For 2014 United SportsCar Racing Season
Indicative of the emergence of important details regarding the inaugural United SportsCar Racing season in 2014, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)officials today announced a driver rating system, as well as pit and paddock regulations and various procedures to be implemented.
Driver RatingsAll drivers participating in the 2014 series resulting from the merger between the American Le MansSeries presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series will receive adriver rating from IMSA, with four driver classifications: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.Teams competing in the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes will not be restricted in terms ofdriver rating. In the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes, one Gold or Platinumdriver for every race may pilot each car. However, in 24-hour events, a combination of two Gold orPlatinum drivers may drive.
Every car must have a minimum of two and a maximum of three drivers – regardless of class – for everyevent, with the exception of 12-hour events – which will allow for a maximum of four drivers; 24-hourevents will allow a maximum of five. Minimum and maximum drive times will be established per driverrating and event, with minimum drive times to be approximately 30 percent of the total event time.IMSA’s driver rating system is based on guidelines established by the Fédération Internationale del”Automobile (FIA) for international competition. The standard minimum age for drivers is 18. However,IMSA may allow younger drivers with significant driving experience to compete in United SportsCarRacing events.
Platinum drivers are defined as professionals under the age of 55 with experience and success at thehighest levels of motorsport. Platinum drivers may have held FIA Super Licenses to race in Formula 1,are past overall winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, factory drivers or drivers who have finished insidethe top five in internationally recognized championships such as the GRAND-AM Rolex Series DP class,the ALMS P1 or GT class, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR CampingWorld Truck Series, FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 and GTE Pro classes, DeutscheTourenwagen Masters (DTM), IndyCar and CART/Champ Car among others.
Drivers with a Gold classification are those who meet the criteria of Platinum drivers but are between theages of 55 and 59, or are professional or semi-professional drivers under the age of 55 who havesuccessfully competed in various secondary international single-seater series, such as Indy Lights;national single-seater series, like Pro Mazda; or series organized by a manufacturer, such as Porsche.Silver drivers are racers over the age of 60 who satisfy the criteria to be a Platinum driver, drivers over theage of 55 who would otherwise qualify as a Gold driver, or are amateur drivers under the age of 60 whohave won races in a national championship or international series alongside a professional driver. Driverswho have won championships in series such as IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, LamborghiniSuper Trofeo or Ferrari Challenge would also qualify as Silver.
Bronze drivers are amateur racers who were over the age of 30 when their first racing license was issued,with little or no single-seater experience or without significant race experience. Drivers over the age of 60who meet the criteria for the Silver category also qualify as Bronze.
In all cases, IMSA may consider drivers eligible in a certain category based on their performances andachievements, even if they have not met the specific criteria to qualify.
Pit Lane and Paddock Regulations/Procedures
Procedures and regulations for pit road in 2014 will combine the best and most efficient practicescurrently being utilized in ALMS and GRAND-AM.
Pit stops will include changing tires and adding fuel at the same time, with a maximum of six crewpersonnel and two wheel guns allowed over the wall at one time. All cars will use single-lug wheels. Pitfuel tanks must be permanently mounted to a trolley and not extend over the track surface side of the pitwall. All pit tanks will have a restrictor fitted at the filler end of the fuel hose.
Pit stalls will be a minimum of 22’ x 10’ on both the hot and cold sides of the pit wall. All structures must fitin that area and cannot be taller than 13 feet other than radio antenna masts. Firesuits will be requiredonly on the “hot” side of the pit wall and for anybody handling fuel on pit lane, but are recommended forcrew working on the cold side of the wall.
In the paddock, each team gets a space with a total footprint of 90’ x 30’ per entered car, except in certaininstances. The space will be regulated, but teams will be allowed to construct temporary walls, utilize floortiles, etc. within specific guidelines. The same space allocation applies to all classes, but space may varybased upon paddock configuration at certain circuits, such as street courses.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SPORTS ASSOCIATION:
Beginning in 2014, the new International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) will be the sanctioning body ofUnited SportsCar Racing – the highly anticipated road-racing series resulting from the merger of theAmerican Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series – aswell as the developmental series: Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Cooper Tires PrototypeLites powered by Mazda. In addition, IMSA also plans to continue sanctioning the following single-makeseries: Ferrari Challenge, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 CupChallenge Canada by Michelin and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
IMSA is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) whichoperates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnershipenables selected United SportsCar competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours ofLe Mans.
ABOUT UNITED SPORTSCAR RACING:
United SportsCar Racing will make its debut in 2014 as the result of the merger between the American LeMans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The inauguralseason will feature between 10 and 12 races at some of the most storied road courses and street circuitsin North America. The series will include many of the world’s best sports car drivers, teams andmanufacturers battling for class and overall honors. Visit www.unitedsportscar.com for more information.