Sports car racing fans will be in for a double-header event at Circuit of The Americas this fall, with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship both holding their rounds on Sat., Sept. 20.
While the FIA WEC Six Hours of the Circuit of The Americas is set to run from 4:30-10:30 p.m., IMSA is working to finalize the starting time for its two-hour and 45-minute event earlier in the day.
According to IMSA President and COO Scott Atherton, there are meetings this week to finalize the complete schedule for the event.
“We don’t know for certain because we haven’t finalized that,” Atherton said of the TUDOR Championship start time. “There’s a lot of work to be done before the end of our event and the beginning of the WEC race.
“I think everyone involved there is aware of and is confident they can make that turn in a very efficient way.”
The issue in question is the amount of time that will be needed to convert the pit lane from an American-style pit wall for the TUDOR Championship race to an open, European-style configuration for the FIA WEC cars.
The circuit had the luxury of having more than 12 hours to remove the pit wall last year, as the FIA WEC race was held on Sunday morning.
Atherton, who admitted the TUDOR Championship race would not start as early as 10 a.m., expects a more efficient process this year, which would likely allow a late morning start for the IMSA-sanctioned series.
“Take a look at Indianapolis,” he said. “To change from the oval to the road course, used to take two weeks. Then it took one week. Then it took two days. Now they can do it in like four hours.
“When you study something and you understand the efficiencies and the equipment and the personnel, I think the swap over from the TUDOR Championship to WEC is going to be much more efficient.”
It’s understood the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will be held on Friday, Sept. 19, with no track activity scheduled for the Sunday after the TUSC/WEC rounds.