RYAN DALZIEL, DRIVER (HAS COMPETED IN WEC, ALMS AND ROLEX WITH STARWORKS MOTORSPORT, CORE AUTOSPORT IN 2012, SEBRING/LE MANS P2 CLASS WINNER)
“There's a right and wrong way of doing things. Having been someone left out, high and dry after Champ Car's mistakes, I'm a little nervous as a driver as to how this affects guys like me that rely on both series.
“I think for the strengths of sports car racing in North America, there needs to be unity between the two. I haven't heard anything other than what I've read. Just hearing how to integrate series – if a championship can be made, I'm all for that, but I'm a little nervous to see how it works for 2013, then '14.
“Ultimately, it's the right thing and they can learn from the mistakes of what IndyCar and Champ Car did, and go from there. I'll probably have more to say on exactly what the merger means once they announce it.
“It's kind of a weird one. Guys have done both for so long, and the only reason we have to do both, we made the living from the one. It's crew guys too. Now teams may have to pick-and-choose. I hope it's done for the best interest of everybody.
“One thing I'm excited about for sure is having Daytona and Sebring (RIGHT) under one banner and group of cars. Sebring, I think, has lost some of its intent or credibility over the last few years. I think both series have pros and cons. I think Grand-Am is a bit stronger from a marketing standpoint, I think ALMS has a better atmosphere, and hopefully they can make it all work out for the best.
“I think that's been the hardest thing. Getting the car counts up. Grand-Am, one of its strengths, is that it's had two classes – that's easier to follow than like five or six. You look at Petit [Le Mans] two years ago, like seven classes. Difficult for TV, for the fans. You can't fall into the trap of merging seven classes.
“But, we don't get a heads-up! I talked to Peter Baron [Starworks team principal], he knows about as much as what we've read on the Internet. I don't know if some magic dust will be waved tomorrow. But it's gonna be interesting to see.”
BUTCH LEITZINGER, DRIVER (LONGTIME DYSON RACING DRIVER, THREE-TIME ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA CHAMPION)
“I think it's what we all always said would be the ideal. Everyone always has a caveat of what that ideal is. Which side the merger would lead to? What would one sports car league look like? The devil is always in the details. If they took the best of what each series has to offer, both in terms of class structure, and actual assets of each group, including the people that run it, it could be a great thing.
“The ALMS on execution, generally, you didn't feel things were stacked against you. You could always have a reasonable discussion with series officials. It's not that Grand-Am wasn't, but I think that ALMS is very professional.
“One of its problems, I think, that was always a weight for them, was running everything through France [the French-based ACO, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans –Ed.]. That was a lot of the reasoning for Grand-Am coming to be in the first place – not needing to take orders from overseas. There's a lot to be said for using your own discretion rather than asking permission for everything.
“A lot of us who remember the old IMSA, it had the idea where it was mostly the same cars that ran at Le Mans, but for the American audience and teams. So if you wanted to go to France, there were only minor alterations. It was structured for America, not European racing in America.
“That would be almost too perfectly ironic, like the movies – you'd think the writers had given up if it moves from going through France, the country to France, the family!
“I hope there are details laid out on Wednesday, not, ‘A statement of intention to tune in later, and we'll tell you more about it.' This one of many times I'm glad I'm not a team owner, in figuring out what cars to use next year. It can't be very enjoyable.”