July 20, 2012
[ed - In our exuberance to publish this piece, we failed to make the seemingly obvious connection that the WEC is separate from the ELMS, thus, it appears that our hopes of Audi returning to Road Atlanta are dashed yet again...]
The 2012 European Le Mans Series season will end in the United States! The entrants in this series have been invited to take part in the Petit Le Mans, one of the most prestigious races in America for a combined final.
Europe meets America! The entrants in the European Le Mans Series have been invited to a great final. It will take place in the Petit Le Mans (17-20 October), a race that will also mark the end of the American Le Mans Series.
This decision was taken by the organizers of the European Le Mans Series together with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in agreement with the American Le Mans Series as it will add more prestige to both championships.
Above and beyond the overall result of the Petit Le Mans, a specific classification will be drawn up for the entrants in both series, which will give the final results in the two championships and will designate the teams that will receive invitations to the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours. Please note that points scored in the ELMS Championship in the Petit Le Mans may count double.
In compensation for this final the ACO and the ELMS are cancelling the last two rounds on the European calendar Brno (Czech Republic) and Algarve (Portugal). Last weekend the second round of the European Le Mans Series held on the Donington circuit in England provided a thrilling high-quality battle in the LM P2 category (9 cars), but there was an evident lack of competitors in the LM PC (1 entrant) and LM GTE (2 entries in GTE Am and 1 in GTE Pro).
This situation is the result of the current economic climate and a very competitive GT market with numerous championships that have led to the dispersal of cars of this type in Europe.
The organizers of the European Le Mans Series are working flat out on the future of the series, which is one of the essential competitions for training teams and drivers for the top level of endurance racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours. This work will result in a proposal for the coming seasons and will be announced in September.
The Petit Le Mans is the tenth and last round of the American Le Mans Series. It is a 1000-mile race (1609 km or 10 hours maximum if this distance isn’t reached), and it will take place on 17-20 October on the beautiful Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia (USA).
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