The Delta Wing was reborn at Sebring with a new
look, a new, 2-liter Mazda-sourced engine and
Bridgestone tires. Now run in house by Panoz, the
Delta Wing team is also developing a new coupe
version for the ALMS and the 2014 merged series.
UNITED WE STAND
ALMS and Grand-Am reveal their vision of a unified future
Although the overall picture for the
merged future of the American Le Mans
Series and Grand-Am’s Rolex Series had
been apparent for some time, the official
revelation at Sebring of the combined
series’ name and class structure helped
put meat on the bones (see chart below).
As “United SportsCar Racing,” the series
opted for a literal rather than charismatic
approach to branding itself. IMSA (itself
rebranded) will be the sole sanctioning
body when things get rolling in 2014.
“Grand-Am and the ALMS have taken
huge strides to become one organization
that will redefine sports car racing in North
America,” said Grand-Am president and CEO
Ed Bennett. “United SportsCar Racing
reflects the fundamental spirit of how we are
working together toward a common goal.”
Guarded optimism was the watchword
for manufacturers, but GM Racing boss
Mark Kent noted that the principals have
consistently delivered on their promises.
“When they announced the merger last
year, they said they’d set milestones they
wanted to meet and they’ve met every one
of them,” he said. “So I’m really excited to
see how well it’s coming together and how
the two organizations are working together.
The next step is going to be the unveiling
of the technical regulations, and before
you know it, we’ll be racing.”
There’s the rub, of course, but here,
too, the key players seem satisfied with
progress. “I’m glad the GTE class will be
the same, an ACO class,” noted BMW
Team RLL’s Bobby Rahal. “By all accounts,
that’s the only class that will have
multiple tire manufacturers allowed.
As far as the brand name, as long as it
brings in fans, I don’t care what it’s called.
But I think there being just one sports car
series is nothing but good.”
• Prototype (P)
ALMS P2 and
• GT Le Mans
• GT Daytona (GTD)
Grand-Am GT and
With P1 prototypes not on the menu for
2014’s united series, Audi ended its reign as
king of the12 Hours of Sebring by further
burnishing its endurance racing legend. The
1-2 for its R18 e-tron quattro hybrids marked
Audi’s 11th Sebring win since 1999.
WORLD CLASS EXIT