The Automobile Club de l’Ouest held a digital press conference this today ahead of the 89th edition of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is what they had to say about the future of sportscar and GT endurance racing.
This year sees fans return to the Circuit and the launch of the Hypercar class. Several personalities were also honoured during the first part of the conference: John Elkann, Chairman of Ferrari and this year’s race starter, along with Derek Bell, Grand Marshal, and Philippe Sinault, recipient of the Spirit of Le Mans trophy.
2 – The 2022 FIA WEC calendar revealed
The provisional calendar for FIA WEC Season 10 has been announced! With six races on three continents and the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in its regular June slot for the 90th edition, there is much to look forward to in 2022.
3 – 100% renewable fuel in 2022
Consistent with its CSR strategy presented last June, the ACO remains fully committed to sustainable development and will be introducing fully renewable racing fuel in the FIA WEC and ELMS in 2022, that meets the latest FIA criteria for sustainable fuels. This fuel, named “Excellium Racing 100”, marks a turning point for everyone involved in Endurance racing’s energy transition. Also new this year, the ACO Sustainable Endurance Award presented by DHL with the 1st winner in history: WRT.
4 – Renewal of the ACO/IMSA agreement
After announcing the main aspects of convergence for the top class of Endurance racing a few weeks ago, Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, and John Doonan, IMSA President, have renewed the agreement binding their two organisations for the next ten years. Several areas were covered in this announcement.
5 – MissionH24 and hydrogen – racing to the future
The MissionH24 programme spearheaded by the ACO and GreenGT is pressing ahead with its development. In 2025, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will include a class reserved for hydrogen-electric prototypes. And because the future starts here, the H24 prototype will complete a lap of the circuit at 15:42 tomorrow just before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (at 16:00).
6 – Future regulation changes
Following the introduction of the Hypercar category this year, there are further changes to come. As explained by President Fillon and the FIA Endurance Commission President Richard Mille, the current LMP2 and LM GTE technical regulations will be retained until the end of 2023, with the new sets of regulations expected the following year for both classes. A platform based on FIA GT3 is being evaluated as one of the possible options.
7 – A very special centenary
The centennial 24 Hours of Le Mans is less than two years away! The French endurance classic will celebrate one hundred years of history in 2023 with the most glittering grid ever seen in Endurance racing. With a unique exhibition, a look at the world’s greatest motoring events and a special film and publications, the centenary promises to be a momentous occasion!
2022 FIA WEC season calendar
Six rounds will be on the agenda.
The FIA WEC 2022 calendar presented at the press conference ahead of the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans features six races held at world-renowned circuits in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
In 2012, the inaugural FIA WEC season began in Sebring (USA), so it is fitting that the Florida raceway should get Season 10 up and running with a 1000-mile race. This opening round will be held on 18 March as part of the Super Sebring double-header, with the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring taking place the following day.
Endurance fans who enjoyed the joint event in 2019 will be thrilled to see its return. This former military airfield will also be the venue for the Prologue, the pre-season test sessions for the entire field, held on 12-13 March.
- Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “The 2022 schedule for the FIA World Endurance Championship is designed to maximise team exposure while keeping costs down. Motor racing calendars have never been subject to such disruption as during the pandemic and this schedule obviously accounts for the current situation. I look forward to seeing you in the US in March for an exciting tenth season.”
Richard Mille, FIA Endurance Commission President: “Six rounds is the perfect solution for the FIA World Endurance Championship. Next year’s calendar is well-balanced, with events evenly spread across the year. It’s cost-effective for the competitors, at the same accommodating iconic circuits and with the usual variety of race durations and formats. The return to North America and the Far East is also a major step. With further manufacturers coming with Hypercars next year, I’m confident each of the six rounds will deliver a thrilling spectacle.”
Frédéric Lequien, “FIA WEC CEO: Our aim was to create both a global and cost-effective package in what has been a difficult past 18 months for our manufacturers and teams. With the 2022 calendar, we have achieved the perfect blend of classic racetracks and endurance racing heritage. We are confident that the Season 10 schedule will be popular with both competitors and fans alike.”
Read about 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours Hyperpole here>>>