The Asian Le Mans Series will extend its Gulf region residency into next year with Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit each hosting a pair of races at the start of 2022.
The calendar format that was implemented this year due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions in eastern Asia has been retained for the series’ ninth full-length season.
Dubai Autodrome will stage the first two rounds on February 11-12 followed by two more races at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on the following Feb. 19-20 weekend.
A mixture of day and night racing will again be used to vary the double-headers.
Continued travel measures designed to control the spread of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific region have prevented Asian LMS from returning to its primary market next year.
The championship has previously visited circuits in China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia since 2013, in addition to the United Arab Emirates.
Last June it was announced that The Bend circuit in Australia would return to the calendar for the seasons starting in 2021 and 2022 after hosting a round of the 2019-20 campaign, but neither option has materialized.
“I am very pleased to be able to announce the calendar for the 2022 Asian Le Mans Series,” said Le Mans Endurance Management CEO Frederic Lequien.
“The global pandemic has thrown many challenges at all of us, and our priority has remained to deliver an exciting season, in a safe and cost-effective manner.
“We are disappointed not to be able to return to our more traditional Asia Pacific circuits.
“We know they are going through a really tough time at the moment and hope that 2022 brings much brighter days for international motorsport in the region. We look forward to returning there when the time is right.
“For now, I’m confident that a double-header in the UAE is an ideal solution and look forward to the new season.”
The Asian Le Mans Series attracted a record grid of 36 cars for its relocated 2021 campaign, with many European teams finding value in using the short season to aid their summer preparations and compete for 24 Hours of Le Mans automatic invitations.
“This year has been unprecedented for all of us,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“What is needed now is decisive action to confirm the new calendar to allow our teams the opportunity to confirm their plans with a degree of confidence.
“I have a thought for the whole Asian continent, once again hard hit by the pandemic. I would also like to salute all the people involved in the Asian Le Mans Series for allowing us to run this extraordinary season at two impressive circuits.”