Le Mans organiser the ACO backs Grand-Am/ALMS merger

The Automobile Club de l'Ouest believes that the merger between Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series will make international sportscar racing stronger

Le Mans organiser the ACO backs Grand-Am/ALMS merger

ACO president Pierre Fillon, whose organisation licenses the Le Mans name to the ALMS, said the move had "become necessary to enable endurance racing to continue to evolve".

He said the merger, which will come into force in 2014, "will reinforce the presence of endurance racing on the international scene".

A statement from the ACO read: "The ACO is delighted about this merger, which will increase the already large audience for endurance in North America and at the same time boost its international impact.

"The quality of the two organisations combined is a guarantee of confidence concerning the perpetuation of the values and prestige of the Le Mans 24 Hours on the American continent."

Fillon said he would be meeting the bosses of the new organisation, which include ALMS founder Don Panoz and series boss Scott Atherton, to start working with them on the new series.

The new championship, which has yet to be given a name, will retain a class for the Le Mans GTE class, it was confirmed at the official announcement of the merger.

However, Panoz, who is to be vice-chairman of the new organisation, as good as said that there would be no LMP1 class in the new series.

Panoz stated that he intended to find a way for successful teams in the new series to be able to win guaranteed starting spots for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The first and second-placed teams in the ALMS LMP1, LMP2 and GT categories gain entries for Le Mans, along with the class winners at the Petit Le Mans enduro at Road Atlanta.

shares
comments
Baltimore ALMS: Level 5 scores outright one-two with LMP2 HPDs

Previous article

Baltimore ALMS: Level 5 scores outright one-two with LMP2 HPDs

Next article

Alex Brundle joins OAK for Interlagos World Endurance Championship race

Alex Brundle joins OAK for Interlagos World Endurance Championship race
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020