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August 14, 2019

About The Autoextremist


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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FUMES #458

August 13, 2008

A great road racing weekend at Road America, except for one glaring missing ingredient.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
If you're a road racing fan, you couldn't have asked for a better weekend of racing than last weekend's full card at Road America. Dubbed the "Road Racing Showcase," the weekend featured the American Le Mans Series in a four-hour race into the evening on Saturday, along with the Mazda Cosworth-powered Formula Atlantic series (two races), Star Mazda formula cars (two races), the Mazda MX5 Cup, Formula BMW (three races), Skip Barber National series, and the Speed World Challenge Series (both Touring and GT). The weather cooperated, with storms missing the track all weekend, and of course the superb ambience at America's premier road racing circuit made the weekend that much more special.

The American Le Mans Series - the weekend's feature - put on a good show, although the race was plagued by lengthy yellows at the start, which impacted the rhythm of the race a great deal. But the race gelled in the last hour with some great on-track action. As for the rest of the racing, the young emerging talent on display throughout the weekend was deep, with the youngsters in the Formula BMW, Star Mazda and Formula Atlantic races particularly impressive.

The one glaring missing ingredient? The IndyCar Series. The weekend's on-track action would have been even more sublime if the IndyCar Series raced on Sunday afternoon. The doubleheader race weekend concept, although not favored by powers that be in the ALMS, is just made for Road America's 4.048-mile, lightning-fast road course, and it would instantly become one of the racing calendar's "must see" events.

It's no secret that there's a burgeoning faction in the IndyCar paddock that desperately wants to go back to Road America, and of the road courses and street courses that the IRL already runs on, none of them can match Road America's scintillating package of speed and breathtaking natural terrain.

Existing contracts that expire at the end of the 2009 season had more to do with next year's IRL schedule than anything else, so I will remain cautiously optimistic that the IndyCar Series will join the ALMS in 2010 at Road America in August of that year.

It would be a fitting return for major league open-wheel racing to America's finest road racing venue.

(Thanks to AE reader Christian Thomas for this photo of one of our billboards at Road America.)

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

(Ford Racing Archives)
England, 1970. Jackie Stewart and Ken Tyrrell stand beside the brand new Ford-powered Tyrrell 001 Formula One car, which would make its Grand Prix debut late that season.

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