On September 5, 2012, it was announced that the Grand American Road Racing Championship and American Le Mans Series would be merging to form United SportsCar Racing, later it was renamed the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship. The final Grand Am event was held in September 2013 at Lime Rock, Connecticut.

The first event in the new championship took place in January at Daytona International Speedway for the 51st running of the Rolex 24. It was followed by the historic 12-Hours of Sebring, Long Beach, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Detroit, Kansas, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Indianapolis, Road America, VIRginia International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas and a 10-hour finale at Road Atlanta – Petit Le Mans.

The merger of the two series resulted in four new categories:

  • Prototype (P) – These are purpose built race cars and the quickest in the series. Included in this group are Daytona Prototypes from the former Grand Am series and P2 cars. Manufacturers such as Ford, Chevrolet, Honda and Mazda are supplying engines that produce 550-600 horsepower. Chassis’ competing in the category include the Corvette DP, DeltaWing DWC 13, Mazda/Lola, Riley DP, Ligier JS P2 and Ford DP.
  • Prototype Challenge (PC) – This is a spec class from the American Le Mans series using the ORECA FLM09 chassis. The cars are powered by Chevrolet LS3 engine which produces approximately 485-horsepower.
  • GT Le Mans (GTLM) – Cars in this class are highly modified production vehicles from manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet and BMW. As a result, a wide range of engine configurations and displacements are employed. The series technical staff uses a number of methods to ensure that teams are competing on a ‘level playing field.’ Most of the teams racing in this group are receiving factory support.
  • GT Daytona (GTD) – This is also a production based class but does not allow the same level of technological improvements that can be made to GTLM cars. Vehicles in the category include Audi R8 LMS, Porsche 911 GT America, Ferrari 458 Italia, BMWZ4 and SRT Viper GTS-R. Similar to GTLM, the technical staff uses a number of methods to ensure parity.

The primary concern among teams is whether their current equipment will be competitive in the new series. While progress has been made to balance the performance of different GT marques, the series would be challenged by their premier class – the Prototypes. Those ‘in the know’ recognize that it will be difficult to achieve parity between the Daytona and Le Mans Prototypes as they were designed and constructed using different rules. But, the series technical officials are listening to the teams and will make progress on this issue in 2014.

The 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona took place on the weekend of January 25 and 26. There was a total of 67-starters (18-Prototypes, 9-Prototype Challenge, 11-GT Le Mans and 29-GT Daytona). Drivers would compete for 24-hours on the 12-turn, 3.56-mile track which utilized an infield road course and almost the entire tri-oval.

The field receives the Starter’s green flag at the 52nd annual running of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The cars were gridded according to class speeds with the Prototypes first, followed by Prototype Challenge then the GT Le Mans and finally, the GT Daytonas. The pole-winning Corvette DP of Bob Stallings Racing jumps into the lead followed by No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP and the two Action Express Racing entries.
Starting from the pole position, it appeared that Bob Stallings Racing was prepared to score their first Rolex 24 victory. An experienced driver lineup, included Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, Memo Gidley and Darren Law. But it all went wrong on lap-92 when Gidley was passing a GTD Ferrari only to encounter the slow moving Ferrari of Matteo Malucelli. The contact between the two cars resulted in injuries to the drivers and extensive damage to the cars. The race was red-flagged for almost an hour.
Porsche North America entered two Porsche 911 RSRs. The No. 911 entry was driven by Nick Tandy, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet. This trio won the GT Le Mans class and finished sixth overall. Porsche’s second entry shared by Patrick Long, Michael Christensen and Jorg Bergmeister retired on lap-489 with engine problems.
The GT Daytona class victory was short-lived for the Flying Lizard Motorsports team. An incident between the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS shared by Nelson Canache Jr., Spencer Pumpelly, Tim Pappas and Markus Winkelhock and the No. 555 Ferrari 458 Italia resulted in a penalty which gave the win to the Flying Lizard team. Upon review, the penalty was rescinded and the Flying Lizard team finished second.
On the last lap, a bumping match or what initially appeared to be contact at ‘The Kink’ resulted in a penalty for the No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari. As a result, the car driven by Scott Tucker, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Jeff Segal was moved back to second place in GTD. The Race Stewards later reviewed the incident and corrected their mistake – Level 5 was awarded the class victory.
On the first lap, at the ‘International Horseshoe’, Core Autosport team principal Jon Bennett was hit by the No. 91 Viper GT3-R and spun. This incident occurred early enough in the event that it allowed Bennett and co-drivers James Gue, Colin Braun and Mark Wilkins to recover with minimal consequences. The team would win Prototype Challenge and finish ninth overall.
The No. 5 entry of Action Express Racing started in the third position on the grid. Other than some minor problems in the middle of the night the Corvette DP driven by Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi, Sebastien Bourdais and Burt Frisselle had a trouble free run. At the end of 24-hours, they had completed 695-laps taking the overall and Prototype class victory.
From left to right are the drivers from Core Autosport, Mark Wilkins, James Gue, Jon Bennett and Colin Braun. Completing 678-laps in the Flex-Box ORECA FLM09, they finished one lap ahead of their class rivals to win the Prototype Challenge category.
Finishing second in the GT Le Mans class was the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE of BMW Team RLL. Driving the BMW were experienced endurance veterans Bill Auberlen, Andy Priaulx, Joey Hand and Maxime Martin. This group finished seventh overall and on the same lap as the class winning GT Le Mans Porsche 911 RSR entry of Porsche North America.
The Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP led 227-laps and was out front when the car was involved in an incident on a restart. Minor repairs were required and the team with drivers, Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli, Ricky Taylor and Jordan Taylor remained in contention for the win. At the checkered flag, the Taylor car finished second overall and in the Prototype class - splitting the two Action Express Racing entries.
Completing an overall and Prototype class sweep of the podium for the Corvette DP chassis was the second Action Express Racing entry. Sharing the No. 9 Corvette were Brian Frisselle, Burt Frisselle, John Martin and Fabien Giriox. The team led a total of thirty-six laps and finished on the same lap as the winners.
Christopher Haase qualified the Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS thirty-third overall and was quickest in the GT Daytona class. Also driving the Audi with Haase, were Bryce Miller, Rene Rast (Rast had a GT class victory in the 2012 Rolex 24 driving the Magnus Racing Porsche) and Matt Bell. After twenty-four hours the team finished thirty-sixth overall and sixteenth in class. Haase had the honour of turning the fastest GTD race lap.
On the first lap of the contest, the No. 91 SRT Viper GTS-R driven by pole-sitter Marc Goossens spun the class winning Prototype Challenge ORECA from Core Motorsports. The Viper shared by Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher and Ryan Hunter-Reay continued unscathed but had to replace a power steering hose in the evening. At the checked flag, the team finished twelfth overall and third in GT Le Mans – four laps behind the class winners.
Snow Racing was the only GT Daytona class entry using just three drivers. The No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America was driven by Jan Heylen, Madison Snow and Marco Seefried. Always in contention, the team were twentieth overall and third in class at the checkered flag.
Local favourites, Spirit of Daytona, started second overall and in the Prototype class. In Fall testing, Richard Westbrook had a massive crash and wrote off the car. The new Corvette’s starting position was a testament to the team’s ability to overcome this setback. The Spirit of Daytona driver lineup included Westbrook, Michael Valiante and Mike Rockenfeller. The trio was fourth overall and in class at the race’s conclusion.
Finishing second in the Prototype Challenge was the 8 Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 driven by Enzo Potolicchio, Tom Kimber-Smith, Michael Marsal and Robb. This group finished one lap behind the class winning Prototype Challenge entry of Core Autosport and tenth overall.
The GT Le Mans winners from left to right are Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz and Nick Tandy. This was the first Rolex 24 class win for Pilet and Tandy but the second for Lietz – his first victory was in 2012 with Magnus Racing.

1PBarbosa / Fittipaldi / Bourdais /FrisselleCorvette DP695-
2PTaylor / Angelelli / Taylor / TaylorCorvette DP695-
3PFrisselle / Frisselle / Martin / GiroixCorvette DP695-
4PWestbrook / Valiante / RockenfellerCorvette DP693-
5PGraf / Luhr / BrundleNissan ORECA692-
6GTLMTandy / Lietz / PiletPorsche 911 RSR679-
7GTLMAuberlen / Priaulx / Hand /MartinBMW Z4 GTE679-
8PPla / Rusinov / Yacaman /WebbNissan Morgan678-
9PCBennett / Gue / Braun / WilkinsORECA FLM09678-
10PCPotolicchio / Kimber-Smith / MarsalORECA FLM09677-
11PBrown / van Overbeek / Pagenaud / LazzaroHPD ARX-03b676-
12GTLMFarnbacher / Goossens / Hunter-ReaySRT Viper GT3-R675-
13PCOstella / Matos / Drissi / Casagrande / CamposORECA FLM09669-
14GTLMMüller / Edwards / Rahal / WernerBMW Z4 GTE668-
15PDixon / Kanaan / Franchitti / LarsonFord EcoBoost Riley677Did Not Finish
16GTLMGavin / Milner / LiddellChevrolet Corvette C7.R666-
17PCMontecalvo / Jeannette / Cheng / GuaschORECA FLM09662Did Not Finish
18GTDTucker / Sweedler / Bell / Segal / Pier GuidiFerrari 458 Italia662-
19GTDCanache Jr. / Pumpelly / Pappas / WinkelhockAudi R8 LMS662-
20GTDSnow / Heylen / SeefriedPorsche 911 GT America662-
21GTDRotenberg / Zlobin / Mediani / Salo / AleshinFerrari 458 Italia662-
22GTDNeiman / von Moltke / Latif / AlbuquerqueAudi R8 LMS661-
23GTDTucker / LaMarra / Borcheller / Cosmo / ValverdeFerrari 458 Italia661-
24PCSchultis / Lux / van der Zande / BirdORECA FLM09656-
25GTDCameron / Dalla Lana / Farfus / PalttalaBMW Z4653-
26GTDMacNeil / Keen / van Gisbergen / Lewis / DumoulinPorsche 911 GT America635-
27GTLMBell / Bomarito / WittmerSRT Viper GTS-R634-
28GTDCisneros / Giermaziak / Nielsen / ThiimPorsche 911 GT America631-
29GTDLongo / Serra / Negrao / GomesFerrari 458 Italia627-
30GTDBalzan / Westphal / Vilander / CaseFerrari 458 Italia625-
31GTDPotter / Lally / Henzler / DumolinPorsche 911 GT America622-
32GTDLindsey / Estre / De Phillippi / Hart / VessPorsche 911 GT America614Did Not Finish
33GTDRandall / Farano / Wilden / EmpringhamFerrari 458 Italia645-
34GTDJames / Farnbacher / Holzer / RiberasPorsche 911 GT America639-
35PDeFoor / Pace / Beck / HintonDinan Riley631Did Not Finish
36GTDMiller / Rast / Haase / BellAudi R8 LMS626-
37GTLMKrohn / Jonsson / Bertolini / DumbreckFerrari F458 GT625-
38GTDGriffin / Cioci / Rugolo / GerberFerrari 458 Italia620-
39GTDPerazzini / Roda / Ruberti / RigonFerrari 458 Italia618-
40GTDKeating Bleekemolen / Bleekemolen / CollardSRT Viper GT3-R615-
41PCurran / Said / Smith / PapisCorvette DP613-
42PCPopow / Fuentes / Tutumlu / Marcelli / KafferORECA FLM09612Fire
43PPruett / Rojas / McMurray / KaramFord EcoBoost Riley610Engine
44GTLMMucke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway /Dalla LanaAston Martin Vantage V8610-
45GTDDoyle / Gewirtz / Kvamme / Michaelian / PobstPorsche 911 GT America603
46GTDEngelhart / Ineichen / Bachler / WillseyPorsche 911 GT America601Did Not Finish
47PPew / Negri / Allmendinger / WilsonFord EcoBoost Riley599-
48GTDBlock / Carter / Davis / DavisonAston Martin V12 Vantage580-
49GTDNorman / Stanton / Siedler / BernhardPorsche 911 GT America566-
50GTDFoster / Dempsey / Davis / LiebPorsche 911 GT America566-
51GTDFaulkner / Huisman / FaietaPorsche 911 GT America560-
52GTDLockie / McIntosh II / Nimkoff / Riddle / AdamAston Martin V12 Vantage516-
53GTDAmos / Bamber / Blum / Imperatori / ZitzaPorsche 911 GT America492Did Not Finish
54GTLMLong / Christensen / BergmeisterPorsche 911 RSR489Did Not Finish
55PCRayhall / Kovacic / Bielefield / Kearby / KasemetsORECA FLM09480-
56PMiller / Nunez / VautierMazda SKYACTIV-D445Did Not Finish
57PTremblay / Long / HinchcliffeMazda SKYACTIV-D369Did Not Finish
58PCCumming / Tagliani / Mitchell / DalyORECA FLM09361Did Not Finish
59PSharp / Dalziel / BrabhamHPD ARX-03b359Did Not Finish
60GTLMMagnussen / Garcia / BriscoeChevrolet Corvette C7.R329Overheating
61PMeyrick / Legge / Rossi / ChavesDelta Wing DWC13288Transmission
62PMayer / Popow / HartleyDinan Riley DP238Engine
63PCEnde / Junqueira / Heinemeier HanssonORECA FLM09177Engine
64GTDWelch / Sofronas / Stippler / BassengAudi R8 LMS151Did Not Finish
65PGurney / Fogarty / Gidley / LawCorvette DP92Accident
66GTLMMalucelli / Fisichella / Bruni / BerettaFerrari 458 Italia88Accident
67GTDPutman / Espenlaub / Jarvis / WalkerAudi R8 LMS5Halfshaft

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