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New combined series to get name
On March 14, two days before the 12 Hours of Sebring, expect a press conference in which the new name of the combined ALMS and Grand-AM series will be announced, as well as the name of the four or five classes that will be racing at Daytona next year, the variable being whether or not the Mazda-centric GX class is dovetailed into the Grand-Am GT class.

Those classes are, of course, P2-DP, ALMS’s GT class, Grand-Am's GT class combined with the ALMS Porsche-spec GTC class, and ALMS’ LMPC class. The LMP1 cars are left out, but could be reconfigured to run in P2. As it is, Ken Atherton said, 94 percent of the cars that have been competing in ALMS and Grand-Am will be able to compete in the new combined series with minimal changes.

The ALMS, though, has always been about open competition. If a tire manufacturer beats only itself, where is the motivation to improve, and the pride of beating other manufacturers?

The ALMS LMPC class, though, has used a spec tire -- Michelin. And it appears that Michelin may be out, and Grand-Am partner Continental in for the Oreca-chassis, Chevrolet-engine spec class.

For 2014, it appears the Grand-Am GT class will likely still have Continentals, but the ALMS-based GT class will likely have open competition. The biggest issue is the combined P2 and Daytona Prototype class -- by giving Continental the LMPC class, it may ease the way to allowing for manufacturer competition in the P2-DP class.

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