2008 was a cracking season! The Le Mans Series races contributed to giving the colours of Le Mans and endurance racing an even higher profile on the international scene.
The number of spectators who flocked to the five circuits starting with Barcelona followed by Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, the Nurburgring and Silverstone grew exponentially, as they came to discover -or rediscover- the fantastic on-track show provided by an extraordinary field of cars.
The 2009 calendar has been built with the wish to stick with this dynamic:
8-9 March Official Test - Paul Ricard (France)
3-4-5 April 1000Km of Catalunya (Spain)
8-9-10 May 1000Km of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
31 July -1-2 August 1000Km of Algarve (Portugal) -- NIGHT RACE
28-29-30 August 1000Km of the Nurburgring (Germany)
11-12-13 September 1000Km of Silverstone (England)
*Subjected to the FIA World Council approval
A well-balanced season, with two races before the 24 Hours of Le Mans (middle of June) and three after, will meet many teams' expectations. Le Mans Series will be back on circuits where the 1000 Km races are a tradition now such as Spa-Francorchamps, the Nurburgring or Silverstone. The Spanish experience in Catalunya was a big success. Thus, the start of the season will be given on the Barcelonese track for the second year.
A novelty on this calendar is the arrival of a new circuit in a new country. The Algarve racetrack in Portugal will host the third round of the season. All teams and drivers, discovering a new layout, will contest on equal terms for this Le Mans Series round to be one of the first international competitions on this brand new circuit. The particularity of this round: it will be a night race! Starting by the end of the afternoon, under a milder temperature, in August in Portugal, it will finish by the middle of the night. What for a good opportunity to create, during one week-end, the Le Mans atmosphere for the Portuguese and the tourists who are very numerous at this season!
To be noticed, the Paul Ricard circuit will offer the opportunity to the public to attend for the first time the Le Mans Series Official Test!
- A prospective sixth race which, if was confirmed, would be announced at the latest on November, 15th on the occasion of the Le Mans Series official Prize Giving Ceremony.
- The move of the format of one race into a two 500 Km-rounds