Good morning from Long Beach!
Beautiful blue skies greeted the teams bright and early at 7:30am this morning for the two-hour practice session.
The weather made a pleasant change from last year when the circuit was soaked with heavy rain.
The teams from the American Le Mans Series face the typical Long Beach “long day” – practice is over by 9:30am but qualifying doesn’t kick off until 5:05pm this afternoon.
5:05 PM – 5:20 PM: Qualifying – ALMS (GTC)
5:25 PM – 5:40 PM: Qualifying – ALMS (GT)
5:50 PM – 6:05 PM: Qualifying – ALMS (PC)
6:10 PM – 6:25 PM: Qualifying – ALMS (P1/P2)
The United SportsCar Racing championship may kick off next year but despite the American Le Mans Series name going away, the link to France will continue.
Agreements have been signed between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the new series organizers to continue the partnership started by Don Panoz 13 years ago.
Under the new arrangement, the name “Petit Le Mans” for the season closing event will remain and competitors in the new championship will be able to earn a spot on the grid for the French endurance classic as in previous years.
“The ACO is delighted through this alliance partnership that goes beyond a simple licensing agreement, to continue our collaboration that started 14 years ago with Don Panoz and the creation of ALMS, and which has been of great benefit to both partners,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“This strategic alliance will lead to a close collaboration between the ACO and United SportsCar Racing to promote, develop and reinforce endurance racing in North America. Through this global agreement, I am convinced endurance racing will continue to be in safe hands in North America for many years to come.”
Going forward, United SportsCar Racing and the ACO will work together to craft compatible technical regulations for the top sports car categories from each side.
“A key component in the unification of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series was the ability to continue a relationship with Le Mans and the ACO,” said Jim France, GRAND-AM founder and United SportsCar Racing board member.
“My family has admired the 24 Hours of Le Mans for decades, and we hold it in the same high regard as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The opportunity to maintain a link to Le Mans is as important to me as it is to all United SportsCar Racing manufacturers, teams and drivers.”
Welcome to United SportsCar Racing
Thursday, 14 March, 2013 14:37Written by Paul Ryan
United SportsCar Racing is the name of the new combined series which will launch in 2014 bringing together the American Le Mans Series and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series.
The new name and series logo was announced at Chateau Elan adjacent to Sebring International Raceway at 2:30pm today.
The new logo for IMSA has also been announced and displayed for the first time (pictured right)
“When it came to the branding of our newly merged entities, we felt we had one chance to get it right – and now we believe we have done just that,” American Le Mans Series President, Scott Atherton said.
“We began the branding process by listening to everyone – manufacturers, corporate partners, drivers, teams, tracks – and of course, the fans. The input was invaluable and helped lead us to today’s milestone announcement.”
Today’s announcement culminates a four-month project that involved New York-based SME Branding, who’s client list that includes the NFL, NHL, UFC, the New York Yankees, Kentucky Derby, Madison Square Garden and NASCAR.
In addition, the new competition class names for 2014 were announced:
• The lead Prototype (P) class, combining GRAND-AM’s Daytona Prototypes plus the ALMS’ P2 and DeltaWing cars;
• Prototype Challenge (PC), retained from the current ALMS class structure;
• GT Le Mans (GTLM), consisting of the ALMS’ current GT class;
• GT Daytona (GTD), consisting of GRAND-AM’s current GT class and the ALMS’ current GTC class;
• GX, coming over from the current GRAND-AM structure.
The first race for the new combined series will be next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, 2014.