TUDOR Championship makes schedule tweaks, sets tentative car count caps

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Covering sports car racing is a challenge because of the various regulations, classes, requirements for drivers and other extenuating circumstances. But, because of the variety offered, particularly compared to single-spec stock car and open-wheel series, I dig my sports car fix.

However, sometimes, you can easily get confused.

I don’t think it was the intent of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship to make things even more confusing than they already are with the intricacies of putting together series and ideologies (GRAND-AM Rolex Series and American Le Mans Series) about as far apart as the divide in Washington.

But today’s press release with schedule updates and announcing tentative car capacities has made its best effort to make things more convoluted.

Kansas Speedway has been added as a 13th race weekend for the TUDOR Championship, which is something of a surprise. It will hold a PC class race on June 7. Earlier Friday, the track itself released details of Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, IMSA Cooper Tire Prototype Lites and IMSA Porsche GT3 Challenge races there to be held that day, but said nothing of a TUDOR Championship race.

The PC class will, if I’m reading the press release correctly, run “doubleheader sprint races” at both Kansas June 7 and Virginia International Raceway August 24, “alongside” Prototype Lites. That would be unprecedented if the PC class ORECA FLM09 chassis race alongside the Panoz DP02s, which run in Prototype Lites.

Where PC gets shafted is that it loses the Detroit and Mosport rounds it was already promised, and announced with the rest of the 2014 schedule at the Circuit of the Americas weekend in Austin in September.

IMSA series officials have said repeatedly throughout this process that there was “one chance to get the schedule right,” and so after what was a very good, by most accounts, full schedule release at COTA, we now have a Friday afternoon where the schedule’s been changed. Go figure.

The above copy doesn’t even get into the tentative car count capacity, projected for each race. IMSA officials have outlined the below numbers as tentative caps in the four classes, and rather than repeat them in words, I’ll just list them below.

Date Location

Class

Car Cap

Class

Car Cap

Jan. 25-26 Daytona

P

PC

19

10

GTLM

GTD

12

19

Mar. 15 Sebring

P

PC

20

10

GTLM

GTD

14

19

Apr. 12 Long Beach

P

20

GTLM

16

May 4 Monterey

P

20

GTLM

12

May 4 Monterey

PC

10

GTD

19

May 31 Detroit

P

20

GTD

21

Jun. 1 LM24

Test Day

Jun. 7 Kansas

PC

10

Jun. 14-15 LM24

LM24

Jun. 29 Watkins Glen

P

PC

19

10

GTLM

GTD

12

19

Jul. 13 Mosport

P

19

GTLM

GTD

12

19

Jul. 25 Indianapolis

P

PC

20

10

GTLM

GTD

14

19

Aug. 10 Rd. America

P

PC

19

10

GTLM

GTD

12

19

Aug. 24 VIR

PC

10

Aug. 24 VIR

GTLM

19

GTD

19

Sept. 20 COTA

P

PC

19

10

GTLM

GTD

12

19

Oct. 4 Petit

P

PC

19

10

GTLM

GTD

12

19

Not to be outdone, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge schedule has also been announced. It will follow the TUDOR Championship to most events, with the standalones at Lime Rock Park May 24 (the Saturday before the Indianapolis 500) and also, with the PC race at Kansas June 7.

Complicating matters further is that next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will directly conflict with two parts of the TUDOR Championship calendar. The test day is June 1 and scrutineering, technical inspection, begins June 7.

So, that’s where we stand at the close of business this Friday afternoon.

2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Schedule
Date    Venue
Jan 24  Daytona International Speedway
Mar 14  Sebring International Raceway
May 3   Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
May 24  Lime Rock Park
Jun 7   Kansas Speedway
Jun 28  Watkins Glen International
Jul 12  Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Jul 25  Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Aug 9   Road America
Aug 23  Virginia International Raceway
Sep 20  Circuit of The Americas
Oct 3   Road Atlanta

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).