IMSA, ACO Extend Partnership For Six Years

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

Also attached is a photo of IMSA Chairman Jim France and ACO President Pierre Fillon taken this morning at Sebring International Raceway.

Photo Credit: LAT Photo USA for IMSA

IMSA, ACO Extend Partnership For Six Years

Partnership Among Global Endurance Sports Car Racing Leaders Through 2020


SEBRING, Fla. (March 21, 2015)
– Shortly before the green flag waved to start the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO) announced a six-year extension of their strategic alliance to advance sports car racing in North America and around the world. The extension runs through the 2020 racing season.

IMSA and the ACO will introduce new Prototype regulations in 2017 that will govern the top class in IMSA’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the LM P2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Asian Le Mans Series. The extension carries the partnership through the first four-year cycle of the Prototype regulations.

Next year, IMSA and the ACO will introduce new specifications for their top GT classes: GT Le Mans (GTLM) in the TUDOR Championship and GTE at Le Mans, FIA WEC, ELMS and Asian LMS. Additionally, the TUDOR Championship will shift its GT Daytona (GTD) class to full FIA GT3 technical regulations in 2016. Those GT regulations will be in effect through the 2019 season.

“Since announcing our original strategic partnership here at Sebring two years ago, the bond between IMSA and the ACO has gotten stronger,” said IMSA Chairman Jim France. “This partnership will make it easier for our top teams to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and for top international teams in Prototype and GT racing to join us for our marquee events such as the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.”

The partnership will continue to provide automatic entries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans to TUDOR Championship competitors. The licensing agreement allows IMSA to continue to utilize the Le Mans name for its GT Le Mans class and the Petit Le Mans event.

“We are very delighted to strengthen even more our partnership with IMSA,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon. “It was essential for the ACO to rely on this strategic alliance to implement the harmonization for LM P2 and LM GT categories that we can guarantee a long-term visibility for the endurance teams. With Jim France, we share the same values and commitment.”

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.

For more information visit http://www.IMSA.com and follow IMSA at www.Facebook.com/IMSA and Twitter: @IMSA.

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.

Contacts:


Nate Siebens

IMSA

nsiebens

Philippe Joubin
Automobile Club l’Ouest

p.joubin

imsa-aco-partnership-extension-rls.pdf

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