United SportsCar Championship
The Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSCC) is a sports car racing series based in the United States and Canada and organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It is a result of a merger between two existing North American sports car racing series, the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series. The initial name of the series was announced on March 14, 2013, while Rolex SA signed their Tudor brand to a five year title sponsorship deal.
The inaugural 2014 season began with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on January 25–26 and ended with the Petit Le Mans on October 4. João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi with Action Express Racing claimed both the drivers' and team championships. Chevrolet won the manufacturer's championship.
On September 5, 2012 it was announced that the Grand-Am Road Racing sanctioning body would be merging with the Braselton based International Motor Sports Association, and as such both bodies would be merging their premiere sports car series, the Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series respectively, with plans to debut in 2014. On November 20, 2012 the merger committee announced that SME Branding were selected to develop the name, logo and identity of the new series.
On January 8, 2013, the two series' announced a preliminary class structure for the new merged series. Grand-Am's Daytona Prototype category and IMSA's P2 would combine into a single class, with allowances for the unique DeltaWing to also compete in the new class. The Le Mans Prototype Challenge class of single spec cars from the American Le Mans Series would continue as is, although the cars will switch to Grand-Am's Continental Tires. The GT class of the American Le Mans Series would remain unchanged, while Grand-Am's GT class will form another GT class, and be combined with the American Le Mans GTC category. The only category of cars not represented in the new series is the American Le Mans Series' P1 category.
The reveal date for the new series was March 14, 2013 at the Chateau Élan Hotel and Conference Center at Sebring International Raceway, two days before the 12 Hours of Sebring. American Le Mans CEO Scott Atherton announced the new sanctioning body would remain IMSA while Ed Bennett revealed the new titles for the series' five classes. SME Branding Senior Partner Ed O'Hara then announced the new United SportsCar Racing title and logo, a name submitted through a contest won by Louis Satterlee of Florida, a racer in the Florida Karting Championship Series.
Later, on September 12, 2013, Tudor was announced as the entitlement sponsor for the series, which was named the United SportsCar Championship (overriding the previous title of United SportsCar Racing).
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series
Originally based on a Canadian series before being acquired by Grand-Am, the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (originally known as Grand-Am Cup) is a production-based touring car series. The series is split into two classes known as Grand Sport (GS), intended for large capacity GT-style cars, and Street Tuner (ST), consisting of smaller sedans and coupes, some of which are front-wheel drive. The IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge until 2013 supported some Rolex Series races but also headlined some of its own dates. This series continues with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship The series is somewhat comparable to the old Trans Am Series.
- Prototype (P): the flagship class, combining Grand-Am Daytona Prototype with the American Le Mans Series P2 prototypes and DeltaWing cars, built to 2014 specifications.
- Prototype Challenge (PC): a spec class carried over directly from the American Le Mans Series, featuring Le Mans Prototype Challenge cars built by Oreca with engines supplied by Chevrolet and tires from Continental.
- GT Le Mans (GTLM): a continuation of the ALMS GT class, consisting of cars matching the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's GTE specification.
- GT Daytona (GTD): a class that combines the Grand-Am GT & GX classes with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars from the ALMS GTC class and cars built to FIA GT3 specifications.
Some races may only use selected classes of cars, for example: Any class car may be permitted entry into the Rolex 24, while at the Grand Prix of Long Beach only the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) will be entered.
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- "Tudor Named Title Sponsor". Sportscar 365. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- "SME Branding Selected To Develop Identity for GRAND-AM, ALMS Merger". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "ALMS: Continental Named New Spec PC Tire". ALMS Communications. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "GRAND-AM, ALMS Announce 2014 Class Structure". Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- "LOUIS SATTERLEE - 2012 FLORIDA KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES REVIEW". Karting News Worldwide. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "FOX to air United SportsCar Racing". Fox Sports 1. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.