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Atherton: “It Didn’t Work for Us to Be at Indianapolis Next Year”

Scott Atherton addresses Indy, Kansas removals from TUSC schedule…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Following today’s reveal for the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge schedules, IMSA President/COO Scott Atherton addressed the removal of the Indianapolis and Kansas rounds, among other topics.

For Indianapolis, which had taken place the last weekend in July the last two years as part of a combined NASCAR/sports car “super weekend,” various considerations led to the removal of the race for at least the 2015 season.

“At the top of our list was a mandate we gave ourselves to reduce the amount of racing on our calendar, and for a number of other business related reasons, it didn’t work for us to be at Indianapolis next year,” Atherton told Sportscar365.

Atherton said one of the potential 2015 options mooted was joining the Grand Prix of Indianapolis IndyCar weekend, but that option was not utilized. Atherton did say he was optimistic of a return to Indianapolis in the “not distant future.”

No additional IndyCar/TUDOR Championship weekends will occur in 2015 beyond the traditional rounds at Long Beach and Detroit.

Kansas, which played host to the first Prototype Challenge/IMSA Prototype Lites shared race as well as a Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge weekend, is also off the TUDOR Championship calendar.

“We had multiyear sanctioning agreements in place with several of our events, and that wasn’t one of them,” Atherton said. “I do believe you’ll see IMSA content at Kansas going forward, but it won’t be the TUDOR Championship.”

PC will race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Lime Rock Park next year – two tracks they didn’t in 2014 – and Atherton said this is the reward to that class for enduring some of the aspects that were adjusted on them for this season.

“It’s a reaffirming of our commitment to embrace the PC category as a featured element of the TUDOR Championship,” he said.

“There were some who’d felt we made some decisions for this year’s calendar that weakened their role in the championship.

“This confirms they’re rock solid through 2016, and secondly, will be featured in many if not most prominent events.”

The other schedule change that’s already been announced for 2015 is the Roar Before the Rolex 24 date moving back one week to Jan. 9-11, two weeks before the Rolex 24 at Daytona Jan. 24-25.

Atherton said the paddock and stakeholders largely have received this positively, as this should reduce travel around New Year’s.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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