Top moments of 2012, #5: GRANDAM-ALMS unification – will it work?

The two American sportscar series are now under NASCAR, but the final decisions still need to be made prior to the on-track competition in 2014. placed it fifth in our top five moments of the year.

As sports car fans, the thought always lingered in our minds: could the Don Panoz owned American Le Mans Series and the NASCAR owned Grand-Am Rolex Series ever put their differences aside and come together for the betterment of sports car racing?

Unfortunately, the answer for years was always a resounding “no” as the idea seemed to be laughable at best. After all, each series had been trying to run the other into the ground for several years with no foreseeable end in sight. That all changed in an instant this September when it was announced that the two series would unite in 2014.

Grand-Am and ALMS announce merger
Grand-Am and ALMS announce merger

Photo by: Grand-Am

In a generation when so-called secrets are known months in advance, the announcement came as a genuine and absolute shock to nearly everybody in the sport, including the members of each series’ paddock. Teams and fans alike expressed cautious optimism about the news, but then the inevitable questions became to pop up: how could two series with such different cars, not to mention vastly different methods of operation, ever hope to truly unite?

Skeptics were quick to say that the two series can never truly coexist together and proclaimed that this was the death of sports car racing in America. I have to admit that I was highly pessimistic when I heard the announcement. I was afraid that this “merger” was in reality, a NASCAR takeover of the American Le Mans Series and all the things that made the ALMS great would be tossed aside without a second thought.

However, it seems both sides are genuinely interested in cooperating and keeping the best aspects of each series intact. Now my initial worries have subsided and I feel genuinely confident that the leadership of this new series will take their time and really make sure they get this right. The pieces are there to make American sports car racing something spectacular again, they just need to be put together in the right way.

Next: moment #4 and Previous: moment #6

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Don Panoz
Article type Special feature
Tags alms, france, grandam, panoz, top moment