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United Sportscar Racing to Debut in 2014


SEBRING, FL – With uniqueness and modernity at the forefront, the new United SportsCar Racing platform was revealed (#TheReveal) today at Sebring International Raceway, resulting from the merger of GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

United SportsCar Racing will debut in 2014 with the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“The new name says it all,” said GRAND-AM President and CEO Ed Bennett. “In only six months since we announced the merger, GRAND-AM and the ALMS have taken huge strides to become one organization that will redefine sports car racing in North America. United SportsCar Racing reflects the fundamental spirit of how we are working together toward a common goal.”

Today’s announcement culminates a four-month project that involved New York-based SME Branding, one of the nation’s leading agencies with a client list that includes the NFL, NHL, UFC, the New York Yankees, Kentucky Derby, Madison Square Garden and NASCAR. SME conducted stakeholder research as well as fan input to develop the series’ name, logo and brand identity. The selection of United SportsCar Racing was derived from a submission by Cocoa, Fla.’s Louis Satterlee in GRAND-AM’s “Name The Future” fan contest. The logo, with its race helmet-like imagery, was developed to be an icon with a modern feel, representing a part of motorsports that is immediately recognizable.

Bennett, ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton and SME Senior Partner Ed O’Hara collectively introduced United SportsCar Racing today in the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center’s Le Mans Ballroom, adjacent to the famed Sebring’s Hairpin turn. Saturday will mark the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida – the opening race of the 2013 ALMS season.

A historic backdrop, indeed, for discussion of the future of North American sports car racing.

United SportsCar Racing Announcement

“When it came to the branding of our newly merged entities, we felt we had one chance to get it right – and now we believe we have done just that,” Atherton said.

“We began the branding process by listening to everyone – manufacturers, corporate partners, drivers, teams, tracks – and of course, the fans. The input was invaluable and helped lead us to today’s milestone announcement.”

O’Hara said the goal of the new name and logo is “to be modern, aspirational, authentic, unique and obviously, exciting. We want fans and the sports car industry to feel like they ‘own’ this new brand.

“We also want them to feel like that ownership is a long-term proposition. This new brand is made to order for the future, without a doubt.”

Also announced was the retaining of the storied International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) as the sanctioning body for United SportsCar Racing, with an updated version of the iconic IMSA logo unveiled. IMSA, co-founded in 1969 by John Bishop and the late Bill France Sr., also will sanction the new organization’s various ancillary series, including the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Ferrari Challenge, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series, the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin and the newly announced Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo.

In addition, the new competition class names for 2014 were announced:
• The lead Prototype (P) class, combining GRAND-AM’s Daytona Prototypes plus the ALMS’ P2 and DeltaWing cars;
• Prototype Challenge (PC), retained from the current ALMS class structure;
• GT Le Mans (GTLM), consisting of the ALMS’ current GT class;
• GT Daytona (GTD), consisting of GRAND-AM’s current GT class and the ALMS’ current GTC class;
• GX, coming over from the current GRAND-AM structure.

As part of today’s developments, regarding the GRAND-AM/ALMS merger, the holding company for GRAND-AM, IMSA/ALMS, Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway and Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center was changed from International Sports Car Auto Racing, LLC (ISCAR) to Grand American Holdings, LLC.

United SportsCar Racing also launched today a microsite, www.unitedsportscar.com, where fans can enter to win two tickets to the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona as well as official merchandise.

United SportsCar Racing Confirms Strategic Alliance with ACO and Le Mans

The link between Le Mans and professional sports car racing in North America lives on into the future. Officials from United SportsCar Racing – a result of unifying the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and GRAND-AM Road Racing – today signed agreements with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) that will keep the Le Mans brand of sports car racing firmly entrenched in North America.

“The ACO is delighted through this alliance partnership that goes beyond a simple licensing agreement, to continue our collaboration that started 14 years ago with Don Panoz and the creation of ALMS, and which has been of great benefit to both partners,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.

“This strategic alliance will lead to a close collaboration between the ACO and United SportsCar Racing to promote, develop and reinforce endurance racing in North America. Through this global agreement, I am convinced endurance racing will continue to be in safe hands in North America for many years to come.”

The specific licensing agreement will allow selected United SportsCar Racing competitors to have entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The agreement also allows for the Road Atlanta event to continue using the name, “Petit Le Mans.” In addition, a strategic alliance agreement was inked to explore and develop new avenues and horizons for endurance racing in North America.

Going forward, United SportsCar Racing and the ACO will work together to craft compatible technical regulations for the top sports car categories from each side. Such work is expected to expand manufacturer involvement, increase the sustainable relevance of sports car racing and enhance the overall event experience for all fans.

“A key component in the unification of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series was the ability to continue a relationship with Le Mans and the ACO,” said Jim France, GRAND-AM founder and United SportsCar Racing board member.

“My family has admired the 24 Hours of Le Mans for decades, and we hold it in the same high regard as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The opportunity to maintain a link to Le Mans is as important to me as it is to all United SportsCar Racing manufacturers, teams and drivers.”

United SportsCar Racing begins its inaugural season in 2014 and while the ACO is the governing body of Le Mans-style racing, United SportsCar Racing remains independent from the ACO’s group of sanctioned series around the globe.

The opening round of the 2014 United SportsCar Racing season is the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

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