No. 984
February 20, 2018

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. 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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April 28, 2010

The ALMS sits on a golden opportunity.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

(Posted 4/25, 3:30PM) Detroit.
Last week - after praising the American Le Mans Series show at Long Beach - I closed my column with the following statement: "Now, if someone would only put up a nice, round $100,000 to the winner for a special, one-off, 15-lap (60-mile) GT class shoot-out the day before the ALMS race at Road America in August as a blatant crowd pleaser, then the ALMS would really be on to something..."

The High-Octane Truth is that the ALMS - and its participating manufacturers in the GT class (BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche) - are sitting on a golden opportunity to spice-up their race weekend shows and get more road racing fans buzzing - and even more important - attending their races in person. Staging a sprint race shoot-out for the GT racers that would be held on the Friday or Saturday of a typical ALMS race weekend would add tremendous value to "the show" and would generate the type of attention long absent from the sport of road racing.

It's no secret that the hyper-intensive competition that's going on in the ALMS GT class right now is giving us some of the finest road racing seen in this country since the heyday of the legendary Trans-Am series (1968-71), so why not give it its own mini-showcase? It seems silly to limit the appeal of this racing strictly to the ALMS' "race within a race" format. To me it means leaving something on the table every race weekend. A lot on the table, in fact.

Yes, I know the $100,000 per sprint shoot-out figure is wildly unrealistic given the shaky financial conditions plaguing racing right now, but a shoot-out that could fit into a 30-minute TV viewing window could be exactly the shot in the arm that this sport needs. So forgetting about the prize money for a moment, let's take a look at how a GT sprint race might fit into the ALMS weekend at Road America in August, as an example. The main event, of course, is the ALMS feature that runs late Saturday afternoon into the early evening at the spectacular 4.048-mile natural-terrain circuit. But instead of having the GT racers qualify on Friday or Saturday morning, why not stage a 15-lap qualifying race late Friday afternoon? It would be exciting for the series, exciting for the competitors and most important, it would be exciting for the fans. And it's the type of schedule that could be adapted for all of the ALMS race weekends too.

All it would take is a little bit of vision on the part of the ALMS and a lot of communication among the GT competitors to see that this sprint shoot-out format would do wonders for the typical ALMS weekend and add new life to the whole show. I'd love to see the players involved take a long, hard look at the Big Picture and figure out a way to make this idea happen.

And we ( would be glad to sponsor the winning team afterwards in the bar at Siebken's in downtown Elkhart Lake.

So that's a start at least...


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Lime Rock, Connecticut, 1970. Parnelli Jones (No. 15 Bud Moore Boss 302 Mustang) leads Mark Donohue (No. 6 Penske Racing Sunoco AMC Javelin) in the Trans-Am race at Lime Rock Park. Donohue would encounter engine problems half-way through the race while Jones would go on to win. Ed Leslie (No. 2 Chaparral Cars Camaro) would finish second and Sam Posey (No. 77 Autodynamics Dodge Challenger) came in third. Jones would go on to dominate the 1970 Trans-Am season winning the driver's championship, while giving Ford the much-coveted manufacturer's championship.

Publisher's Note: Like these Ford racing photos? Check out Be forewarned, however, because you won't be able to go there and not order something. - PMD



See another live episode of "Autoline After Hours" hosted by Autoline Detroit's John McElroy, with Peter De Lorenzo and friends this Thursday evening, at 7:00PM EDT at .

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