News - Road Atlan...

ICYMI: IMSA Announcements

IMSA made a series of announcements at Road America last weekend that will shape the immediate future of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Among the announcements was the release of the 2015 schedules for the two series, as well as the class structure and specifications for all four TUDOR Championship classes through the 2016 season.

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The Le Mans 24 Hours The pinnacle of worldwide endurance racing!

The Le Mans 24 Hours (14-15 June) is the highpoint of the worldwide endurance racing season, and as such is at the summit of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s endurance pyramid! It is the race that the all the teams from the five continents dream of winning.

Since 1999 and the creation of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has patiently built the world endurance pyramid. Its base is the continental series: the Tudor United Sportscar Championship born of the merger between the ALMS and Grand-Am in North America having its first season this year, the European Le Mans Series launched in 2004 and the Asian Le Mans Series entering its second year in 2014. Above these is the FIA World Endurance Championship. And the jewel in the crown of this ensemble is the Le Mans 24 Hours, which all the entrants in the different series run under the Le Mans label aspire to take part in and to win. At the end of each of the continental series championships, the best teams are invited to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours, an invitation that is eagerly sought after while all the entries in the world endurance championship are automatically accepted.

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Road Atlanta Key Part of Mazda Competition Heritage

One of the most successful manufacturers at Road Atlanta is Mazda. The Mazda RX-7 was a dominant force in IMSA sports car racing, winning numerous races and championships. But the Mazda success story began in the 1970s with the rotary powered Mazda RX-2 and RX-3 models.

Pat Bedard of Car & Driver magazine prepared a Mazda RX-2 project car for the IMSA sedan series, and its immediate success including a win at Road Atlanta in 1973 brought rules that penalized the rotary engine. Walt Bohren purchased the car and campaigned the RX-2 successfully, winning at Road Atlanta in 1976. Atlanta-based racer Jim Downing and South Carolinian Roger Mandeville were also pioneers of the Mazda rotary, winning numerous races in the 1970s.

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