On September 20th 2013 IMSA announced the Tudor United SportsCar Championship Schedule. The season will be a total of 12 events visiting many of the old standbys but there will no doubt be some people missing some of the old venues. The finalized schedule is below.
2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Schedule
|Jan 25-26||Daytona International Speedway|
|Mar 15||Sebring International Raceway|
|Apr 12||Long Beach Street Circuit|
|May 4||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca|
|May 31||Detroit Belle Isle|
|Jun 29||Watkins Glen International|
|Jul 13||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park|
|Jul 25||Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
|Aug 10||Road America|
|Aug 24||Virginia International Raceway|
|Sep 20||Circuit of The Americas|
|Oct 4||Road Atlanta|
Next will be a visit to the west coast and Long Beach which should provide the excitement and bunch of damaged hardware that the street circuits usually bring to the schedule. This race will be run in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar series. Historic Monterrey will be next stop and I look forward to seeing the combined series running through the classic “Corkscrew” at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Mazda Raceway was a track visited by both series but it was separately, so fans of both series should be satisfied with the visit to this familiar venue.
As the season winds into May we will see a visit to Detroit Belle Isle for another companion race with IndyCar. The “Motor City” although not one of my favorite tracks, should provide a place for many of the car and supplier partners to see the championship close up and at home. The Next stop is at Watkins Glen another track with along pedigree in motorsports, including recently the Rolex Series, Formula 1 and many years of sports car racing including the old IMSA Camel GT series. The New York track will again host a 6 hour endurance race titled The Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
The 7th event of the series will take teams out of the US boarders for a trip to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. This facility formerly known as Mosport International Raceway is known for very high speed sweeping corners and the challenging Moss Corner which leads on to a very long straightaway, the location is currently undergoing a massive renovation project. Indianapolis will be the stop for late July , and will share the facility with the Nascar crowd and teams. This could be a good cross marketing opportunity and draw some clear motorsports fans into the sports car fan crowd. Early August will see activity up in the land of the cheese heads, with an event at Road America in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin. The large spread out facility, very temperate weather and excellent Bratwurst and beer makes a visit to this venue another favorite on my list, however that could just be the beer talking.
You have heard me mention that I am eager to see some of the races at many of the above listed track, but I have to say my favorite has to be the final race of the schedule and that is Road Atlanta. The event will still be called the Petit Le Mans and will share a link with the 24 hours of Le Mans. For me there is something about October in Atlanta and a race that continues for 1000 miles and finishes after dark that just makes me want to celebrate, or at least go out for a drive.
I know there are some people out there who may be missing a favorite track and have already seen some people lamenting the loss of Lime Rock Park, the little bullring that created so much excitement. I have also seen some of the fans that live in the central Midwest express dissatisfaction at losing the event at Kansas Speedway. If you ask me it really does not fit into the same class as the iconic tracks that we see listed above, and I wondered how long it would stay on the schedule once the two series combined. Overall I am pretty happy with schedule, I think many of the tracks bring a great history from motorsports past in the US and mix it up with some fresh venues like COTA and Belle Isle. There is still a great deal to be delivered by this merged series, but I look forward in anticipation to what a United SportsCar Series can become in the next few years.