IndyCar, Grand-Am, and now the American Le Mans Series, all done for the year. All headed for the off-season now, the extra-silly-season.
For the ALMS, which wrapped up its season with a dramatic 9.5 hour Petit Le Mans on Saturday (that's the Turn 10a/b complex in the photo), and for Grand-Am, this means time finally to work on the specifics of the merger for 2014 (those in charge have promised decisions about the class structure for the merged series by the end of 2012). For teams in respective series, it means gearing up for a final, possibly lame-duck season as a separate entity. Because while they'll be preparing for 2013, their eyes will undoubtedly be on 2014. I can't imagine there won't be losers in the merger, but it's certainly too early to tell who that will be.
For IndyCar, F1, and NASCAR, it's time for drivers and sponsors to move teams and new deals to be struck. For fans, it's time to hunker down and either get friendly with Aussie V8 Supercar racing or haunt racing sites daily for the latest news. Maybe we do both. Certainly we spend some time trying to teach ourselves the new driver, sponsor, number combinations (for NASCAR, at least).
For me, it's time to do some of the above, plus a lot of writing on a new book. But I know I'll be following the off-season soap opera that is racing, avidly. Sometimes I think I like the stories about racing even more than the racing itself. I suppose that figures.
But hey, there's still a month of racing left! So until the fat lady sings, signaling the end of F1 (4 more races, finishing Nov. 25) and NASCAR (4 more races, finishing Nov. 18), I'll savor some of the year's last competition and look forward to 2013. Only 96 days until the 24 Hours of Daytona!
Who's with me? Are you done with racing for this year? Hanging on to the bitter end of F1 or NASCAR? Making travel plans for Daytona?