ACO presents new alliance with Renault and format for European LMS in 2013

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The European Le Mans Series (ELMS) will have five races in 2013 with three of the events with their new alliance: World Series by Renault. For the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the new partnership will allow spectators to discover the European based sportscar prototypes and GT cars go head-to-head in front of one of the top single-seater series which is a ladder series to Formula One.

Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said: “We are very pleased to announce this partnership with the World Series by Renault, which continues the long story of cooperation between the ACO and Renault.”

GT cars in action at Paul Ricard, 2012
GT cars in action at Paul Ricard, 2012

Photo by: Satoshi Noma

Over the past months, the low economy has played a part in mergers between series; however this is a partnership that will include great racing action and draw more spectators to the events. “We are sure this will provide everyone taking part - teams, drivers and spectators - with a great atmosphere at each of these events,” said Fillon.

The three combined events will be at Red Bull Ring in Austria, Paul Ricard in France, and Hungaroring in Hungary. They will be the final three races for the LMES of the year. “The World Series by Renault format has for the last 8 years provided some great racing as well as great entertainment for 5 million spectators all over European best tracks,” said Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies.

There is another new element added for next year, and will include the ELMS events at Silverstone in England and at Imola, Italy. All five events will include practice on Friday with qualifying and the race on Saturday. Each race will be 3 hours long.

Gerard Neveu, CEO of Le Mans Endurance Management (LMEM), said: “The five circuits are all high and prestigious profile. The move to two day events and three hour races has been done to help reduce costs. All of the events will be held with other high profile series which will mean a great weekend for the fans while we can share the costs for promotion, entertainment, TV production and other key items needed to run a successful race meeting. In the same week end we will be able to propose to the fans for the first time sprint and endurance races. The track schedule will be very impressive and exciting."

For the teams that also run in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), they will actually run two endurance races in one weekend at the Silverstone circuit. The Italian race will be on a shared weekend with FFSA GT Tour series.

Oak Racing  P2 pole winning team at 2012 Petit Le Mans
Oak Racing P2 pole winning team at 2012 Petit Le Mans

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The one area that remained the same is of course, the break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The eligible teams will receive invitations to contest the 24 hour crown jewel of sportscar racing in France.

The news from the ACO came while the season finale for the ELMS is taking place at Road Atlanta in the USA. The teams that are still fighting for their class championships arrived to Georgia earlier this week for the American Le Mans Series finale. The Petit Le Mans race is 1,000 miles or 10 hours. It is their first and apparently their last combined race in the USA.

Some of the teams also contest the WEC, and they will return to the States next year in Austin, Texas.

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Series ELMS
Article type Breaking news
Tags aco, elms, fillon, lemans, lms, ratti, renault, wec, wsr