No. 1013
September 11, 2019

About The UjianNasional


Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. Watching the Daytona 24 Hours (Rolex24) unfurl last weekend left a lot to be desired. There's no question that the torrential rain that hit early Sunday morning put more than a damper on the race. It pretty much brought any potential excitement for the overall lead and the class battles shaping up for the end of the race to a splashing halt. But then again, that's how road racing differs from oval racing, and sometimes we forget that fact.

I suggested on Twitter that the race probably could have been called three hours earlier, but then again I had to remind myself that wouldn't be consistent with what sports car racing is about. Road racers run in the rain, which is one of the biggest differentiators between it and traditional American oval racing. A perfect example of this was the 12 Hours of Sebring, in 1965. Late in the afternoon a tremendous storm overwhelmed the venerable airport circuit, dumping five inches of rain in just 30 minutes. Think about that for a moment, and if you've ever been to Sebring  - which is as flat as a pancake - you'd know that the water had nowhere to go. The circuit was flooded to the point that lap times slowed to as much as ten minutes. Drivers in open cars ended up sitting in water up to their elbows, and the pit lane was a running river that carried wheels and tires away if they weren't accounted for. In short, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1965 became known for the "The Deluge" and the fact that the race was never stopped once is truly remarkable. It will also be remembered for Jim Hall and Hap Sharp's fantastic victory in their No. 3 Chaparral 2A Chevrolet, marking the first major international win for Chaparral Cars.
 So, as disappointing as the finish of the Daytona 24 Hours was, it reminded us of a dimension of road racing that should never be dismissed or forgotten. (You can read more about the race in "The Line" -WG.)  

As for the new NBC motorsports coverage, it is shaping up to be a significantly better than what we've experienced in recent years. Covering a road race is extremely difficult to begin with, but the NBC crew seemed to handle it with aplomb. And it's always interesting to see that whenever NASCAR-oriented types are exposed to a major international sports car racing event, they can't say enough about it and are truly impressed. Will that lead to different thinking from NASCAR as far as making fundamental changes to their show? Not likely, at least not until the current contracts with its tracks expire in a couple of years, which would then permit the NASCAR schedule to be radically altered. Right. Add that to the file.

At any rate, it's great to get the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech Championship underway, and if the green flag racing action from Daytona is any indication, it's shaping up to be a tremendous season.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.

(Dave Friedman photo)
Sebring, Florida, March 27, 1965. The Delmo Johnson/Dave Morgan No. 1 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport splashes by the pits at the peak of "The Deluge" in the 12 Hours of Sebring.