The 2014 merger between the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Series was given a name at an announcement at Sebring International Raceway with the series’ respective heads – Scott Atherton and Ed Bennett helping to unveil the United SportsCar Racing name and drivers’ helmet logo.
The reveal, preceded by a promotional video featuring top drivers from both of North America’s major sportscar series, is another major step in the merger that was formally announced last year.
The pair – who appeared on stage with Ed O’Hara of SME Branding, the firm charged with task of creating the new identity – also confirmed the details of the class structure outlined at Daytona International Speedway in January.
The Rolex Series’ Daytona Prototypes, the ALMS’ P2 cars and the DeltaWing are set to combined into a lead ‘Prototype’ class, with the ALMS’ LMPC class lifted wholesale into the new series under the ‘Prototype Challenge’ banner.
As mentioned in Daytona both of the series GT classes survive, their names in 2014 and forward derived from the top races for the different specifications. Thus the cars that will race at Sebrign this weekend as part of the ALMS GT class will race in the ‘GT Le Mans’ class with the Rolex Series’ cars, together with the GTC entrants from the ALMS, competing in the ‘GT Daytona’ class. The Rolex Series’ new GX is also to be carried forward to the United SportsCar Racing grid.
“We were shooting for a best-of-both-worlds approach,” said Bennett. “We feel like we achieved that with the new class structure, which embraces the makes, shapes, technologies and the form of DNA which is in sports car racing, and now we feel like we’ve achieved that with the class names which we’re pleased to share now.”
It was also announced that IMSA – replete with a new logo revealed ahead of the series’ name – will become the sanctioning body of the championship.
The next hurdle for the team bringing together the two series is a calendar with both men recognising the task of “boiling down” the 22 events and 17 tracks of the 2013 calendars into a cohesive calendar for the combined entity.