Top TUDOR Championship Pro-Am Drivers In Prototype, GT Le Mans To Have 2015 Podium Recognition, 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry

Please see attached press release, below is a text-only version.

Top TUDOR Championship Pro-Am Drivers In Prototype, GT Le Mans

To Have 2015 Podium Recognition, 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans Entry

· Highest-Finishing Pro-Am Drivers In P, GTLM To Be Honored In Each Race

· Automatic 24 Hours Of Le Mans Bids Available To Pro-Am Drivers

· New “Road to Le Mans” Program Strengthens Strategic Alliance between ACO and IMSA

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 20, 2014) – Against the backdrop of the Lone Star Le Mans – the only 2014 event featuring both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship – International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) officials today unveiled an expanded program to recognize top-performing Pro-Am drivers in the Prototype (P) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes beginning in 2015.

The Jim Trueman Award will be utilized to recognize the top-finishing Pro-Am in the P class, while the Bob Akin Award will recognize the best Pro-Am racer in GTLM on both a per-race and season-long basis. The winners will be recognized during podium ceremonies at each TUDOR Championship event, and the highest Pro-Am points finishers in both classes will earn season-ending awards at the annual TUDOR Night of Champions.

Additionally, the season-ending Trueman and Akin Award winners will have the opportunity to earn automatic invitations to the 24 Hours of Le Mans event in 2016 from their participation in IMSA. The Bob Akin Award winner would earn an entry in the LM GTE Am class at Le Mans, while the Jim Trueman Award winner would be eligible to compete in the LM P2 class with a car registered in the appropriate ACO homologated category.

“For the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and IMSA these two invitations to the Le Mans 24 Hours underline our common will to build a championship in the purest tradition that gives endurance racing its particular strength,” said Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO. “Together, we’re building up the Lone Star Le Mans rendezvous, which will become another key center of world endurance racing in the pure Le Mans spirit that the ACO has defended since 1923 and the creation of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“In 2015, two Pro-Am drivers will be given an automatic invitation for the following year’s Le Mans 24 Hours depending on their results. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest is delighted that these two invitations will enable two drivers from our sister series, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, to fulfill their dream and race at Le Mans, thus strengthening the already tightly knit links between the ACO and IMSA.”

Drivers must have either a Silver or Bronze rating and have built a career in another profession outside of auto racing to be eligible for Trueman or Akin Awards. To win the season-ending award and the Le Mans automatic invitations, they must compete in the four Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup events (Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta) at minimum. Trueman and Akin points and awards will be presented at every TUDOR Championship event.

“Pro-Am drivers have been and likely always will be the heritage of sports car racing,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “We are very pleased to further build on the collaborative strategic alliance between the ACO and IMSA, while further building sports car racing around the world.

“Our Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes have been specifically organized to include mandatory Pro-Am combinations, but a number of Pro-Am drivers also have aspirations and dreams to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This expanded program enables those drivers not only an opportunity to race at Le Mans, but to also gain experience driving the same cars they race here in the TUDOR Championship in North America.”

The Jim Trueman and Bob Akin Awards originated in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series in 2005. The Jim Trueman Award – named after the legendary sports car racer, former president of Red Roof Inns and former owner of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – was presented to the top Pro-Am driver in the Daytona Prototype (DP) class every year through 2013.

The Bob Akin Award also debuted in 2005 to honor the top Pro-Am driver in the Rolex Series GT class. The Award’s namesake was a two-time winner of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (1979 and 1986) and was president of the Hudson Wire Company. The Bob Akin Award also was last presented in the Rolex Series in 2013.

This year, the Jim Trueman Award will be presented to the championship-winning Pro-Am driver in the TUDOR Championship PC class, while the Bob Akin Award will go to the Pro-Am driver that wins the GTD class championship. Both will be presented at the TUDOR Night of Champions at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York on Monday, Oct. 13.

About IMSA

The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 with a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA – a company within the NASCAR Holdings group – is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected TUDOR Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

About the ACO
Created in 1906 in Le Mans (Sarthe, France), l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest organized the first Grand Prix in the history of the motor car the year it was founded followed by the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1923. Since then the ACO has always promoted Le Mans-type endurance events throughout the world, in particular thanks to continental championships, which make up the base of the endurance pyramid: the American Le Mans Series, launched in 1999, the European Le Mans Series (2004) and the Asian Le Mans Series (2013). Above these series is the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), of which the ACO is the promoter and organizer, and at the top of the pyramid sits the Le Mans 24-Hours race. This year this legendary event is celebrating its 90th anniversary and all those racing in endurance aspire to take part in it. The ACO is the exclusive strategic partner of IMSA in North America in the context of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. This partnership allows the entrants in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship to win invitations offered by the ACO for the Le Mans 24 Hours depending on their results.

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
matt

@sundaygroup
317.908.2975 (m)
www.sundaymanagement.com

For additional information: www.sundaymanagement.com, www.facebook.com/sundaygroup, www.twitter.com/Sundaygroup

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: