So recently (August) this thread was started and it talks about the possible full season entry list and schedule for the first year of the new USCR series.
I talk a bit about the entry list, at least in GT-D here.
This post will focus on the schedule.
After reading the tea leafs, listening to podcast and reading various things around the internet, I come up with this -
- Rolex Daytona 24
- Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring
- Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix*
- Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
- 6 Hours of Watkins Glen
- Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport)
- Road America
- Detroit (Labor Day Weekend)
- Circuit of The Americas (Austin)
- Petit Le Mans
Marshall Pruett has said that Long Beach is for sure back on the schedule likely for the reasons I said above but that because of the limited paddock space, might be a GTLM/GT-D only race.
Again this would make sense because these are based on actual street cars unlikely prototypes.
I do believe however there is an element of the sports car fan base that wants to see prototypes racing even if they are DP's which have proven unpopular in California or P2's which are the same as P1 but use stock block based engines.
It seems IMSA/USCR could be bringing back the split race format just for this event.
You'll notice Kansas Speedway which was run for the first time by Grand Am a few weeks ago. As I understand it, NASCAR recently signed that deal with Kansas to have racers there. I included Laguna Seca because both series have run there for the last 5-9 years. But to keep it the season at 11 races, Laguna might be on the chopping block.
I based that on the desire for Atherton to keep the shared dates with Indycar. That would lock-in Detroit, Long Beach and Baltimore. There is also a rumor of Indycar using the road course at Indy and I know Grand Am had run there the last two seasons, but nothing is confirmed yet.
So if I had to add Kansas and Indy to the schedule, who else is on the chopping block?
Peter Delorenzo is reporting that USCR will not be returning to Baltimore. If thats true, then I guess we run Indy during the month of May on the road course to the Indy 500 weekend, instead of with the NASCAR and the Brickyard 400 weekend.
I know Indycar has expressed the desire to end the 2014 season on Labor Day weekend. The rumor has Detroit being that race and that would make sense. The race previous to its current location on the calendar is late August.
Seems there's a general agreement that VIR won't return, but that likely depends on the response to the share WEC/ALMS weekend in two weeks.
On Mid-Week Motorsports Marshall commented that if USCR doesn't give a date to Lime Rock, that it could send the Continental Tire series and other support series to the track. I also agree with him that there should be at least one more race in Canada.
So given the explanations, the revised schedule would look like this -
- Long Beach
- Indy 500 Weekend
- Watkins Glen
- Road America
- Circuit of The Americas
- Petit Le Mans (Road Atlanta)
This sort of makes sense and would please most of the ALMS fan base. The lost of Laguna Seca might be temporary as I think 2014 is sort of a holding pattern to find out who is going to go with the series long term. By having only 11 races, when 12-14 are very possible its likely taking in account the increased budgets needed just to complete all the added endurance races.
Grand Am is adding 12 and 10 hour races to its schedule. While the ALMS is adding a 24 hour races to its schedule and that doesn't include the teams going to Le Mans.
*Laguna Seca was a 6 hour race but reduced to 4 hours this season