The Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile have decided in partnership to create the FIA World Endurance Championship starting in 2012.
In establishing this new category of motorsport championship, both the FIA and ACO are keenly aware it needs to be a laboratory for innovation and the development of new technologies, allowing motor manufacturers to express, through the rigours of competition, their ability to be inventive and, as this is an endurance championship, to also highlight their capacity to produce high quality and safe machines and components.
The calendar of the current Intercontinental Le Mans Cup will serve as the base for the 2012 season’s programme. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest hereby agrees to integrate the Le Mans 24 Hours into the calendar, but the event remains the exclusive property of the ACO and is not a participant in this agreement.
To seal this landmark agreement, the start of the 79th Le Mans 24 Hours will be given at 15h00 on 11th June 2011 by Mr. Jean Todt, the FIA President.
The full details of the World Endurance Championship will be announced by Mr Jean-Claude Plassart and FIA President Jean Todt, at the ACO Press Conference, which will take place on Thursday 9th June in the Le Mans 24-Hours museum at the north entrance to the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit.
Jean Todt said: “I am delighted to welcome the return of the FIA Endurance World Championship, especially with a promoter like ACO. I am also very pleased to have a legendary race like the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of it.”
ACO Président "I am very happy we have reached this agreement with the FIA , a partnership which underlines the rightful place that endurance racing has in motorsport, something we have been promoting since we first established the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1923. Jean Todt has accepted my invitation to start this year's 24 Hours race on Saturday June 11, a symbolic and visible way to celebrate our partnership."