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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
|2014|| João Barbosa|
|Action Express Racing||Chevrolet||Coyote|
|2014|| Jon Bennett|
|CORE Autosport||Not Awarded|
|2014||Kuno Wittmer||SRT Motorsports||Porsche|
|2014||Dane Cameron||Turner Motorsport||Porsche|
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 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)