The provisional calendar for the 2016 European Le Mans Series has been announced, with the addition of a new four hour event at Spa-Francorchamps in September.
The series will retain its five existing rounds at Silverstone, Imola, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard and Estoril, while the location of the pre-season Prologue test on March 29-30 will be confirmed later this month.
Series director Gérard Neveu, who announced the changes at a Paul Ricard press conference today, also highlighted that the series would expand to three day events next year, with a new support package deal signed with Renault that will feature its Formula Renault 2.0 and Renault Sport Trophy championships on most of the ELMS weekends.
The agreement with Renault is intended to increase the fan appeal of the ELMS by featuring race meetings that cover three main types of motor racing: single seater, GT and endurance.
The 2016 calendar, despite gaining an extra round, will not clash with any FIA World Endurance Championship weekends (bar the shared event at Silverstone) or the 24 hour races at Le Mans, the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.
2016 European Le Mans Series Calendar
Prologue – location TBA – March 29-30
4 Hours of Silverstone – April 15-16 (Plus FIA World Endurance Championship)
4 Hours of Imola – May 13-15 (Plus Renault Sport Trophy)
4 Hours of Red Bull Ring – July 15-17 (Plus Formula Renault 2.0 and Renault Sport Trophy)
4 Hours of Paul Ricard – August 26-28 (Plus FR 2.0 and Renault Sport Trophy)
4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – September 23-25 (Plus FR 2.0 and Renault Sport Trophy)
4 Hours of Estoril – October 21-13 (Plus FR 2.0 and Renault Sport Trophy)