While the TUDOR United SportsCar Racing series has been making headlines for uniting an otherwise divided sports car racing environment in North America, many fine details are starting to trickle out, giving light to the challenges the series will face.
Team owners and drivers still don’t know the technical guidelines for the performance of cars in each class, but they do know where they will have to show up to race.
Those venues, released two weeks ago, will now dictate the size of the field as the series is expecting capacity numbers in 2014.
The maximum car capacity will be based on the space available at each venue, and officials have decided upon a car capacity for each class.
As full-season entries are filed, those numbers could change.
“Based on the feedback we’ve received from our entrants, we expect full-season entries to put us at or near maximum capacity for every TUDOR Championship race next year,” said IMSA Vice President, Competition and Technical Regulations, Scot Elkins. “The issue of capacity has really come into focus since we announced our 2014 schedule last month and as our teams have begun to share their plans with us. Our projections have led us to make some additional adjustments."
The Prototype (P) class will be able to hold 20 cars at five venues, and 19 at the rest, while the Prototype Challenge (PC) class will be capped at 10 cars. The PC cars will be running with the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Laguna Seca in May. A separate race will be held on the same day for the P and GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.
The Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Detroit's rounds of the PC championship season have been removed from the schedule.
In the GT ranks, GTLM will be able to host 19 cars at VIR, 16 at Long Beach, 14 at Sebring and Indianapolis, and 12 at the rest of their events. GTD will see a tentative cap of 19 cars for all events, except Detroit, which can take 21 cars.
These new guidelines seem to be a little confusing, especially if classes start to hit the higher numbers of entrants.
I would hate to see some sort of qualifying procedure that sends cars home. Sports car racing is already a tough sell in North America, so sending cars home based on car caps and small courses could spell bad news for success of the series. Could the series give a deadline for entries, and then take a look at the fields?