Saturday 4 June 2011

24 Hour Le Mans: The season moves up to a new level in intensity!

In a week, the start of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours will be given at 15h00. The greatest endurance race in the world is the third round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and it could prove decisive as double points will be awarded for the results obtained in the Sarthe classic.

This is the first time since 1992 that the Le Mans 24-Hours race has been part of a championship. When the Automobile Club de l’Ouest created the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the base of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, it agreed to include the major event in the sport created in 1923 in it. For an exceptional race, exceptional status - the points scored when the flag falls at the end of the Sarthe event on 12th June will count double.

With four rounds still to be held after the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours, the French event marks the halfway stage of the ILMC season.

The 26 entries, which have committed to the championship on a season-long basis, will all take part, and as authorized by the regulations some manufacturers have entered a second or even a third car than can score points in the manufacturers’ title chase (reminder: only the two highest-placed cars are eligible to score points).

After the first two races of the 2011 season (the Sebring 12 Hours and the Spa-Francorchamps 1000 kms) and before the Le Mans 24 Hours, Peugeot helped by the victory scored in Florida by the Oreca team, followed by the works cars’ success in Belgium leads the LM P1 Classification with a 17-point advance over Audi. In the LM GTE category BMW, which bagged a double at Sebring, is 9 points in front of Ferrari, victorious in Belgium, and twenty-five ahead of Corvette.

When the Le Mans race is over, the ILMC will head for Italy for the Imola 6 Hours on 3rd July, for which the list of entries has just been published. This event is organized on Ferrari’s home turf, and the Maranello manufacturer has proved its attachment to the international series in which it is entered on a works basis with satellite teams, AF Corse and Luxury Racing, running the F458 Italias.

After the summer break, the championship will restart on English soil with the Silverstone 6 Hours Autosport on 11th September.

In order to thank all the British fans who come to Le Mans, the ILMC has set up a special Silverstone attraction in the Le Mans 24-Hours Village.

An English Imperial bus specially decked out in the Silverstone 1000-km colours will be its rallying point. Spectators can come there to buy tickets for the English ILMC round at reduced prices, and several drivers entered in this championship, starting with the British ones, will be on hand for special autograph signing sessions for the fans.

>> Download the list of cars eligible to score points in the
ILMC Manufacturers’ Championship in the Le Mans 24 Hours <<

>> Download the list of entries for the Imola 6 Hours <<

Practical information
Special Silverstone Autosport operation

Reduced prices for tickets sold during the Le Mans 24 Hours:

- Weekend tickets: £24 instead of £29;
- Ticket Saturday 10th September: £10 instead of £22;
- Ticket Sunday 11th September: £22 instead of £23.

Tickets can be paid for in euros.

Autograph sessions

Thursday 9th June from 12h00 to 12h30:
Audi drivers: Allan McNish, Marcel Fässler and Timo Bernhard

Thursday 9th June: from 14h00 to 14h30:
Peugeot drivers: Anthony Davidson with other drivers whose names will be announced at a later date.

Thursday: 9th June: from 15h00 to 15h30:
Aston Martin drivers: Darren Turner and Andy Meyrick

Friday 10th June
Other drivers.

Photo : Jean-René ROGER - ACO/Nikon

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