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The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, otherwise referred to as the United SportsCar Championship or USCC, is an American based racing series founded in 2014. Taking over from the now defunct American Le Mans Series, and adopting the Rolex Sports Car Series, the USCC (sponsored by TUDOR watches) sees a compination of Le Mans Prototypes, GT cars and Daytona Prototypes do battle in a series of Endurance races across North America.

The USCC combines some of the biggest motorsports events in the world, including the 24 Hours of Daytona, which has so far kicked-off both seasons. Other races include Petit Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, which combine to form the Endurance Cup. So far, the only USCC Champions have been the Action Express Racing team, with their drivers João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi claiming the honours in 2014.

HistoryEdit

The USCC was first formed when the Grand-Am Road Racing organisation merged itself with the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) on the 5th of September 2012. The result saw a new series emerge, which combined IMSA's top championship, the American Le Mans Series with GARR's top event, the Rolex Sports Car Series, set to début in 2014.[1] Agreeing deals with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (organisers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA's World Endurance Championship, the new United Sports Car Championship was unveiled in late 2013, with the first race taking place as the historic 24 Hours of Daytona.[1]

DP vs LMPEdit

Combining Dayonta Prototypes and Le Mans Prototypes (specifically LMP2 cars), along with the DeltaWing and GT cars, the first ever USCC round, sponsored by TUDOR watches, saw a Chevrolet Corvette DP take victory. The car, containing eventual Champions João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, as well as Frenchman Template:Sebastien Bourdais went on to win three races through the season, although it was a consistent podium record that ultimately handed the Action Express Racing crew the title. 

Despite not winning the Championship, Wayne Taylor Racing were offered an entry into the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, alongside GT entrants Scuderia Corsa. Only the latter would attend the ACO's biggest event of the year,  although they were joined by several USCC entrants who were awarded entries through application. 2015 saw the USCC once again start with the 24 Hours of Daytona, but would end with Petit Le Mans in October.

Combined GloriesEdit

The USCC provides several titles and various inter-series Championships which tie together the series and make it more open to competitors. In pursuit of this, the USCC incorporates a mixture of classes, titles and trophies from its founding series, as well as provides new contests for different entrants to cater for as many as it can. Ultimately, because of the natural speed of the DP and LMP cars, the ultimate honours will fall to one of them, meaning GT cars may fight for their own honours.

ClassesEdit

The USCC adopted all of the various classes from its two founding organisations, with a universal agreement with the FIA and the ACO to ensure international cooperation. Listed below are the classes of the USCC, including a brief description of each.

USCC Classes
Class Name Explanation
P Prototype Combining Daytona Prototypes, Le Mans Prototypes and the DeltaWing into one class.
PC Prototype Challenge Prototype Challenge cars, built by Oreca and powered by Chevrolet. Effectively a one make class
GTLM GT Le Mans A GT class with cars that conform to the ACOs GTE specs
GTD GT Daytona The corresponding Daytona spec GT category, incorporating the FIA GT3 spec cars and other GT cars
IMSA Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge Series
GS Grand Sport A road-based GT car built specifically for the above Championship
ST Street Tuner Small capacity street cars, with minor modifications from the production car

For most of the season all four of the full USCC classes run together, although for some rounds, such as the Long Beach Grand Prix, only P and GTLM cars will be allowed to enter. At others, the IMSA Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge will be held at the same event, significantly increasing the entry list when schedules, and track space, allow.

IMSA Continental Tires Sports Car ChallengeEdit

The IMSA organised Sports Car Challenge, sponsored by Continental Tires, is a Championship that supports the USCC, although is often run alongside it at the same event, The IMSA competition also allows a different variety of cars to compete, from heavily road based sportscars to Touring Cars, vastly expanding the appeal of the USCC. The series itself formed from the remains of the Trans-Am Series that supported the Rolex Sports Car Series before the merger, and fills the same role.

Tequila Patrón NAECEdit

The Tequila Patrón sponsored North American Endurance Cup combines the four biggest endurance races in North America, with a special award for the team/drivers who do the best over all four. The four races include the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, 6 Hours of Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans, which are, historically, the most significant races in North America.

The CircuitsEdit

The USCC visits most of the biggest circuits in North America, although some are small enough that the field may be split, or some cars cannot compete. However, the calendar is long enough that teams who miss one round of the Championship may still have a chance of the title.

USCC Circuits
Name Event Use
Flag of the United States Circuit of the Americas Lone Star Le Mans 2014 -
Flag of the United States Daytona International Speedway 24 Hours of Daytona 2014 -
Flag of the United States Detroit Belle Isle Street Circuit Chevrolet Sports Car Classic 2014 -
Flag of the United States Indianapolis Motor Speedway Brickyard Grand Prix 2014
Flag of the United States Kansas Speedway Grand Prix of Kansas 2014
Flag of Canada Mosport Park Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix 2014 -
Flag of the United States Laguna Seca Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix 2014 -
Flag of the United States Lime Rock Park Northeast Grand Prix 2015
Flag of the United States Long Beach Street Circuit Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase 2014 -
Flag of the United States Road America Continental Tire Road Race Showcase 2014 -
Flag of the United States Road Atlanta Petit Le Mans 2014 -
Flag of the United States Sebring International Raceway 12 Hours of Sebring 2014 -
Flag of the United States Virginia International Raceway Oak Tree Grand Prix 2014 -
Flag of the United States Watkins Glen International 6 Hours of the Glen 2014 -
Circuit names lacking sponsorship titles

The races themselves are held in any order, although the 24 Hours of Daytona has started both USCC seasons, due to the fact that it is staged in January.

The ChampionsEdit

So far, only one season of the USCC has been completed, meaning there is only one set of Champions in USCC history. João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi are the only overall Champions, with their team, Action Express Racing in a similar position. Their title, and the others so far offered, are listed below:

USCC Champions
Year Drivers Teams Manufacturers
Engines Chassis
2014 Flag of Portugal João Barbosa
Flag of Brazil Christian Fittipaldi
Action Express Racing Chevrolet Coyote
Prototype
2014 Flag of the United States Jon Bennett
Flag of the United States Colin Braun
CORE Autosport Not Awarded
Prototype Challenge
2014 Flag of Canada Kuno Wittmer SRT Motorsports Porsche
GT LM
2014 Flag of the United States Dane Cameron Turner Motorsport Porsche
GTD

Michelin were also awarded a Championship in the GTLM category, which also staged a tyre based points scoring system, which saw the French firm beat Falken.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 'Unified GRAND-AM/American Le Mans Series Leadership Team Meets With ACO And WEC At Le Mans', imsa.com, (International Motor Sport Association, 26/09/2012), http://www.imsa.com/unified-grand-amamerican-le-mans-series-leadership-team-meets-aco-and-wec-le-mans#sthash.FMcPeL5w.dpuf', (Accessed 24/06/2015)

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