The 2019 European Le Mans Series calendar has been released, featuring six four-hour races and a pre-season test at Paul Ricard. There’s one key change for next year, which is Barcelona is set to return to the schedule in place of the Red Bull Ring.
The official pre-season test will once again be held at Le Castellet in April, with the French venue also hosting the opening round of the series just a handful of days later on the 13th and 14th April, as it did this year.
After visiting Le Castellet, the teams will head to Monza in May, Barcelona in July then Silverstone for the annual WEC double-header in August, Spa in September and finally Portimao at the end of the season (the finale’s date not yet fully confirmed).
With the announcement comes the news that the Michelin Le Mans Cup support series will continue to follow the European Le Mans Series all year too, with the exception of Silverstone. Instead, the series will take a slot on the Le Mans support bill for a four consecutive year with a pair of ‘Road to Le Mans’ races.
The last time the ELMS visited Barcelona was back in 2009, under the Le Mans Series banner, the race was won by the #007 Lola Aston Martin, driven by Jan Charouz, Thomas Enge and Stefan Mucke (below).
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “The European Le Mans Series has always provided the very best in endurance racing with top class teams and drivers competing on some of the world’s premier circuits. You only have to look at the grid sizes over the past few seasons to see how successful the ELMS has become.
“The fact that ELMS teams and drivers have been highly successful at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is proof positive of the competitiveness of the ELMS grid for both professional and gentlemen drivers alike.
“We welcome the inclusion of Barcelona in the schedule, a new circuit for the ELMS and a new challenge for the competitors, while building on the success of the events held at the five other venues. The 2019 European Le Mans Series will certainly be a series to watch next season.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO of the European Le Mans Series: “We are very pleased to announce the 2019 calendar for the European Le Mans Series with the inclusion of a brand new circuit, Barcelona, a decision made according to the wishes of our competitors.
“We are driven by the desire to offer the very best sporting stage for the teams.
“The ELMS is a friendly championship and we are very happy to share it with our competitors, our partners and our fans. We are working hard to ensure that this new calendar will keep building on that success.”
2019 ELMS (and Le Mans Cup) Calendar:
8/9 April: ELMS Official Test, Le Castellet
10 April: Le Mans Cup Official Test, Le Castellet
12/14 April: 4H Le Castellet and Le Mans Cup
10/12 May: 4H Monza and Le Mans Cup
13 & 15 June: Road To Le Mans (No ELMS)
19/21 July: 4H Barcelona and Le Mans Cup
30/31 August: 4H Silverstone (No Le Mans Cup)
20/22 September: 4H Spa and Le Mans Cup
25/27 October: 4H Portimao and Le Mans Cup* (Date TBC)