DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Class specifications continue to crystalize in preparation for next year’s inaugural United SportsCar Racing season, as officials strive for balanced performance and a close competitive environment that follows the “best of both worlds” mantra that is driving the merger of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) presented by Tequila Patrón, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the International Motor Sports Ass’n (IMSA).
When the first United SportsCar Racing season opens in January with the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, fans will be greeted by some high-speed familiarities at Daytona International Speedway, perhaps most noticeably in the production-based GT categories.
As an example, the new GT Le Mans (GTLM) class will retain all of the ALMS’ current GT class specs. An important new safety feature will be found in the cockpit of every GTLM car, as side nets around the driver’s seat will be utilized as an added measure of keeping drivers in place in the event of an incident.
The GT Daytona (GTD) class, the new home for what is now Grand-Am’s Rolex Series GT teams, will run with adjusted performance levels to assist in cost reduction and an overall meshing with other classes. A method of restricting engine air intake will be mandatory, as will single-lug, single piece wheels. Every GTD car will carry a series-specified rear wing.
GTD may also include FIA GT3 cars with minimal modifications, providing they meet class performance targets. Overall, however, the regulations will be based on the current Rolex Series GT rules. In addition, the Rolex Series’ current GX class will be transitioned into GTD.