NuArt CanAm - Unlimited Racing Championship

Can-Am Revisited – Unlimited Racing Championship

Catching the spirit of Can-Am is one of the goals of the new Unlimited Racing Championship (URC) that will feature identically built NuArt CanAm cars reminiscent of the wide-open racing series from the 1960-70s. The URC will run as the “Heritage Series” with the American Le Mans Series for the 2012 season and beyond.

“The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is thrilled to welcome the Unlimited Racing Championship, which will be joining a number of ALMS events in 2012,” said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS. “This ‘Heritage Series’ will provide more variety and a modern day link to the past for our many fans next year. The new initiative establishes a direct connection to the history of sports car racing in North America with the sights and sounds of an era of extreme speed and power – the revolutionary Can-Am Challenge Cup of the 1960s and 70s. The spectacle of these massively powerful racing machines with a bridge to the past of American racing will surely evoke many fond memories for some and attract new fans as well.”

NuArt CanAm race car“This project was years in the making,” said Richard Nauert, founder of the Unlimited Racing Championship and designer of the NuArt CanAm car. “We analyzed the original Can-Am cars, remaining true to the visual, as well as spiritual concept. Components like big-block engines, 12-inch steel brakes, and Can-Am intakes were just some of the historical elements we maintained in the NuArt CanAm car. Despite the tribute to the originals cars, at the same time, they are particularly relevant to the American Le Mans Series because we loaded them with modern technology. The technology is specifically to make them safe, have longevity, and be flexible for a wide range of driver skills.”

The NuArt CanAm cars are identically prepared, purpose-built race cars with 700+ horsepower, big-block V-8 motors and modern aerospace quality components with an emphasis on safety. Cars will be fully prepped for the owner/driver by the URC series organizer and ready to race at each venue. Initial cars are offered at $485,000.

The racing format includes eight races; two 30-minute races on four American Le Mans Series circuits beginning in 2012. For more information, visit

[Source: URC; photo credit: Pete Lyons]

Show Comments (7)

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  1. Not sure about this idea. Why not just run a vintage race on an ALMS weekend? This strikes me as contrived and “neither fish nor foul.” I witnessed the real thing as a 13-16 year old and I’m not wild about this sort of strange imitation.

    But I’d be interested in what others think….

  2. To be honest, I’m amazed that it took this long to figure it out.. The Can Am series – in it’s prime years – was the best racing on the planet. The series should be fun to watch for anyone who remembers these cars from back in the day. A primary sponsor would be the best way to secure some degree of longevity. Tthe spec nature of the chassis and drive train is unfortunate – but understabdable given todays costs.

    Running this as a vintage event with histoirc cars is not ecnomically viable – or safe – with consistent restoration of 35 year old chassis to these specs being almost impossible. Although I suspect the owners of actual CanAm cars will be willing customers @ $485k .

  3. A Spec series? Have the organizers ever read or even thumbed through a Pete Lyons book, to see what Can-Am was all about? Fail.

  4. David Y is right. A big zero. Unlimited Racing Series with SPEC CARS?? That is an oxymoron. Half a mil a pop for replica M8Fs? You can get the real thing for less. If this thing gets off the ground at all it will be to senior racing wannabes with very big wallets and less driving skill. Several major vintage sanctioning bodies have been approached by this guy in the last two years asking to run these cars as vintage cars. He has been turned down flat, so now he has found a sanctioning body (IMSA) that is happy to accept a big fee in return for a sanction to a series that is turn key. Whether they can find 15 or so suckers, err, I mean entrants, who will pop half a mil plus to run these silly cars is the key as to whether it even gets off the ground. If it does, what is the over/under on how long it will last before it goes the way of such other ill-conceived series such as the Shelby Dodge cars. I would say two or three years for a series nobody asked for. Who was it, Thomas Wolfe, who said ‘you can never go home again’?

  5. As Tom J points out you can get the real thing cheaper. So what’s the point in having a wannabe Can Am type car series when you can see the original cars race in the many Classic meets you seem to have over there. We have a similar thing happening down here. We have the V8 supercars and in NewZealand we have the V8 touring cars. Now they are bringing out yet another class called “Super Tourers” seems the chassis’s are the same and have a generic motor. As you may know we have Ford/Holden rivalry here and it’s very much alive and well here as they head to the mighty Bathurst 1000. So in my humble opinion there really is no room for yet another class of car and I guess the same would be true in the good ole U S of A.

  6. High cost spec series are difficult to get people interested in, just look at how much time and money IndyCar is spending to get some differientation in their series/cars. Tom J. stated, this will turn out to be a rich wannabe series and after 1-2 years and a lot of costly accidents, it will go away.

    Quite frankly, I have no interest in seeing 10-15 identical looking, sounding, and performing cars parade around a track. CanAM was all about creativity and innovation when the rules allowed an almost anything goes climate.

    I am old enough to remember the real CanAM cars and drivers, it was a time when racing was all about fast cars and faster drivers. Without the McLaren’s, the Hall’s, the Pabst’s, etc to design and build the cars it will be difficult to recreate a series that will have a long time draw, but maybe it will surprise us all….