Le Mans Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2011


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Probably a precursor to a new World Endurance Championship at some stage in the future, next season the ILMC will encompass more of the world's great sportscar events:

1. 19 March: Sebring 12 Hours (Florida USA)
2. 8 May: Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours (BEL)
3. 11-12 June: Le Mans 24 Hours (FRA)
4. 3 July: Imola 6 Hours (ITA)
5. 11 September: Silverstone 6 Hours (GBR)
6. 1 October: Petit Le Mans (Road Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
7. 12 November: China 6 Hours (circuit to be confirmed)

Audi and Peugeot have both confirmed participation in the full series, while the new single GT class will feature a wide variety of machinery from the usual suspects. The 24 Hours will be worth double points towards the Cup (they can't call it a world championship without FIA approval. A price worth paying though..!)

A shame that the mooted Fuji 1000km race couldn't be accommodated - something for the future perhaps, along with a race in South America, I hope.

If I don't do Le Mans this year then Imola in July sounds very tempting, doesn't it?
Imola sounds good but I doubt it can encompass the whole Le Mans experience, notwithstanding the ketchup and mayonnaise covered chips :D

China is an interesting addition.
Not a place you would normally associate with this genre, is it?
Brogan said:
China is an interesting addition.
Not a place you would normally associate with this genre, is it?

No, indeed not. Rumours suggest there was pressure put on by the manufacturers to have a race there since it's their most important market, of course. A race in Japan or Brazil would get many more fans though, I am sure. In fact, unless it's a street race, I doubt whether any of the locals will turn up at all.
Interesting schedule for the ILMC...........I just wish they the Rolex 24 on the calendar but hey, those are the brakes. I keep thinking though...........in an ideal world, what would a World Endurance Championship look like?
Ah news of a new Sports Car cup completly passed me by there. Fanstatic News if it can become the pinnicle Prototype seires its despratly needed since the demise of the World Sportscar Championship. rather then this mish-mash of LMS AMS petitLMs etc. Hopefully with Toyota joining with Rebellion Racing as and engine supplier, It will start to grow some strength.

Like Matt i would of liked to see a race in America at least although, isn't there problems with the Rolex cup, Disagreements that mean it will never happen.
For a world championship I'd swap Monza for Imola, and add in: Mil Milhas (Interlagos) double-header with Argentina (Potrero de los Funes); a race in Japan; a race in Australia; and Daytona, of course.

Whether there can be a philosophical accommodation between Grand-Am and the ACO I'm not sure. Would the DP manufacturers and engine suppliers be particularly interested, financially, in racing their cars outside the US? To an outsider the sponsorship and supplier setup seems pretty domestically-focused as it stands.

And how would they feel about the introduction of a new top class (LMP1) coming in over their heads for their blue riband event, and then disappearing for the rest of the championship? A long way off I fear.
Lotus joining the party.

"Lotus Cars has teamed up with GT team JetAlliance to field two Evora GTE cars in this season's Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

The Evoras were campaigned in the GT4 European Cup last season but Lotus will now partner with experienced Austrian sportscar outfit JetAlliance, a former FIA GT race-winner, to move up to the GTE class (formerly GT2) of the ILMC."

Galahad said: A race in Japan or Brazil would get many more fans though, I am sure. In fact, unless it's a street race, I doubt whether any of the locals will turn up at all.

Has there ever been an endurance street race? I suppose things like the Mille Miglia would count but these aren't for what I still think of "Group C" cars (showing my age).
Good question. I know there were the FIA GT races in Helsinki put on for JJ Lehto's benefit in the late 1990s, but I don't know if those fit your definition of 'endurance'.

Did the Group C cars ever race at Montreal? I can't recall. Perhaps they went to Mosport instead.
Gordon Kirby's "The Way It Is" #270: Chasing History
SpeedTV Forums: Grand-Am/FIA Cospiracy vs. ACO-LMS-ALMS?

The more I think about it, after reading what was in Kirby's column this week and the SpeedTV Forum thread, the more I'm almost convinced there's a power struggle of sorts between La Sarthe and the FIA over the direction of sports-car racing(wouldn't this be a topic worth pursuing on its' own?)...........

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.......for what its' worth, I wouldn't mind a hypothetical WSC schedule with the following events...........
---Rolex 24 at Daytona
---12 Hours of Sebring
---24 Hours of LeMans
---Petit LeMans(1000-mile or 10hr)
---Watkins Glen 6 Hours
---Spa/Francorchamps 6 Hours
---Mil Milhas Brasil
---1000km races at, (1)Silverstone, (2)Monza, (3)Imola, (4)Mosport, (5)Mt. Tremblant
*Country Breakdown: USA-4, France-1, Italy-2, Canada-2, Brazil-1, England-1
*2 24hr races, 1 12hr race, 2 6hr races, 2 1000mile race, 5 1000km races
It's a lovely idea re Daytona, but not going to happen, sadly. As discussed on the SpeedTV forum, I can't see Grand-Am being happy to accept a subsidiary role in a bigger championship that includes LMP cars - it doesn't make sense from a marketing perspective and it would require some pride to be swallowed too. For as long as Grand-Am is successful - and the quality of teams and sponsors would indicate that - then there's no need to change.

I love the schedule!

In other news, defending Le Mans Series champions ORECA are returning to contest the ILMC in 2011 with an old-spec Peugeot 908 and not the new car (confusingly also called the 908). Apparently the new customer Peugeot's delivery date kept being pushed back, and so ORECA decided to go with a car that they knew was, in their own words, "100% reliable". Some people have short memories, eh?

Both of the big guns have unveiled their new cars now. The Audi R18 will not appear until after Sebring, where they will use an upgraded version of last year's R15-plus. The Peugeot 908 is scheduled to make its debut at Sebring, and a minimum of two cars will appear at every race. Both manufacturers have gone for 3.7 litre turbodiesel engines in accordance with the new rules, though Audi's is a V6 and Peugeot a V8.

cars-audi-r18-1.jpg peugeot-90-x-1_1024x0w.jpg
Beautiful cars but ugly shark fins.

Indeed. They're not through choice - the ACO has insisted on them for safety reasons. They should mean fewer prototypes becoming airborne (see below).

Both Audi and Peugeot have also followed the lead of Acura by using rear-sized tyres on the front wheels. The Acura ARX-02a chassis was designed solely using CFD by Nick Wirth, who is now drawing for Virgin F1.
I should probably have pointed out that Ortelli suffered an ankle fracture in that accident, but miraculously was otherwise unhurt. It could have been so, so much worse. The current cars generate huge amounts of lift when sliding sideways at high speed, the fin will, apparently, cure that trait.
The second round of the ILMC is on this weekend with the 1000km of Spa-Francorchamps.

Audi's Allan McNish set the fastest time in opening practice, two tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Mike Rockenfeller. Simon Pagenaud was the fastest of the Peugeots in third, under 0.4s off McNish's time.

In GTE (Pro) it was a 1-2-3 for Ferrari's new 458 Italia, Gianmaria Bruni's AF Corse example setting fastest time. Felbermayr's Porsche 911 RSR was over a second adrift in fourth, BMW's Andy Priaulx following up in fifth. The brand-new Lotus Evora GT contenders had a steady start, no doubt dealing with the usual new car gremlins.

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