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September 05, 2012  |   By Paul Kelly

Sports Car Merger Builds Excitement For Future Races At IMS

GRAND-AM Road Racing, which made its Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut in 2012, will have a new look starting in 2014 after a landmark merger between GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series was announced Sept. 5 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The new, unified series will debut with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2014. GRAND-AM and ALMS will continue with their respective schedules in 2013, including the GRAND-AM Brickyard Grand Prix and Brickyard Sports Car Challenge races during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 25-28.

“We congratulate and celebrate this historic merger of North American sports car racing,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “It has created an even more exciting future for this thrilling form of motorsports, which was met with a very enthusiastic reception from our fans during the IMS debut of GRAND-AM in July.”

More than 100 cars competed in two GRAND-AM series – the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix circuit at IMS during the Kroger Super Weekend in July 2012.

The merger involves eight sports car series racing throughout North America. GRAND-AM sanctions and operates the Rolex Sports Car Series, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the TOTAL Performance Showcase. GRAND-AM also sanctions the Ferrari Challenge that is operated by Ferrari North America. IMSA is the sanctioning body for the ALMS, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series, the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin.