Tudor United Sports Car 2014 season review
As it was announced earlier, 2014 season was inaugural season of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. It was new competition formed by merging of the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series and despite all odds before the start of the season and ups and downs during the competition, it was made a solid base for the future.
New competition had four classes – Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona. New rules were established with limitations in the number of entries per class and by number of drivers with limitations of maximum three drivers per car for races less than six hours, four drivers for races from sih to 12 hours in length and five drivers for 24 hours races. Also, minimum and maximum driving time for individual driver was established and it varies depending by race and class.
Season had 13 races starting with 24 hours race at Daytona and finishing with 10 hours race Petit Le Mans at Atlanta Road circuit, but only seven races were planned for the all four classes. Chevrolet (Prototype) and Porsche (GTLM and GTD) were recognized as winners of the manufacturer championships.
In Prototype class best were Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, members of Action Express Racing. They clinched the title at the Petit Le Mans finishing the season with 19 points more than second placed Jordan Taylor and Ricky Taylor of Taylor Racing Team. Third in overall ranking, with 31 points behind the champions, were Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante (Spirit of Daytona Racing).
Jon Bennett and Colin Braun, from CORE Autosport, took the trophy in Prototype Challenge class, clinching the title one race before the end of the season. They won 321 points, leaving Renger van den Zande (Starworks Motorsport) at second place with 282 and Martin Fuentes, also member of Starworks Motorsport, at third place with 260 points.
Very close season was in GTLM class in which title was taken by SRT Motorsports’ Kuno Wittmer with 331 points, just five more than his team-mate Jonathan Bomarito, while the third in overall standings was Antonio Garcia of Corvette Racing with 317 points.
Finally, GTD class was won by Dane Cameron, member of Turner Motorsport team. He clinched the title taking fourth place at final race of the season winning the championship with nine points above Bryce Miller and Christopher Haase (Paul Miller Racing), while third were Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil (Alex Job Racing) with same number of points like second placed team but they failed to win any single race in the season.
“By nearly all measures, the 2014 Tudor Championship was a success. We had full fields of world class race cars throughout the season. Competition on the racetrack was close and got even closer as the season progressed. This is a testament to the quality of our race teams, drivers and manufacturers, that so many different combinations could produce victories”, said IMSA president and chief operating officer Scott Atherton.