The future of North American sports
car racing following the merger of the
American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am
Rolex Series as United SportsCar Racing
for 2014 got something of a coming-out
party with the first (and last) double-header featuring the two organizations.
Although the amalgamation of ALMS
LMP2 and Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes
(the P1 category will be eliminated) and the
various GT classes remained to be defined
in detail, performance discrepancies
between them made clear that significant
mods will be necessary (see sidebar). It is
expected that DPs will be upgraded into
balance with the P2s (RIGHT), which will
continue to follow the general technical
specs defined by Le Mans governing body
the Automobile Club l’Ouest. However,
uncertainty about what the adjustments
would entail left entrants on both sides
contemplating a switch of categories,
while Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, presently
king of the LMP1 class, pondering a
possible move to the IndyCar Series.
Road America’s American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am double-header
previews the prospects and challenges ahead for United SportsCar Racing
North America might be turning its back on
the P1 class, but it remains the brass ring at
Le Mans. Honda revealed an IndyCar-based
V6 turbo with which customers will take the
fight to Audi, Toyota and Porsche there.
GT contenders got a little more meat to
chew on with confirmation that tire
competition will continue in the GTLM
class for current ALMS GT cars. The
Prototype, Prototype Challenge and GT
Daytona (for Rolex GT and GX cars)
classes will run on spec Continental tires.
“This [GTLM] class is largely home to
automotive manufacturer teams who
desire flexibility in creating tire
partnerships to develop technologies in
racing that eventually find their way to
the streets,” reasoned Scott Elkins, vp of
competition and technical regulations
with USCR sanctioning body IMSA.
Flexibility among all parties involved will
be critical as USCR’s dawn approaches.