The International Motorsports Association, or IMSA, is a racing organization founded by the France family, currently the chief executives of NASCAR. Founded in the late sixties, IMSA would get its own series in 1971 as the IMSA GT Championship. The series would last until 1998, after which IMSA GT would be reorganized into the American Le Mans Series, based around the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France.
The ALMS merged the Grand American Road Racing Association, a series which was formed out of the second-coming of the United States Road Racing Championship, in 2014. This new series is known as the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. Some have criticized this merger, claiming it will become less sophisticated and even spec. Others criticized IMSA for not reviving the classic IMSA GT name.
IMSA once had a showroom-stock series known as the IMSA Firehawk Series, after Firehawk Tires. In 2014 the showroom-stock Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was transfered over to IMSA after the Grand American Road Racing Association and IMSA's American Le Mans Series merger.
Thus far, the new Tudor Championship has been met with notable criticism. Issues include unnecessarily long and sometimes unnecessary caution periods. Fans argue that these are designed to manipulate the race for a "more exciting finish", a problem which has been a part of NASCAR for many years. These caution periods are also criticized as being too frequent, making for a notably less exciting race. Another issue cited is the removal of the super-sophisticated Le Mans Prototypes in favor of the cost-effective, spec Daytona Prototypes, making IMSA less prestigious. Although the 24 Hours of Daytona and Six Hours of Watkins Glen had been a part of Grand Am for years, the fact that a DP won the prestigious Twelve Hours of Sebring is seen as an embarrassment to the fans due to the former Rolex cars being more conventional in comparison to the world-class ALMS cars.
To avoid further issues, IMSA has created new rules. "Wave-around" cautions, designed to allow all cars to catch up and be on the current lap when the green flag is waved, cannot be ordered in the first hour or the final half-hour of a race and when one does occur the officials must wait ninety minutes before another can be ordered. Such cautions cannot be ordered in races of less than two-and-a-half hours duration. It should be noted that such cautions were actually created by the ALMS several years ago to prevent Audi from dominating the races.
The latest criticism is the addition of weight to the more dominant cars to "balance them out". This is viewed as "rigging" the races so certain teams can be given a better advantage, comparable to NASCAR practices in which races are "manipulated" to give the more popular drivers an edge.
Also criticized is the availability of coverage. Most events are covered on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, the latter of which is unavailable to Xfinity customers. This makes it so that only satellite customers can see entire races, albeit disappointingly having to jump from channel to channel due to contractual obligations with NASCAR and mixed martial arts. This has been met with major criticism. Coverage in Canada has been poor and online streaming, especially on gaming consoles and mobile devices, has been reported as being problematic. This came after ESPN/ABC featured problematic streaming due to much of the internet coverage being blacked out by Comcast/Xfinity. The finish of the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring was made exclusive to Fox Sports 2 or to people watching the stream.
Criticism is also given to the fact that few races use all classes. One round during the 2014 season featured two 45-minute spec Le Mans Challenge sprints to help promote the new infield road course at Kansas Speedway. Due to the lack of significance of the event, the races received no coverage.