Earlier reports of a merger between the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series have proven to be well founded today, as representatives from both series have confirmed that the merger is indeed taking place.

Grand-Am founder Jim France and ALMS founder Don Panoz stated jointly this afternoon that the new sports car racing series, as yet unnamed, will kick off with its first joint race at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2014. The new series is likely to present a schedule of some 12 races per year, though each series will continue on independently for the 2013 season.

While no confirmation of the exact racing-class structure has been given yet, a continuation of the popular Prototype and GT classes seems likely. Evidence for this came in the form of some Grand-Am and ALMS cars on display for the announcement: a Corvette Daytona Prototype, SRT Viper GTS-R and a Lola B12/80 Judd, amongst others.

France (the son of legendary NASCAR founder, Bill France Sr.) will take on the role of Chairman for the new series, with Panoz serving as Vice Chairman.

Some larger support from NASCAR is seemingly in evidence, too, with three members of that series' executive structure serving as board members for the new sports car racing tie-up.

For their part, early response to the announcement on the part of participating automakers seems bullish. Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing, called the event an "epic moment for sports car racing in America." Echoing those sentiments, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT, said in a press release, "Congratulations to both leadership teams for unifying their efforts to create what will certainly be an amazing new series featuring outstanding sports car competition at some of the most legendary race courses."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      NASCAR is looking to add more road course races to their schedule, since those have been the only exciting races to watch this whole season. Gobbling up two competing sports car racing series seems to be the easiest way to accomplish that. Hopefully some good comes out of it for all series involved.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully, this won't affect the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. As for ALMS/Grand Am, I think they'll try to integrate the GT classes (ALMS GT > Grand Am GT any day of the week, though), and maybe keep the Daytona Prototypes as a stepping stone between the production-based GT cars and the full on prototypes of the LMP class. That's what I'd do, anyway.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Also, I did not know Don Panoz was a doctor.
        • 2 Years Ago
        He invented the trans-dermal patch which is how he made his fortune.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let the sports cars live on! Events like this make some really cool production cars!!
      Sir Duke
      • 2 Years Ago
      The organizational structure of this new ruling body is extremely worrying to me. Have any of you tries to watch NASCAR lately? Well, I've effective stopped watching about five years ago. If there is a race on, and I happen to trip over it while channel surfing, it really makes me sad, to see what "Stock Car" has come to. What a steaming pile of horse-dung. Mr. France, shut up and listen, you might learn what real racing is all about. It sure isn't about that stupid parade of horrible "cars", and idiotic loudmouths as commentators. While i pray that we the racing fans end up with a better racing series, I'll be surfing the net, looking for races between real cars that I can actually recognize. It was my hope that the Frances would FIX NASCAR, not find another series to wreck.
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the le mans classes die, so does the series. The France's being in control of anything is not a good thing. I thought when I heard this possibility the other day it had some promise, but after the announcement, and really nothing concrete with regard to le mans, I'm not so hopeful, especially with Porsche getting back into Full P1 comp. sad day.
      • 2 Years Ago
      ALMS was the most relevant because of the connection with the ACO and the potential of teams being invited to LeMans. In my book whatever the ACO does in 2014 needs to be the status quo here the states. The only system I see working is LMP1, LMP2 (the only way privateers from the states can make it to LeMans within the prototype class) and continuation of GT. Lets be real a DP is a tube frame car does not hold a t to the prototype chassis out of europe. If they are smart they will replace the PC cars which are old anyway with DP cars as a entry point into prototype. The reason being they can enter the sport at a reasonable price point but i gotta say the GT cars are probably very close in terms of out right speed. I welcome the 24 hour race at Daytona, sports car racing is about endurance.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very disappointing news to hear. I'm a huge fan of ALMS and especially their GT class. Scares me to think what Grand AM and NASCAR will do to that series. I love ALMS because it reminds me of overseas GT roadcourse racing...whereas Grand AM reminds me of televised track days.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh no. This is bad news. May World Challenge rise to the top..
      Malou H
      • 2 Years Ago
      do not want to see them together... I like them the way they are... and i want porchecup back where it was too.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think I have found the answer. 277 people have commented on gas prices in Italy. 23 of us have commented on ALMS.
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