The European Le Mans Series has been announced as the winner of the 2015 European Series of the Year award at the Professional Motorsport Show in Cologne.
A panel of judges comprising of team principles and motorsport journalists picked the winners of seven categories, including Race Car of the Year and Motorsport Team of the Year.
The ELMS was was chosen as the winner of the European Series of the Year after demonstrating close racing, consistently large grids and innovation in the form of the LMP3 class.
“The promoter of the ELMS, which I am privileged to represent, is honoured to receive this award which recognises the work of an entire team set up three years ago in order to try to and put this great discipline of motorsport into pole position,” said ELMS CEO Gérard Neveu. “Congratulations to everyone in the team who now, with this prize, see their efforts being rewarded.”
“We would also especially like to thank the teams and drivers who have put their faith in us and thanks to whom this championship has become so exciting. Finally thank you to the jury for this accolade which drives us on as much as it honors us. It is our responsibility to continue to develop this wonderful series while protecting the values of motorsport to which we are so attached.”
In 2012 the ELMS was almost consigned to history as grids dwindled, especially in the GTE ranks. However, the mission of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to transform the series has been highly successful, and was marked in September by the announcement of an expanded six round season in 2016.
Next year the ELMS will embark on a new phase following the period of regrowth and consolidation. A recently announced support package, including Formula Renault 2.0 and the Renault Sport Trophy, will accompany the main championship on its tour of six classic circuits around the continent: Silverstone, Imola, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps and Estoril.
“The European Le Mans Series has become an essential step in the pyramid of endurance racing established by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, allowing drivers and teams to move up to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans which sits at the very top of the pyramid,” said ACO president Pierre Fillon.
“After three years of intensive work, the ELMS has truly made its mark as the European launch pad for global endurance racing, by producing quality grids every year, both in terms of drivers and teams.”