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European Le Mans Series

Imola, Hungaroring Return to ELMS Calendar for 2022

Imola, Hungaroring return with Monza, Red Bull Ring out of ELMS calendar…

Photo: MPS Agency

The European Le Mans Series will return to Imola and the Hungaroring next year, according to the publication of the 2022 schedule on Friday.

Imola is set to host the ELMS for the first time since 2016, while the championship will head to Hungary for its first race at the Hungaroring in nine years.

The addition of two returning tracks on next year’s six-round calendar comes at the expense of rounds at Monza and the Red Bull Ring, which was brought back to the schedule for 2021.

The 2022 campaign is due to start at Paul Ricard on April 17, before heading to Italy for a mid-May fixture at Imola.

The Formula 1 Grand Prix venue hosted the ELMS from 2013 to 2016 before Monza was added to the schedule in its place for the 2017 season.

ACO-rules endurance racing will continue to be held at Monza next year when the FIA World Endurance Championship visits in July.

The 4 Hours of the Hungaroring is booked for early July, as the first ELMS race after the 24 Hours of Le Mans which typically attracts several teams from the regional series.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is positioned as the site of round four in late August, after serving as the season-opener this year.

Events at Spa-Francorchamps in late September and Portimao in mid-October round out the six-event campaign which consists entirely of four-hour races.

“The ELMS, the top continental series, is going to have a fantastic 2022 season,” commented ACO President Pierre Fillon.

“The six tracks chosen are among the most prestigious in the world and each offers the teams and drivers a unique challenge, as well as the very best facilities that European circuits have to offer.

“The return to Imola and Hungaroring will make the 2022 season even more interesting for the drivers, the fans and the Endurance world.”

Mathias Beche, Ryo Hirakawa and Pierre Thiriet won the last ELMS race at Imola in 2016 driving a Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan.

The 2013 edition of the 3 Hours of the Hungaroring was won by an Alpine A450-badged Oreca 03 Nissan shared by Signatech drivers Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues.

“We are very excited and proud to present this 2022 ELMS calendar, which includes Imola and the Hungaroring tracks once again,” said Le Mans Endurance Management CEO Frederic Lequien.

“With six world-class venues, the competitors will be able to showcase their talents that make the ELMS such a great series.

“The popular six-round, 4-hour race format has been retained, which will enable costs to be strictly controlled and ensure the competitors to get the best competition possible.

“We are looking forward to another great season of the European Le Mans Series in 2022.”

The Michelin Le Mans Cup for LMP3 and GT3 cars will support the ELMS at all rounds except Barcelona, along with the annual Road to Le Mans on June 9-11.

2022 European Le Mans Series Schedule:
April 11-12 – Official tests (Paul Ricard)
April 17 – Paul Ricard
May 15 – Imola
July 3 – Hungaroring
Aug. 28 – Barcelona
Sept. 25 – Spa-Francorchamps
Oct. 16 – Portimao

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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