No. 947
May 23, 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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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. It seems that racing's "off-season" gets shorter and shorter, what with the death march of a NASCAR schedule having finished seemingly just a couple of weeks ago, and the F1 schedule having ground to a halt not all that long ago either. But the reality for those in the racing business is that there really isn't an "off" season anymore, instead it's a cadence of post- and pre-season testing, coupled with the constant preparation required to get ready for the 2017 season that's going on in racing shops around the world.

Yes, there are days off here and there, and some may manage to even string together a couple of weeks off, but the racing business isn't for the faint of heart or the weary - it's The Grind That Consumes All Things and it never, ever stops.

What can we expect in 2017? More of the same, I'm afraid. Yes, F1 goes with bigger tires on its way to a further "enlightenment" under the new regime, but who's kidding whom here? The cars will only look somewhat better, and the engines will still sound like, well, not what they should sound like anyway, and the F1 schedule is locked and loaded to the point that anything "new" will have to come from whatever on-track chemistry - good and bad - the drivers can cook up among themselves. For an endeavor that's allegedly the pinnacle of the sport, the changes come in excruciatingly minute increments, and not nearly fast enough.

As for IndyCar, the reality is that 2017 will be exactly the same in terms of the cars, with more substantive aero changes coming in 2018. In other words, America's premier form of major league open-wheel racing is a glorified spec series. A fairly expensive one, but a spec series nonetheless. There are some drivers changing seats and one in particular - JR Hildebrand with Ed Carpenter Racing - is returning to a full-time ride, which is a very good thing for the series. But IndyCar is still the Indianapolis 500, Road America, and everything else, and that's not going to change for the foreseeable future.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues on too. Much has been made about the stability of the series, which means a lot to sponsors and track promoters, and there is some hope that the revamped Prototype cars will add some juice, but it remains this country's premier road racing series. And for road racing enthusiasts, it's the best thing available, especially when it comes to the top GTLM class.

And finally, there's NASCAR, which begins 2017 with an "alt." sponsor in Monster Energy. It's no secret that the marketers at Monster Energy cut themselves a tremendous deal, as NASCAR's plummeting fortunes allowed the "Youth Juice" brand to grab the series for $0.30 on the dollar less than the previous deal that Sprint signed up for. What will they do differently? That remains to be seen, but rest assured that NASCAR itself won't do a damn thing differently. It is still wedded to the most ridiculous schedule in all of sports, there are still too many races, still too many repeat visits to the same tracks, the racing organization is still fumbling around with how to race on the "big" tracks, still bumbling around with five lug nut wheels when the entire racing world switched to center locking hubs more than a decade ago, and on top of everything else, the powers that be down in Daytona Beach steadfastly refuse to address the crying need for more road races, because, well, if they had a middle name it would be Intransigence.

Same as it ever was, in other words.

Will there be excitement in the various series throughout the year? Yes, of course. Even with the encroaching sameness that is swallowing racing whole there will be many magic moments to savor. The majestic tracks in particular - Indianapolis, Le Mans, Monaco, Spa, Sebring, Daytona and Road America - just to name a few, seem to bring the best out of the drivers and teams, and they will rise to the occasion providing many magical, memorable moments in the new year.

I just hope it's a safe one for all.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for the first week of the New Year.



Editor's Note: Many of you have seen Peter's references over the years to the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation (HERF), which he launched in 2007. For those of you who weren't following AE at the time, you can read two of HERF's press releases and . And for even more details (including a link to Peter's announcement speech), check out the HERF entry on Wikipedia . -WG


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

(Photo by Hal Crocker/DeLorenzo Racing Archives)
The No. 11 Owens Corning Fiberglas 427 Corvette driven by Tony DeLorenzo (above), Don Yenko and John Mahler finished 4th overall and 1st in GT +2.5-liter in the 1971 Daytona 24 Hour race. Mahler was added to the No. 11 machine after the No. 12 OCF team car broke a timing chain.  Pedro Rodriguez/Jackie Oliver (No. 2 J.W. Automotive Engineering Gulf Porsche 917K) won the race by one lap over the No. 23 N.A.R.T. Ferrari 512 S Spyder driven by Ronnie Bucknum/Tony Adamowicz. Mark Donohue and David Hobbs (No. 6 Penske-White Racing Sunoco Ferrari 512 M) finished third.

(Photo by Hal Crocker/DeLorenzo Racing Archives)



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