The European Le Mans Series has changed the date of its 4 Hours of Le Castellet round in accordance with the 24 Hours of Le Mans being moved from June to August.
The new Le Mans date announced on Thursday falls on the weekend before the ELMS was originally scheduled to visit Circuit Paul Ricard on Aug. 28-29, prompting the series to find an alternative set of days for its visit to the venue in southern France.
Lots of ELMS teams and drivers contest Le Mans in addition to their main championship programs. Both Le Mans and the ELMS are organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
Paul Ricard will now host round three of the six-event ELMS season on June 4-6. It was marked down as round four on the original calendar.
The early June date falls three weeks after the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring and coincides with the weekend on which the now-postponed Le Mans test day was due to take place.
The Nürburgring 24 and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Detroit Belle Isle are also scheduled for the first weekend of June.
“With the 24 Hours of Le Mans moving to August, we took the decision to move the 4 Hours of Le Castellet to June,” said ELMS CEO Frederic Lequien.
“This move will allow the ELMS teams competing at Le Mans an extra event in which to prepare for the big race, while maintaining the overall ELMS season schedule with a three-to-four week gap between each event.
“I would like to thank Stephane Clair and his team at the Circuit Paul Ricard for working with us to accommodate the date change for the 4 Hours of Le Castellet.”
The ELMS season is due to get underway at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Apr. 18, followed by a return to the Red Bull Ring in May after two years without an Austrian round.
The rescheduled Paul Ricard race comes next, with the planned July visit to Monza now representing round four.
Spa-Francorchamps is due to host round five on Sep. 19, leading into the season finale at Portimao on Oct. 24.