The provisional 2014 European Le Mans Series calendar has been unveiled, with four of the five venues remaining the same from this season and the addition of Estoril in October for the season finale. After running with the World Series by Renault three times in 2013, the ELMS will have five standalone rounds as there will be extra track time for the competitors and grids are set to expand as more interest is shown by teams and drivers for the relaunched European endurance series.
After the official test at Paul Ricard on the 1/2 April the opening race will take place on Saturday 19 April at Silverstone, alongside the FIA World Endurance Championship. Round 2 will see the competitors head to Italy and the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola on 11/12 May (*).
Round 3 will take place in July at the Red Bull Ring on 19/20 July after the 2014 24 Heures du Mans, which, while not part of the European Le Mans Series, will feature the winning teams from this season. At the 2013 24 Heures du Mans, 15 cars out of a total of 56 were ELMS competitors, underlining the importance of the ELMS in the world of endurance racing.
Round 4 will head to the Cote d’Azur for the penultimate race of the 2014 season at the Circuit Paul Ricard on 13/14 September and then the season finale will take place at Estoril in Portugal one month later on 11/12 October.
Next year the race duration will increase from 3 hour to 4 hours at each of the five rounds and there will be an increase to 90 minutes from 60 minutes currently in each of the two Free Practice sessions.
Gerard Neveu, CEO of Le Mans Endurance Management (LMEM), said: “2013 has been a good season for the European Le Mans Series. First of all we would like to thank Renault for their support this season and we have enjoyed being part of the World Series by Renault events in Austria, Hungary and here in France.
However there is a desire on the part of the teams and drivers to have longer races and more track time. This, along with larger grids expected in 2014, means we are unable to continue with our partnership with Renault. The 2014 ELMS calendar represents an interesting mix of world class venues, each with their own challenges and providing the European Le Mans Series a great platform on which to continue the work started in 2013 to rebuild the series brand.”
Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, said: “2013 has proven to be a great season for the European Le Mans Series. More cars and drivers have joined the series this season and provided large grids and great racing action in each of the events so far. The joint venture with Renault in Austria, Hungary and France has been beneficial to both parties and there support is greatly appreciated by the ACO.
The return to competition of the Alpine brand and their competiveness in the LMP2 class is one of the highlights of the 2013 season, but so is the strength in depth of the entire ELMS grid. The 2014 calendar is very exciting and also marks the next stage of the evolution of the European Le Mans Series.
Longer races and more track time means more exposure and, while 2013 has been a great season for this important series for endurance racing, we are confident that next season will be even better. We hope you will join us in Silverstone for the opening race.”
Provisional 2014 European Le Mans Series Calendar
|1/2 April||Official Test||Paul Ricard - FRA|
|18/19 April||Round 1||Silverstone - GBR|
|10/11 May (*)||Round 2||Imola - ITA|
|19/20 July||Round 3||Red Bull Ring - AUT|
|13/14 September||Round 4||Paul Ricard - FRA|
|11/12 Octobe||Round 5||Estoril - PRT|
(*) Date to be confirmed. All dates are provisional and subject to confirmation.
Dates for 2014 24 Heures du Mans:
01 June 24 Heures du Mans Test FRA 14/15 June 24 Heures du Mans FRA
European Le Mans Series