United SportsCar Racing was announced as America’s newest motorsports series Thursday 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 Ed Bennett, president and CEO of GRAND-AM Road Racing. “In only six months, 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.”
Bennett and ALMS President and CEO Scott Atherton unveiled the organization’s new logo at Sebring’s Chateau Elan, along with the names of the series’ five race classes. The lead Prototype (P) class combines GRAND-AM’s Daytona Prototype with the ALMS’ P2 and DeltaWing cars. Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) will retain the existing ALMS classes. GT Daytona (GTD) combines the GRAND-AM’s current GT class and the ALMS’ current GTC class. GX is retained from the current GRAND-AM structure.
The announcement culminates a four-month project that involved New York-based SME Branding, which conducted stakeholder research as well as fan input to develop the series’ name, logo and brand identity.
“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.
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 Bill France Sr. and John Bishop, will also sanction the organization’s 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 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series, which was introduced this morning at Sebring.