The calendar for the 2019 European Le Mans Series season has been announced, and it sees the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain added to the schedule in place of the race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
The news means the calendar remains at six races, with the other five races on the schedule the same as they are in 2018, with the season starting at the Circuit Paul Ricard across the weekend of 13-14 April. The French circuit also hosts the official pre-season test a few days prior to the engines being fired for the opening race.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza will remain on the schedule and host round two on 12 May, with the Barcelona race following on 21 July before the round at Silverstone, which moves to 31 August in order to continue its support to the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The move to switch from the Red Bull Ring ends the Austrian circuit’s five-year tenure on the schedule and sees the Barcelona track return to the schedule after a ten-year absence.
The Four Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will take place on 22 September, while the season finale will take place at the Portimao circuit in Portugal on 27 October, although this has yet to be confirmed.
“The European Le Mans Series has always provided the very best in endurance racing with top class teams and drivers competing on some of the world’s premier circuits,” said Pierre Fillon, the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “You only have to look at the grid sizes over the past few seasons to see how successful the ELMS has become.
“The fact that ELMS teams and drivers have been highly successful at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is proof positive of the competitiveness of the ELMS grid for both professional and gentlemen drivers alike.
“We welcome the inclusion of Barcelona in the schedule, a new circuit for the ELMS and a new challenge for the competitors, while building on the success of the events held at the five other venues. The 2019 European Le Mans Series will certainly be a series to watch next season.”
The Michelin Le Mans Cup will follow the European Le Mans Series around Europe, although they will skip the round at Silverstone, instead continuing the support to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.