Next week not only marks the beginning of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but also the four-race Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup.
Patrón was the presenting sponsor of the American Le Mans Series for several seasons and still sought an involvement in the new merged series of ALMS and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series. As Patrón Spirits CEO and Extreme Speed Motorsports driver Ed Brown explains, this was a way to do it.
The NAEC, renamed after it was called the North American Endurance Championship in Rolex the last two seasons, will include races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.
Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).
Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.
The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.
It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.