During a meeting held on Saturday evening (31st March) at the Paul Ricard circuit, theatre of the first round of the European Le Mans Series, Pierre Fillon, (Automobile Club de l’Ouest Vice President), Ge?rard Neveu (FIA World Endurance Championship General Manager), Patrick Peter (European Le Mans Series promoter) and Vincent Beaumesnil (ACO Sports Director), decided to cancel the second ELMS round scheduled for Zolder (Belgium) on 18? 19?20 May after consulting all the teams involved.
This decision, the outcome of a long discussion, was taken because the number of entrants (19) for the Belgian round was judged to be insufficient to ensure that the race unfolded in the best possible manner to ensure media fallout worthy of a 6?hour event. The various partners involved in the European Le Mans Series have given themselves the time to assemble a field of 25 cars minimum for the Donington round on 13?14?15 July.
To achieve this objective, discussions have begun between the different partners to find solutions to attract more entrants for the various categories, in particular GTE, FLM and GTC. For the latter widening the range of eligible cars is being studied, and will be confirmed as soon as possible according to the results of the technical assessment carried out by the ACO. Pierre Fillon (Automobile Club de l’Ouest Vice President) has renewed his interest and his determination to see the European Le Mans Series develop. Its vocation is to prepare teams and drivers for the top level of endurance, the pinnacle of which is the Le Mans 24?Hours race, which accepts 55 starters. Thirty come from the FIA World Endurance Championship, the others from the American Le Mans Series and the European Le Mans Series whose aim is to have 35 entries next season.
In the meantime, and subject to a waiver on the part of the Fe?de?ration Internationale de l’Automobile for later entry on the calendar, a certain number of ELMS teams who want to have more track time before the Le Mans 24 Hours may be accepted for the Spa? Francorchamps round of the FIA WEC on 4?5?6 May. They will be informed next week.
After the Le Castellet 6 Hours and following the cancellation of the Zolder event, the 2012 ELMS calendar consist of 3 further rounds: Donington 13?14?15 July, Brno 7?9 September and Algarve 2?4 November.