DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—When the new unified sports car racing series takes its first green flag at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, it will look a lot like its two constituent series.
The new, as yet unnamed sports car series will combine all the classes of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
“It’s a ‘best of both worlds’ approach,” said ALMS COO Scott Elkins at the class structure announcement at Daytona International Speedway Friday. “The idea was one we felt was absolutely the best approach.”
The popular ALMS LMP2 prototypes will be performance--balanced with the Rolex Daytona Prototypes and race as the top class in the new series. The ALMS GTE class will be the fastest of two GT classes; Rolex GTs and ALMS GTC cars will form the lower tier of GT.
Possibly the new Rolex GX class will also be included, forming a fifth class.
The new structure is the best possible of all the options available to the management of the new combined series: No important teams get left out, And no group of fans will not be able to watch its favorite class.
Today’s announcement only outlines the new class structure. The heavy lifting—determining the exact performance levels and how to achieve them—is still in process.“The process is not being rushed,” said Grand Am Competition Manager Richard Buck in a press handout.
One of the most important issues—the cooperation between the new North American series and the Automobile Club de l’Oueste, which organizes the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championship. The new series will maintain its international connection by keeping ALMS P2 and GTE ACO-compliant, so its teams can race at Le Mans.
The classes are likely to change after the 2015 season.