Agreement Allows For Selected Competitors To Have Entries In 24 Hours of Le Mans; Use Of Petit Le Mans As Road Atlanta Race Name.
SEBRING, Fla. (March 15, 2013) – The link between Le Mans and professional sports car racing in North America lives on into the future. Officials from United SportsCar Racing – a result of unifying the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and GRAND-AM Road Racing – today signed agreements with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) that will keep the Le Mans brand of sports car racing firmly entrenched in North America.
“The ACO is delighted through this alliance partnership that goes beyond a simple licensing agreement, to continue our collaboration that started 14 years ago with Don Panoz and the creation of ALMS, and which has been of great benefit to both partners,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“This strategic alliance will lead to a close collaboration between the ACO and United SportsCar Racing to promote, develop and reinforce endurance racing in North America. Through this global agreement, I am convinced endurance racing will continue to be in safe hands in North America for many years to come.”
The specific licensing agreement will allow selected United SportsCar Racing competitors to have entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The agreement also allows for the Road Atlanta event to continue using the name, “Petit Le Mans.” In addition, a strategic alliance agreement was inked to explore and develop new avenues and horizons for endurance racing in North America.
Going forward, United SportsCar Racing and the ACO will work together to craft compatible technical regulations for the top sports car categories from each side. Such work is expected to expand manufacturer involvement, increase the sustainable relevance of sports car racing and enhance the overall event experience for all fans.
“A key component in the unification of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series was the ability to continue a relationship with Le Mans and the ACO,” said Jim France, GRAND-AM founder and United SportsCar Racing board member.
“My family has admired the 24 Hours of Le Mans for decades, and we hold it in the same high regard as the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The opportunity to maintain a link to Le Mans is as important to me as it is to all United SportsCar Racing manufacturers, teams and drivers.”
United SportsCar Racing begins its inaugural season in 2014 and while the ACO is the governing body of Le Mans-style racing, United SportsCar Racing remains independent from the ACO’s group of sanctioned series around the globe.
The opening round of the 2014 United SportsCar Racing season is the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.