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ACO Revises Le Mans Auto Entry Process

Asian Le Mans Series to adopt same ELMS criteria in revised sliding scale format…

Photo: Asian Le Mans Series

The ACO has made further revisions to its automatic invite process for the 24 Hours of Le Mans that will begin with the 2021 running of the race.

Announced on Wednesday alongside its revised qualifying format for the race, a sliding scale, depending on the amount of full-season entries, will determine the number of invites granted in not only the European Le Mans Series but the Asian Le Mans Series as well.

Two invites will be awarded in LMP2 should there be between 12-17 full-season entries, while one, for the class champion only, would be granted in the event of a 6-11 car grid.

GTE (ELMS)/GT3 (Asian LMS) sees the sliding scale at two invites for 8-11 cars and one if the class features between 4-7 cars.

Champions in LMP3, no matter the size of the class grid, will be awarded an invite as well.

The criteria applies to both series and features a different criteria from what the ELMS initially announced last week.

The ACO has also revised the auto entries earned from Le Mans itself, with only the LMP2 and GTE-Am class winners now receiving them beginning with the 2020 race.

Previously, auto invites were awarded to all four classes but as often was the case in LMP1, were not used due to the teams’ full-season WEC status that automatically gained those cars a place on the grid.

No changes have been made to the invites for the winner of the Michelin Le Mans Cup or the two invites awarded to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors.

A total of nine auto invites have already been confirmed for next year’s race, under the previous criteria, with seven additional auto entries likely to follow, subject to an appeal of the ELMS LMP3 race finish in Portimao, the class champions in the 2019-20 Asian LMS season and IMSA’s entries given to the Jim Trueman and Bob Akin Award winners from 2019.

Entry applications for the French endurance classic open today until Feb. 13. 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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