:53 p.m.

SRO breakdown

GT World Challenge: 90 minute race, each car having 2 drivers, all driving GT3 cars, tire warmers allowed.

Containing 3 classes:

Pro-Pro

Pro-Am

Am-Am

GT America: 45 minute race of GT3 cars consisting of all AM drivers (bronze and maybe silver). No tire warmers

GT4 and TCX/TC/TCA follow the same format.

TCX is slightly less than TCR (TCR is run exclusively in IMSA) and consists solely of M2s (for now)

TC is slightly less than TCX

TCA is Basically stock cars

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/2/22 8:39 p.m.
Frankvolrath said:

SRO breakdown

GT World Challenge: 90 minute race, each car having 2 drivers, all driving GT3 cars, tire warmers allowed.

Containing 3 classes:

Pro-Pro

Pro-Am

Am-Am

GT America: 45 minute race of GT3 cars consisting of all AM drivers (bronze and maybe silver). No tire warmers

GT4 and TCX/TC/TCA follow the same format.

TCX is slightly less than TCR (TCR is run exclusively in IMSA) and consists solely of M2s (for now)

TC is slightly less than TCX

TCA is Basically stock cars

I'm gonna make some calls and see if I can get this on the SRO website.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/2/22 9:03 p.m.
Colin Wood said:
David S. Wallens said:

If it looked like a doorstop, it was in one class. And if it looked like a real car, it was in the other. 

Thanks, now I can't un-see that mental image:

Exactly, right? Also, nice Photoshop. :) 

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
6/2/22 9:09 p.m.

And for whatever reason, the Pirelli's are very hard compound.  The SRO cars were QUITE A BIT slower than the IMSA cars at Sebring.  Like four seconds in the case of GT3, and six or seven seconds in the case of GT4.  I've actually run a stock McLaren 720S at Sebring quicker than the SRO GT4 cars.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
6/2/22 10:37 p.m.
j_tso said:

It does get tricky to explain the differences when the cars look the same. 

David S. Wallens said:

Is this kind of racing aimed at the fan or the entrant? 

I'd say it's for the entrant. Multiple classes is a sign they want more people to come out and play.

DirtyBird222 said:

Bring back the old Conti/Koni series that ran with Grand-Am. Showroom cars with some mods and 70+ car fields going at it. 

It's still there, now called the Michelin Pilot Challenge. Whole races are on IMSA's youtube channel the week after.

Yea I know, it's a shill of what it used to be.

TCAmericaJim
TCAmericaJim
6/5/22 8:14 p.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

You could always call Dean or myself JG.  You do have friends at SRO America. wink

I will shed a little more light on TC America.  I think it is a good/better/best scenario and breaks out pretty much this way.  FYI all cars are either built but the "factory" or factory designated tuner.

TCA:  Approximately 200 hp, price tag $60-70K.  Examples are Honda Civic Si, Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Elantra N, Mini, Subaru BRZ and a Mazda Global MX-5 Cup is eligible but there has not been a full time Mazda since one of Copeland Racings car won the Championship a few years ago.

TC:  About 300 hp, price tage $90K or so.  BMW M240i, Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster N, Nissan 370Z, Mini JCW, Mazda3 Turbo

TCX:  Ultimate Sport Sedans, so far the BMW M2 385 HP and $120K (yeah, can't get one close to the sticker price) is the only player, close to 1 or 2 other brands we hope to announce this summer for 2023.

SRO took TC America concept to France, TC France, starting in 2020.  Some differences in class structure and models but same concept. 

TCR cars are not eligible in SRO America.

All races streamed live on the SRO YouTube page, GTWorld.  No paywall, no delay, just watch all our GT and TC races world wide.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/5/22 10:02 p.m.
TCAmericaJim said:

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

You could always call Dean or myself JG.  You do have friends at SRO America. wink

I know, but then the column would have been much shorter.

And, yeah, I get that you guys are kind of in a re-tooling mode with some PWC legacy series and some new stuff getting worked in. I think the thing that didn't come across well enough in the column was that I really do dig the product. Like, it's cool seeing GT3 and GT4 and TC[X] cars duke it out in a condensed format that's all-attack, all the time, and I'm buds with a good portion of the grid and/or paddock. I watch pretty much all of the races on CBSSports since they always seem to be rebroadcast right at prime hang-out-in-the-shop time. 

But, seriously, big ol' honkin' class stickers would improve the fan experience a lot. And more Kyle Heyer. That kid's got chops.

QuikMcshifterson
QuikMcshifterson New Reader
6/6/22 6:48 p.m.
JG Pasterjak said:

But, seriously, big ol' honkin' class stickers would improve the fan experience a lot. 

Hm... best idea I've heard, actually. Make them different colors as well please.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
6/6/22 8:27 p.m.

In reply to QuikMcshifterson :

You mean like the windshield banners and number boards they have on the cars now?

 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/6/22 9:19 p.m.

Am I the only one who doesnt mind the look of the DPs?

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
6/6/22 9:32 p.m.
hybridmomentspass said:

Am I the only one who doesnt mind the look of the DPs?

I think they're cool. And not just because the Cadillacs make awesome noises.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/6/22 9:45 p.m.

Let me be clear, I mean the DPs of the Grand Am era

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
6/6/22 9:49 p.m.

This style was my introduction to road racing (but, if I remember right, still 'branded' Toyotas not Lexus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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