The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC) 2014 inaugural season will feature some familiar faces, as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will bring its powerhouse teams from the Grand-Am ROLEX Sports Car Series into the new league formed by the merger of Grand-Am ROLEX Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series. Drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who together won the final four Grand-Am ROLEX driver and team championships, will again combine forces with the goal of a fifth straight championship overall and first-ever USCC championship.
The season’s inaugural race, the ROLEX 24 at Daytona to be held at Daytona International Speedway on January 25 and 26, 2014, will have two Ganassi entries. The ROLEX 24 at Daytona has often been considered something of an unofficial start to the NASCAR season, as each year several Sprint Cup regulars have entered the race for various teams. Ganassi has tapped his two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson for this year’s event, with McMurray joining Pruett, Rojas and 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam to drive the #01 car while Larson will join forces with Ganassi IndyCar drivers Scott Pruett and Tony Kaanan along with Marino Franchitti, younger brother of recently retired Dario Franchitti, to pilot the #02. The #01 will carry sponsorship by Mexican telecommunications company Telcel along with Target Stores and hi-tech pillow manufacturer Comfort Revolution. The #02 has sponsorship from Target Stores along with Telcel and Big Machine Records, a country music label whose artists include Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw. Both cars will be Fords, using its 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost racing engine for this and all other races during the 2014 USCC season. Ganassi’s NASCAR and IndyCar teams are Chevrolet.
Together, the drivers Ganassi is deploying for the 2014 ROLEX 24 at Daytona have won twenty-three series championships, two Indianapolis 500s, one Daytona 500, one Brickyard 400 and four Rookie of the Year awards.
With a single sports car series, and racing heavyweights such as Ganassi bringing their full arsenal to the new league, racing aficionados are rightfully hopeful the sport can now focus on broadening its appeal to both stock car and open-wheel racing fans with its blend of the best of both worlds.