US sportscar racing fans have had 16 years of schism and a further 16 months of anticipation after Grand-Am's buyout of the American Le Mans Series was revealed.
The new order of the United SportsCar Championship finally begins this weekend with the Daytona 24 Hours. That much is fact, but the uncertainty that has plagued this merger since its announcement in September 2012 will continue into the inaugural race. Which is a mixture of good and bad.
Bad is the confusion that surrounds the rules in the Prototype class made up of upgraded Daytona Prototypes from Grand-Am, and the LMP2 machinery and solo DeltaWing carried over from the ALMS. The final rules for this weekend's USC were only set in stone last Friday, following months of acrimony and bickering that isn't likely to stop with the Rolex-sponsored 24 Hours.
Get back on track. Join today for unlimited access to all Autosport news and features.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from monthly, yearly and two-yearly packages.
Gary Watkins has, for reasons best known to himself, devoted all his working life to covering sportscar racing. This season is his 25th as a motorsport journalist, during which time he has reported on major long-distance events on four continents and approaching 60 24-hour races. He reckons a degree in political philosophy makes him well qualified for covering the sometimes Machiavellian world of international sportscars.
Gary, who also writes for RACER, Autoweek, Motor Sport, Autocourse and others, lives in Surbiton but spends more time on the road than at home for most of the year.