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 Park, Connecticut.

The first race 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 a Chevrolet LS3 engine which produces approximately 485-horsepower.
  • GT Le Mans (GTLM) – Cars in this group 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.

Watkins Glen International was race seven of the thirteen rounds contested during the 2014 IMSA season. It was one of the longer events on the schedule at six hours in length. The first six-hour contest at Watkins Glen was held in 1968 for the International Championship of Makes. The long-distance race was an annual event until the track encountered financial difficulties in 1982. With new ownership in place, the facility began hosting shorter endurance events, until 1996 when the six-hour race returned and became a permanent fixture on Watkins Glen’s Calendar.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen also marked the third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

In qualifying, Michael Valiante set the third quickest time driving the No. 90 Corvette DP. Valiante shared the driving duties with Richard Westbrook. As the race entered the final ninety minutes, it became evident that the contest was between the Spirit of Daytona and OAK Racing entries. The Corvette got the better of the OAK Morgan on the second last restart and won by 0.877-seconds.
Scoring his second Prototype Challenge pole of the season was Colin Braun in the Core Autosport ORECA FLM09. Also driving the ORECA were James Gue and team principal, Jon Bennett. The trio had a trouble free run and finished first in class and sixth overall. This was the team’s fourth Prototype Challenge victory of the season and gave Braun and Bennett a comfortable lead in the standings.
The Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GTE was qualified by Dane Cameron who turned the second quickest GTD time. Sharing the BMW with Cameron was Markus Palttala. The pair dominated the event and although threatened by a late race caution that bunched the field they held on for the victory. This was the team’s second win in the last three races.
In qualifying, Doug Bielefeld, Martin Plowman and David Cheng were the slowest Prototype Challenge entry – starting nineteenth overall and eighth in class. But there is usually a lot of attrition in a long race and this was the case at the Sahlen’s Six Hours. Benefitting from the competition’s misfortune and some excellent driving by Martin Plowman – the team finished second in class.
Topping the charts at the end of the GTLM qualifying session was the No. 55 BMW Z4 GTE, driven by Andy Priaulx. This was the first GTLM pole position for BMW. Priaulx shared the driving duties in the BMW Team RLL entry with Bill Auberlen. Unfortunately, the pair had a difficult race – three flat tires and a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact relegated them to a tenth place finish in their category.
The qualifying duties for the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette was performed by Jan Magnussen who recorded the second best time in GTLM. Magnussen co-drove with Antonio Garcia. The pair dominated the race but a late caution threatened their chance for victory. They held off the hard-charging No. 91 Viper and took the win and GTLM points lead.
Starting eighth overall and second in the Prototype Challenge category was the 8Star Motorsports ORECA FLM09 raced by Eric Lux, Sean Rayhall and Tom Kimber-Smith. Problems during the contest left the squad twenty-eight laps behind the class winners. At the checkered flag, they were tenth in Prototype Challenge and forty-third overall.
The second Action Express Racing entry was co-driven by Jon Fogarty and the Frisselle brothers – Burt and Brian. The No. 9 Chevrolet Corvette DP started ninth on the grid. The team worked their way up to fourth overall and in the Daytona Prototype category. Two late race cautions tightened the field but the team was unable to improve on their position.
Sharing the driving duties on the No. 91 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R were Dominik Farnbacher, Marc Goossens and Jonathan Bomarito. The Viper started twenty-sixth overall and sixth in GTLM. A late race caution set up a one-lap shoot-out and an opportunity for the second place No.91 Viper to chase down the class-leading Corvette. However, the team came up short by 0.185-seconds.
Townsend Bell and team owner, Bill Sweedler shared the AIM Autosport prepared Ferrari 458 Italia. The pair started the Sahlen’s 6-Hour thirty-ninth overall and eighth in the GTD class. Bell and Sweedler made good progress during the race and at the checkered flag were second in their category. This excellent result allowed them to increase their points lead.
The fastest GTD car was the WeatherTech entry prepared by Alex Job Racing. During the qualifying session, the Porsche 911 GT America was piloted by Len Keen. Co-driving with Keen were Cooper McNeil and Philipp Frommenwiler. Unfortunately, the team encountered problems and finished twenty-two laps behind the class winners – twelfth in GTD and forty-fourth overall.
Alex Brundle the son of former Formula 1 and Indy Car driver, Martin Brundle qualified on the overall and Prototype pole. Brundle shared the OAK Racing Morgan LM P2 with Gustavo Yacaman and Ho-Pin Tung. The OAK team was leading late in the event but lost first place during the race’s second last caution. Unable to move back in front of the No. 90 Corvette they settled for second.
The No. 93 SRT Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R was driven by Kuno Wittmer, Marc Goossens and Jonathan Bomarito. The Viper started fifth in GTLM and twenty-fifth overall. A late race penalty for the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette allowed the team to move into third place in the GTLM class. They maintained the position and secured the last spot on the podium.
Co-driving the Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America was Andy Lally, Sebastian Asch and team principal, John Potter. Lally qualified the Porsche fifth in GTD and thirty-sixth overall. As the event came to a conclusion, the trio battled with the Dempsey Racing entry for the final spot on the GTD podium. They were able to hold them off and captured third in class.
The Action Express Racing Corvette DP was qualified by Christian Fittipaldi. Fittipaldi was just 0.658-seconds shy of winning the overall pole position. He and his co-drivers, Joao Barbosa and Burt Frisselle started second. Two late race cautions bunched the field and allowed the top four Prototypes to close up. The No. 5 Action Express could not improve their position and finished third.
PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports entered the No. 52 ORECA FLM09 driven by Frankie Montecalvo and Gunnar Jeannette. The pair started sixteenth overall and fifth in the Prototype Challenge category. They led early in the race but contact with a GT car damaged the suspension. Repairs were made and the high attrition rate in the class allowed them to grab the last spot on the podium.

1PWestbrook / ValianteCorvette DP191-
2PYacaman / Brundle / TungNissan Morgan191-
3PBarbosa / Fittipaldi / FrisselleCorvette DP191-
4PFrisselle / Frisselle / FogartyCorvette DP191-
5PTaylor / Taylor / AngelelliCorvette DP190-
6PCBennett / Braun / GueORECA FLM09186-
7PCBielefeld / Plowman / ChengOreca FLM09186-
8PCMontecalvo / JeannetteORECA FLM09186-
9PCOstella / HedlundOreca FLM09186-
10PCFuentes / MartinORECA FLM09185-
11GTLMMagnussen / GarciaChevrolet Corvette C7.R185-
12GTLMFarnbacher / Goossens / BomaritoDodge Viper SRT185-
13GTLMBomarito / Wittmer / GoossensDodge Viper SRT185-
14GTLMGavin / MilnerChevrolet Corvette C7.R185-
15GTLMTandy / Lietz / PiletPorsche 911 RSR185-
16GTLMMuller / EdwardsBMW Z4 GTE185-
17GTLMFisichella / KafferFerrari 458 Italia185-
18PCurran / Said / CosmoCorvette DP184-
19GTLMLong / Christensen / PiletPorsche 911 RSR184-
20GTLMHenzler / SellersPorsche 911 RSR104-
21GTLMAuberlen / PriaulxBMW Z4 GTE184-
22PCMiller / Simpson / DrissiOreca FLM09181-
23PCSchultis / van der ZandeOreca FLM09180Not Running
24PPew / NegriFord Ecoboost Riley179-
25GTDCameron / PalttalaBMW Z4 GTE178-
26GTDSweedler / BellFerrari 458 Italia178-
27GTDPotter / Lally / AschPorsche 911 GT America177-
28GTDDempsey / Davis / FosterPorsche 911 GT America177-
29GTDBalzan / Westphal / DavisFerrari 458 Italia177-
30PPruett / Rojas / KaramFord Ecoboost Riley175Not Running
31GTDNielsen / GiemaziakPorsche 911 GT America175-
32GTDNeiman / von Moltke / PumpellyAudi R8 LMS175-
33PMiller / Nunez / VautierMazda SkyActiv Prototype175-
34PCCumming / Tagliani / MitchellOreca FLM09174Not Running
35GTLMKrohn / JohnssonFerrari 458 Italia174-
36GTDHaase / MillerAudi R8 LMS173-
37GTDBarker / Faulkner / AvenattiPorsche 911 GT America171-
38PCEnde / Junqueira / LewisOreca FLM09170Not Running
39GTDEspenlaub / Putman / BonanomiAudi R8 LMS170-
40PSharp / DalzielHPD ARX-03b168-
41GTDCarter / Davison / BlockAston Martin V12 Vantage168-
42PBrown / van Overbeek / LazzaroHPD ARX-03b160-
43PCLux / Rayhall / Kimber-SmithOreca FLM09158-
44GTDMacNeil / Keen / FrommenwilerPorsche 911 GT America156-
45GTDSnow / HeylenPorsche 911 GT America149-
46GTDCanache Jr. / Pumpelly / SandbergAudi R8 LMS141-
47GTDMadsen / Ludwig / Calvert-JonesPorsche 911 GT America137-
48GTDJames / FarnbacherPorsche 911 GT America124Not Running
49GTDBleekemolen / KeatingDodge Viper SRT91Not Running
50PLegge / ChavesDeltaWing DWC1374Not Running
51GTDLindsey / Norman / van LagenPorsche 911 GT America57Not Running
52GTDGriffin / Rugolo / GerberFerrari 458 Italia48Not Running
53PTremblay / Long / DevlinMazda SkyActiv Prototype13Not Running

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