WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

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WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship logo.png
Country United States United States
Inaugural season 2014
Prototype Classes Prototype (P)
GT Classes GT Le Mans (GTLM), GT Daytona (GTD)
Tire suppliers Continental Tire, Michelin
Drivers' champion P: United States Jordan Taylor
United States Ricky Taylor
PC: United States James French
Mexico Patricio O'Ward
GTLM: Spain Antonio García
Denmark Jan Magnussen
GTD: Italy Alessandro Balzan
Denmark Christina Nielsen
Teams' champion P: United States Wayne Taylor Racing
PC: United States Performance Tech Motorsports
GTLM: United States Corvette Racing
GTD: United States Scuderia Corsa
Makes' champion P: United States Cadillac
GTLM: United States Chevrolet
GTD: Italy Ferrari
Official website sportscarchampionship.imsa.com
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is a sports car racing series based in the United States and Canada and organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). It is a result of a merger between two existing North American sports car racing series, the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series. At its inception, the name was United SportsCar Championship [1], which subsequently changed to the Tudor United SportsCar Championship when Rolex SA signed their Tudor brand to a title sponsorship deal.[2] WeatherTech later signed a deal to take over title sponsorship of the series starting in 2016, rebranding the series.[3]

The season begins with its premier race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the last weekend of January and ends with the Petit Le Mans, another North American Endurance Cup race, in early October.

History[edit]

On September 5, 2012 it was announced that the Grand-Am Road Racing sanctioning body would be merging with the Braselton based International Motor Sports Association, and as such both bodies would be merging their premiere sports car series, the Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series respectively, with plans to debut in 2014. On November 20, 2012 the merger committee announced that SME Branding were selected to develop the name, logo and identity of the new series.[4]

2014 Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen

On January 8, 2013, the two series' announced a preliminary class structure for the new merged series. Grand-Am's Daytona Prototype category and IMSA's P2 would combine into a single prototype class, with allowances for the unique DeltaWing to also compete in the new class. The Le Mans Prototype Challenge class of single spec cars from the American Le Mans Series would continue as is, although the cars will switch to Grand-Am's Continental Tires.[5] The GT class of the American Le Mans Series would remain unchanged, while Grand-Am's GT class will form another GT class, and be combined with the American Le Mans GTC category.[6] The only category of cars not represented in the new series is the American Le Mans Series' P1 category.

The reveal date for the new series was March 14, 2013 at the Chateau Élan Hotel and Conference Center at Sebring International Raceway, two days before the 12 Hours of Sebring. American Le Mans CEO Scott Atherton announced the new sanctioning body would remain IMSA while Ed Bennett revealed the new titles for the series' five classes. SME Branding Senior Partner Ed O'Hara then announced the new United SportsCar Racing title and logo, a name submitted through a contest won by Louis Satterlee of Florida, a racer in the Florida Karting Championship Series.[7]

On August 9, 2013, Fox Sports 1 announced it had signed a TV contract with IMSA to televise the entire USCC season between 2014 and 2018.[8]

Later, on September 12, 2013, Tudor was announced as the title sponsor for the series, which was named the United SportsCar Championship. On August 8, 2015, WeatherTech was announced as the new title sponsor for the series, renaming the series to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, starting with the 2016 season.[9]

Beginning with the 2019 season the series is covered exclusively by NBC Sports in the United States. The NBC broadcast network will air 9 hours of coverage annually, with the majority of the coverage airing on NBCSN. CNBC and the NBC Sports app will provide supplemental coverage.[10]

Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge[edit]

Originally based on a Canadian series before being acquired by Grand-Am, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (originally known as Grand-Am Cup) is a production-based touring car series. The series is split into two classes known as Grand Sport (GS), intended for large capacity GT-style cars, and Street Tuner (ST), consisting of smaller sedans and coupes, some of which are front-wheel drive. The IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge until 2013 supported some Rolex Series races but also headlined some of its own dates. This series continued with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship after the merger and is somewhat comparable to the old Trans Am Series.

Class structure[edit]

There are three different classes in the United SportsCar Championship series, featuring one sports prototype category and two grand tourer classes:

  • Prototype (P): the flagship class. Originally combined Grand-Am's Daytona Prototype with the American Le Mans Series P2 prototypes and the DeltaWing, all built to 2014 specifications. Starting in 2017 the class features Daytona Prototype international and LMP2 cars.
  • GT Le Mans (GTLM): a continuation of the ALMS GT class, consisting of cars matching the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's GTE specification.
  • GT Daytona (GTD): a class that combined the Grand-Am GT & GX classes with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars from the ALMS GTC class. Starting in the 2016 season the class adopted full FIA GT3 specifications.

Some races may only use selected classes of cars, for example: Any class car may be permitted entry into the Rolex 24, while at the Grand Prix of Long Beach only the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) will be entered.

Circuits[edit]

Races in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as of 2018. Green dots represent races that are a part of the North American Endurance Cup.
Course Years
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 20142018
Circuit of the Americas 20142017
Daytona International Speedway 20142018
Detroit Belle Isle Street Circuit 20142018
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2014
Kansas Speedway 2014
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 20142018
Lime Rock Park 20152018
Long Beach Street Circuit 20142018
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2018
Road America 20142018
Road Atlanta 20142018
Sebring International Raceway 20142018
Virginia International Raceway 20142018
Watkins Glen International 20142018

Champions[edit]

IMSA Championship[edit]

Drivers[edit]

Season Prototype Prototype Challenge GTLM GTD
2014 Portugal João Barbosa
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
Canada Kuno Wittmer United States Dane Cameron
2015 Portugal João Barbosa
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
France Patrick Pilet United States Townsend Bell
United States Bill Sweedler
2016 United States Dane Cameron
United States Eric Curran
Venezuela Alex Popow
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Italy Alessandro Balzan
Denmark Christina Nielsen
2017 United States Jordan Taylor
United States Ricky Taylor
United States James French
Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Spain Antonio García
Denmark Jan Magnussen
Italy Alessandro Balzan
Denmark Christina Nielsen

Teams[edit]

Season Prototype Prototype Challenge GTLM GTD
2014 United States #5 Action Express Racing United States #54 CORE Autosport United States #93 SRT Motorsports United States #94 Turner Motorsport
2015 United States #5 Action Express Racing United States #54 CORE Autosport United States #911 Porsche North America United States #63 Scuderia Corsa
2016 United States #31 Action Express Racing United States #8 Starworks Motorsport United States #4 Corvette Racing United States #63 Scuderia Corsa
2017 United States #10 Wayne Taylor Racing United States #38 Performance Tech Motorsports United States #3 Corvette Racing United States #63 Scuderia Corsa

North American Endurance Cup (NAEC)[edit]

Drivers[edit]

Season Prototype Prototype Challenge GTLM GTD
2014 Portugal João Barbosa
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
United States Jon Bennett
United States Colin Braun
United States James Gue
Denmark Michael Christensen
United States Patrick Long
United States Townsend Bell
United States Bill Sweedler
2015 Portugal João Barbosa
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
United States Mike Guasch
United Kingdom Tom Kimber-Smith
United States Andrew Palmer
Spain Antonio García
Denmark Jan Magnussen
United States Al Carter
United States Cameron Lawrence
2016 Portugal João Barbosa
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
United States Robert Alon
Mexico José Gutiérrez
United Kingdom Tom Kimber-Smith
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Italy Alessandro Balzan
Denmark Christina Nielsen
2017 Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Portugal João Barbosa
Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
United States James French
United States Kyle Masson
Mexico Patricio O'Ward
France Patrick Pilet
Germany Dirk Werner
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Germany Mario Farnbacher
United States Ben Keating

Teams[edit]

Season Prototype Prototype Challenge GTLM GTD
2014 United States #5 Action Express Racing United States #54 CORE Autosport United States #912 Porsche North America Canada #555 AIM Autosport
2015 United States #5 Action Express Racing United States #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports United States #3 Corvette Racing United States #93 Riley Motorsports
2016 United States #5 Action Express Racing United States #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports United States #4 Corvette Racing United States #44 Magnus Racing
2017 United States #5 Action Express Racing United States #38 Performance Tech Motorsports United States #911 Porsche GT Team United States #33 Riley Motorsports - Team AMG

Manufacturers[edit]

Season Prototype GTLM GTD
2014 United States Chevrolet Germany Porsche Italy Ferrari
2015 United States Chevrolet United States Chevrolet Germany Porsche
2016 Japan Honda United States Chevrolet Germany Audi
2017 United States Cadillac United States Ford Germany Mercedes-AMG

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United SportsCar Racing To Debut In 2014". American Le Mans Series. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Tudor Named Title Sponsor". Sportscar 365. John Dagys Media, LLC. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  3. ^ DiZinno, Tony (8 August 2015). "WeatherTech Named New Title Sponsor of IMSA SportsCar". Sportscar365. John Dagys Media, LLC. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "SME Branding Selected To Develop Identity for GRAND-AM, ALMS Merger". Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "ALMS: Continental Named New Spec PC Tire". ALMS Communications. 1 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "GRAND-AM, ALMS Announce 2014 Class Structure". American Le Mans Series. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "LOUIS SATTERLEE - 2012 FLORIDA KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES REVIEW". Karting News Worldwide. 7 July 2012. Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "FOX to air United SportsCar Racing". Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "WeatherTech Joins IMSA In Multiyear Partnership". Daytona Beach, FL: IMSA. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Pruett, Marshall (30 April 30 2018). "IMSA moving to NBC Sports in 2019". Racer. Racer Media and Marketing, Inc. Retrieved 9 May 2018.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]