2016 ELMS Season Presentation
The 2016 European Le Mans Series will continue to build on the success of the previous seasons. That inaugural season saw five 3-hour endurance races on some of Europe’s leading race circuits, before the races were extended to four hours in 2014. The following year the new prototype LMP3 class was a welcome addition to the grid, which continued to grow and provide excellent entertainment for the thousands of spectators both at the track and watching around the world on TV.The 2016 season, the series’ fourth, sees the next stage of development of the European Le Mans Series. The races will continue to be 4-hours but the events, with the exception of the season-opener at Silverstone, will move from a 2-day to a 3-day format with qualifying taking place on Saturday and the race on Sunday. This is to allow for an extended support race package which will include the new-for-2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, Formula Renault 2.0 and the Renault Sport Trophy RS01.The 2016 calendar will also increase from five to six races with the addition of a race on the 7km circuit at Spa-Francorchamps in September, joining the already established events at Silverstone, Imola, Red Bull Ring, Le Castellet and Estoril.Another change for 2016 is the return to three classes – LMP2, LMP3 and LMGTE. Competitors running the GTC category will have their own series on the ELMS calendar – the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. Another change for the coming season will see LMP3 competitors having the opportunity to race at Le Mans for the first time, joined by competitors from the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup for a special 60-minute race on Saturday morning just before the start of the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.As in previous seasons the 2016 ELMS champions will receive an automatic invitation to their respective categories in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as their European titles.With large grids racing on six of Europe’s leading race circuits and the opportunity to compete in world’s most famous endurance race, the 2016 European Le Mans Series is now firmly established as Europe’s leading endurance and sportscar series.
ELMS - 4 Hours of Imola 2016
For the fourth consecutive year, the European Le Mans Series will return to the famous Imola circuit, renamed as Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari after the death in 1988 of the ‘Commendatore'. Known for its very technical layout, which is difficult to conquer, its twists and turns require a superior level of driving. The Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari is one of the few European tracks where cars circulate anticlockwise.The F1 San Marino Grand Prix took place there from 1981 to 2006 but there have been many fantastic endurance races, notably those between 250km to 1000km in distance, from three to six hours. One Le Mans Series race, the 6 Hours of Imola, was held as part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) in 2011. In 2013, endurance racing returned to the Italian track and the new format proved to be a great success for the venue. In 2014 the race looked to be in the hands of NewBlood by Morand Racing only for them to slow several laps before the finish and for victory to go to JOTA Sport. In 2015, the second race of the season saw the brand new ORECA 05 secure its very first international race win thanks to French team Thiriet by TDS Racing, ahead of the ORECA 03R of Murphy Prototypes and the JOTA Sport Gibson 015S.