DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Oct. 11, 2013) – With unprecedented car counts expected for the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) officials today announced tentative car capacity guidelines for each of the TUDOR Championship’s four classes at each venue.
The maximum car capacity guidelines are based on space available at each venue. Series officials arrived at the car capacity for each class based on current projections, and the actual capacity per class may fluctuate as full-season entries are filed. IMSA will begin taking entry applications on Nov. 1.
“Based on the feedback we’ve received from our entrants, we expect full-season entries to put us at or near maximum capacity for every TUDOR Championship race next year,” said IMSA Vice President, Competition and Technical Regulations, Scot Elkins. “The issue of capacity has really come into focus since we announced our 2014 schedule last month and as our teams have begun to share their plans with us. Our projections have led us to make some additional adjustments.”
• The Prototype (P) class will have a tentative cap of 20 cars at five venues: Sebring International Raceway, Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Detroit’s Belle Isle and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The P class will be capped at 19 cars for all other venues on the 2014 schedule.
• The Prototype Challenge (PC) class will be tentatively capped at 10 entries for all TUDOR Championship events. PC competitors will race for the overall victory in a two-class race alongside the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 4. A separate race will be held on the same day for the P and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes, with FOX Sports set to televise both events.
• PC will also headline an event at Kansas Speedway – which hosted its first professional sports car events in August with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – on Saturday, June 7. PC will conduct doubleheader sprint races alongside IMSA’s Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda series at Kansas and at Virginia International Raceway (VIR). The class will have a total of 10 events in the 2014 TUDOR Championship, removing Detroit and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park from the previously announced schedule for PC.
• The GTLM class will have a tentative cap of 19 cars at VIR, 16 at Long Beach, 14 at Sebring and Indianapolis and 12 at all others. GTD will be tentatively capped at 19 cars for all events except for Detroit, where the class will have capacity for approximately 21 cars.
Official test sessions for the 2014 TUDOR Championship are scheduled for Nov. 16-17 at Sebring International Raceway and Nov. 19-20 at Daytona International Speedway. The inaugural TUDOR Championship opens with the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26, 2014.
2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Schedule
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.
TUDOR is a premium Swiss watchmaking brand appealing to people with an acute sense of style, a desire to be different and uncompromising quality expectations. Its price positioning sits in the premium segment that complements Rolex’s position in the high-end luxury segment. Since the brand name was registered for Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, in 1926, TUDOR has benefited from the Rolex’s outstanding watchmaking expertise, quality control and service. TUDOR was re-launched in 2007 with a distinctive personality and a high level of independence in its design, manufacturing and communication. TUDOR has been inspired by motorsports since the 1970s and, in addition to being the Title Partner of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is also currently the World Timing Partner for both Ducati and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
James R. (Randy) Little of Milton Georgia has been selected as the Honorary Starter for 16th Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.Little's entry was chosen as part of the "Wave the Green Flag" contest in which fans described in 50 words or less why they love the Petit Le Mans.
"We literally had hundreds of entries worthy of being selected for this honor," stated Road Atlanta President & General Manager Geoff Lee. "We are grateful for our devoted fans and confident James will represent all of them well when he waves the green flag to start the 16th Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda and salute the American Le Mans Series on its 147th and final race. Having a fan start the final ALMS race is a very appropriate way to close the ALMS series which was founded on the motto "for the fans".
While other manufacturers lay claim to a philosophy of motorsport competition, only one was created in the crucible of the sport’s most daunting motorsports events from Le Mans, Sebring and Daytona to Monaco, Monte Carlo and Paris-Dakar. Victories have also been regular here at Road Atlanta and in the Petit Le Mans. Since the first Type 356 Cabrio, Porsche No. 1, rolled out of the Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche’s early headquarters in Austria and on its way to victory, Porsche has been making headlines in newspapers, on radio broadcasts and television, now on web sites and even Twitter. Motorsports is in Porsche’s DNA.
By Dean Richardson
This blog is the second in a two-part series about my memories of the fantastic race that is Petit Le Mans. Here are a few more that I hope you will enjoy. This is what it’s like to be on the ‘other side’ of the fence.
2004 – The chance of a lifetime!
The 2004 race is hands down my favorite race of all time, Petit Le Mans or otherwise. The reason is simple, I experienced the entire race working for one of the teams on pit lane. Through my day job I had become friends with the Petersen White Lightning Racing team’s PR Rep. About a month before the race I got a call from the PR guy and he asked if I would be at all interested in working as part of the crew during the race. He explained that it would be an all-day commitment and that he understood if I wasn’t interested. Thinking back through my life, I cannot think of a solitary time that I gave an answer to any question faster than the ‘yes’ that shot out of my mouth at that moment.