IMSA, ACO Announce DP, LM P2 Cars Eligible Through 2016

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Following a four-hour steering committee meeting at Circuit of The Americas between officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO), both organizations today confirmed a collaborative decision that cars eligible for the Prototype class in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the LM P2 category internationally will remain so through the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Set to debut next year, the Prototype class in the IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will include cars currently competing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ DP class, as well as P2 cars and the new DeltaWing DWC13 from the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS). IMSA officials are in the final stages of computer simulations and wind-tunnel testing of the three different types of prototype race cars. On-track testing will soon begin for balance of performance.

This is outstanding news for prototype teams all over the world,” said IMSA Chairman Jim France. “This addresses long-term on-track competitive stability, along with the economic realities of today’s business climate that face everyone wanting to compete at sports car racing’s highest level.

Moving forward, whether a team races a Daytona Prototype in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship or an LM P2 car around the world, they have an opportunity to make investments in their equipment that they will be able to utilize over the next three years. This is a huge step for the future of sports car racing both in North America and internationally.

Technical regulations for the ACO’s cost-capped LM P2 category have been in effect since 2011. The same LM P2 regulations are currently utilized in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series, the Asian Le Mans Series, and the ALMS.

The success of the current regulations in LM P2 is such that it does not require short-term evolution,” explained Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “Extending this category to 2017 will allow further success for three years and guarantees the teams a sufficient period to absorb their costs. It also provides the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and its technical partners, IMSA and the FIA, enough time to work on the possible creation of the future prototype that could replace and further revolutionize the LM P2s and the DPs in 2017 in the best possible conditions.

"The time necessary to create a new car is always an exciting period and also a decisive one for the championships for which it is destined," added Lindsay Owen Jones, president of the Endurance Commission of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). “It is in order to put forward these new technical regulations, which could replace those currently governing the LM P2s and the DPs, in the most complete form possible that the FIA and its partners, the ACO and IMSA, have given themselves ample time for reflection and studies. However, there's no doubt that with engineers as competent as those working for the three above-mentioned bodies, the design of the prototype that could race in 2017 is in the right hands."

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship makes its debut with the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26, 2014.

The 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans is set for June 14-15.

About IMSA
Beginning in 2014, and headquartered at the International Motorsports Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, the new International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) will be the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – the highly anticipated road-racing series resulting from the merger of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series – as well as two development series: the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda. In addition, IMSA also plans to continue sanctioning the following single-make series: Ferrari Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.


About the ACO
Created in 1906 in Le Mans (Sarthe, France), l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest organized the first Grand Prix in the history of the motor car the year it was founded followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923. Since then the ACO has always promoted Le Mans-type endurance events throughout the world, in particular thanks to continental championships, which make up the base of the endurance pyramid: the American Le Mans Series, launched in 1999, the European Le Mans Series (2004) and the Asian Le Mans Series (2013). Above these series is the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), of which the ACO is the promoter and organizer, and at the top of the pyramid sits the Le Mans 24-Hours race. This year this legendary event is celebrating its 90th anniversary and all those racing in endurance aspire to take part in it. The ACO is the exclusive strategic partner of IMSA in North America in the context of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. This partnership allows the entrants in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship to win invitations offered by the ACO for the Le Mans 24 Hours depending on their results.

 

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