DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The marquee status of the new United SportsCar Racing series will be undeniable in 2014, as will the importance of another component in the ongoing merger of Grand-Am Road Racing and the International Motor Sports Ass’n (IMSA): the lineup of two development series and four single-make series.
The development/single-make lineup:
– Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
– Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda
– Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama
– Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin
– Ferrari Challenge
– Lamborghini Super Trofeo
“Our development and single-make series have provided a solid foundation for a number of drivers – such as Tristan Nunez, Sean Johnston and Kyle Marcelli – and enabled them to be selected for professional teams or factory-supported opportunities,” said Scot Elkins, IMSA vice president of competition and technical regulations. “These series also allow for top professionals to work side-by-side with aspiring amateur racers to develop their driving skills, and have become a highly competitive destination for some drivers and teams.”
Each series has created its own identity, either under Grand-Am Road Racing sanction or as an IMSA Development Series, and that identity will carry through under the “new” IMSA beginning in 2014. However, most series will also see several positive changes starting next year.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) will continue to run two classes, Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST). This is where, in GS, American muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang battle machinery from international manufacturers such as Porsche, BMW, Nissan and Aston Martin, while the ST class features compacts from Honda, Mazda, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan and Porsche. All CTSCC cars race with modifications focused on safety and performance, but retain their original production “street car” configuration.
In 2014, performance levels in the CTSCC will be adjusted, to assist with an across-the-board cost-cutting initiative. In addition, the IMSA driver rating system announced last month will be established for CTSCC and the “Pro-Am” co-driving approach will be introduced, requiring at least one silver or bronze driver in every lineup. The series also will have a dedicated technical staff and technical manager.