Road America rocks for Rolex, ALMS, but two big hurdles remain for ’14


Here’s a few thoughts I gleaned from my weekend trip up to America’s “National Park of Speed,” Elkhart Lake’s Road America for the joint weekend of the American Le Mans Series/GRAND-AM Rolex Series.  It’s the only time the two series will race at the same track before coming together as United SportsCar Racing in 2014.

  • It’s officially family now. There was no “separation of Church and State” when it came to the ALMS and GRAND-AM paddocks. They were fully integrated. Drivers and crews worked in both events. Rolex teams were interspersed with ALMS teams and no one got the short shrift. This was nice to see.
  • Like any family, it’s going to have a crazy character or occasional dysfunction. The radical DeltaWing fits the “crazy character” description and had its best weekend of the season by far. More on them to come in a separate post. The “occasional dysfunction” comes from varying agendas and political playing depending on the team, class or series you’re currently in. That’s expected to happen as the United SportsCar Racing merger process continues.
  • Great crowds. All-star reporter Dave Kallmann has more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but guesstimated a four-day weekend crowd “north of 125,000.”   As he and I have been at both this and the NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend there in June, I will agree that the sports car weekend easily beat the NASCAR numbers and you got more on-track action this time around. He got the hunch as well, that Road America will be a part of the combined 2014 schedule.
  • The food was fantastic as usual. With the mix of Road America’s iconic track food (double brats!) and stops to the new Carolina’s catering service that helps out some ALMS teams, it was three days of great eating at the track. That almost never happens.
  • A pseudo-IndyCar presence. Seeing Justin Wilson, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Katherine Legge and Lucas Luhr all racing, and Dario Franchitti and other IndyCar folk around the paddock was rather bittersweet. It was great seeing them all there on an Indy off weekend but I’ll be the 725th person to say, “Can we please have IndyCar back at the track in 2014?” The answer, of course, rests on dates and sanctioning fees. That’ll actually be a perfect transition to…
  • The bloody, bloody 2014 USCR schedule. A disclaimer first: I don’t envy IMSA COO Scot Elkins and the rest of the IMSA officials working to make this thing happen. I know these guys are working their tails off every single day, and I respect the hell out of them throughout this process. But it’s almost been a year since the merger announcement, and the fact there isn’t a schedule yet – whether public or more importantly to the teams and manufacturers from a budget and marketing standpoint – is very tough to swallow. Series announcements, such as the introduction of PC and GTC for 2010, have been made at Road America before. Time is clearly of the essence, and a schedule needs to be out by Labor Day weekend at Baltimore at the latest, in this writer’s opinion. I’m not confident that will happen, and I had enough on-the-ground discussions with teams and drivers where the angst was palpable. Having a TV announcement helps, but now it’s about pumping out what markets will USCR be serving in 2014.
  • And lastly, B.o.P. No combined sessions of ALMS and GRAND-AM were held this weekend, but enough data came out from the combined times (nice work by a fan who created the combined qualifying times in a Google Doc) to describe the Herculean task Elkins and the rest of the crew have trying to balance the classes for next year (B.o.P is Balance of Performance). The P2/DP gap was about 5 seconds at the 4.048-mile circuit. Those two types of cars, and the DeltaWing, are eligible for the combined P class in 2014 and achieve their lap times in drastically different ways. Rolex GT and GX and ALMS GTC are roughly on par (within 1-2 seconds) and the ALMS’ PC class will need to be made slower than the top class, but still faster than the ALMS GT, which carries over into 2014 as GTLM. In order of importance, right now a schedule is more urgent than the B.o.P. adjustments, but still needs to be finalized shortly thereafter. 

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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