No. 919
October 18, 2017
 

About The Autoextremist

@PeterMDeLorenzo

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 Autoextremist.com 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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Monday
Sep202010

FUMES

September 29, 2010

 

Editor-in-Chief"s Note: I feel it is appropriate to leave this column up one more week as it seems to be resonating far and wide, and it's also appropriate given the fact that this weekend's American Le Mans Series race - the Petit Le Mans - will be the racing event of the weekend. As racing moves in the overall direction of high-efficiency with high-performance, and its direct relevance to the automobile companies' ongoing research and development programs will be absolutely essential to their continued interest and participation, it's clear that the future of motorsport will be on display at Road Atlanta this weekend. Tune-in to SPEED on Saturday, October 2, at 11 a.m. to check out all of the action. Live radio coverage will also be available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche – a production of Radio Show Limited – as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream qualifying live starting at 3:15 p.m. ET on Friday, October 1. Live Timing and Scoring and much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com. I'll return with a new "Fumes" column next week. - PMD


With dark storm clouds gathering, a ray of light remains for racing.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo


(Posted 9/20, 3:00 p.m.) Detroit.
Now that IndyCar - and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - have managed to fail miserably to step up to the plate and give racing the shot of adrenalin it so desperately needs, and Formula 1 remains a quagmire of greed for greed's sake, and NASCAR remains, well, NASCAR, racing seems to be locked into a perpetual state of "we'll get to real change eventually," a permanent limbo of indecision and non-decision that is crippling the sport just when it needs real vision and leadership from the powers that be. I couldn't imagine a worst time for racing to be wallowing in this state, because in case you've been living in a cave for the last few years, racing is in trouble.

It's in trouble because the youthful enthusiasm that fueled the sport for so long is dying off. The young auto enthusiasts who automatically watched the races, feverishly followed every last bit of news or detail about their favorite car or driver, and who eventually grew into professional careers and could actually afford to buy a car from their favorite manufacturers have been replaced by hordes of consumerist junkies with no affiliation to anything other than to have the latest bit of electronic technology in their possession, or the hottest communication device of the moment. Note that there's nothing in that scenario about desiring the latest sports car or high-performance vehicle.

And the world's auto manufacturers are worried. They're spending hundreds of billions of dollars on advanced technological development of alternative fuels and propulsion systems, forward-thinking fuel-saving and efficiency technologies, and countless other programs that will lay the foundation of our transportation of The Future, yet if people don't care or don't view automobiles as machines worth owning - and prefer their individual mobile communications devices instead, the whole damn thing could come unraveled.

Do I view this doomsday scenario as something that's imminent? No. But I do view it as a major concern, which is why I am disappointed in IndyCar and Formula 1 and so eager to have racing get its act together, because it can and should play a key role in creating excitement and desire for our future automobiles.

Thank goodness for international sports car racing is all I can say. The American Le Mans Series, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the new Le Mans International Cup features racing that embraces high-efficiency with high-performance, and as global manufacturers strive to find ways to demonstrate their prowess utilizing these new technologies - and at the same time impress youthful potential enthusiasts that this is technology that will ultimately benefit them in a positive way - it's clear to me that international sports car racing will become a hotbed of manufacturer involvement, even more so than today.

It's the only type of racing that provides a forum for these manufacturers to incorporate and showcase their latest technological thinking - including hybrid assist, alternative fuels, regenerative braking, electrification, etc. - and it's the only type of racing that these manufacturers can compete in that can make a direct connection to the potential customers they're trying to reach. And if looking at Sasha Selipanov's outstanding conceptual design exploration for what a future Ferrari prototype entry might look like (below) doesn't get your juices flowing or get your mind racing as to what could be coming down the road, then maybe it's time for you to turn your life over to your iPad and wait for instructions from Steve.

I, on the other hand, prefer to imagine a racing world overflowing with advanced prototypes from Audi, BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) Ford, GM (Corvette), Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, VW, et al, featuring machines bristling with advanced technological thinking and new ideas in propulsion while making the most efficient use of energy to go fast. Now that sounds like a racing series that I can get excited about.

I just wish we didn't have to wait so long to see it come to fruition.

(Images courtesy of Sasha Selipanov, auto-car-shop.com)

 

 

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)
Silverstone, England, May 16, 1982. The Ford Zakspeed C100 prototype in action in the Silverstone Six-Hour race, the 2nd round of the FIA World Endurance Championship for Manufacturers. Ford's first factory entry in the new Group C category was powered by a Ford-Cosworth DFL and driven by Manfred Winklehock and Klaus Ludwig to an eighth-place finish in its development season. The race was won by Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese driving a Martini Racing Lancia Dallara LC1 Spider. Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell finished second in their Rothman's Porsche 956 and Bob Wollek, Michel Martin and Philippe Martin were third in their Team Joest Racing Porsche 936C.

Publisher's Note: Like these Ford racing photos? Check out ford.artehouse.com. 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" with hosts John McElroy, from Autoline Detroit, and Peter De Lorenzo, The Autoextremist, and guests this Thursday evening, at 7:00PM EDT at www.autolinedetroit.tv.

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