2010: Formula Le Mans alongside the big players!
FORMULA LE MANS is a genuine racing nursery and the "first step" towards endurance racing as such the Automobile Club de l'Ouest hold it dear and has granted the entrance to the "LE MANS SERIES" endurance races.
From the next racing season on, FORMULA LE MANS owners (ORECA FLM monotype prototype / 420 BHP GM engine) will have the grand opportunity to take part in LE MANS SERIES 1000 km races in Europe. The FLM are also announced in Northern America within the "ALMS" starting in 2010.
The 2009 model will undergo minor modifications with an "Endurance Kit" including an engine intake restrictor in order to position this "economic prototype" at some distance from the LMP2, but nevertheless in front of the GT2 pack
The cars will participate in their own FLM Championship within the Le Mans Series races including a specific ranking, a separate podium ceremony and a dedicated FLM-ORECA motorhome at each meeting. Registrations to the 2010 FLM Championship are already open as the available seats are limited and due to the fact that regular LMS contestants have priority.
The organizers reckon with about a dozen contestants for the four European Le Mans Series races ((PAUL RICARD-HTTT / SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS / SILVERSTONE / + 1 Le Mans Series race to be defined). There will be an additional meeting outside of the LMS framework during the 2010 season.
Teams can be composed of 2 to 3 drivers (with at least one gentleman driver). There will be DRIVERS', GENTLEMAN DRIVERS' and TEAM' Championships. Just like the 2009 FLM Champions Nico VERDONCK (Belgium) and Gavin CRONJE (South Africa), the 2010 Champions will be offered a test day in LMP1 -- LMP2 within Team ORECA.
Lastly, the Le Mans 24 Hours are not included in the FLM racing calendar, hence the prototypes will not be entitled to qualify for the 24 Hours.
Pierre FILLON FLM President and ACO Vice President:
"The FLM is in line with ACO's intentions to develop a genuine endurance racing nursery! In 2010, the nursery will gear up with the launch of a Le Mans prototype drive academy with an ACO academy award on the one hand and on the other hand with the integration of the FLM into LMS races. As a consequence the learning conditions for all new drivers and teams are similar to those of the Le Mans 24 Hours in LMP1 or LMP2."
Hugues De CHAUNAC, FLM Manager and CEO of ORECA:
"Formula Le Mans' evolution towards the Le Mans Series occurred naturally. With the ACO, we are going to give fresh impetus to this racing category thanks to the latest measures. Formula Le Mans will take on a whole new dimension as a pre-stage to endurance racing, and on top of that it will benefit from the Le Mans Series' aura and media coverage. In addition to top-level performance and very reasonable running costs there will be the prestige and sports-related interest inherent in long-distance races like the 1000 km races."
Patrick PETER, Le Mans Endurance Organisation CEO, Le Mans Series co-organizer with the ACO:
"We are pleased to welcome the FLM within the Le Mans Series races. We hope that this racing nursery will highlight many young talents who will doubtlessly leave a trace in future glorious moments of endurance racing in Europe and throughout the world."