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Le Mans 24 Hours to avoid clash with Formula 1 next year

Le Mans gridThe Le Mans 24 Hours will avoid a clash with Formula 1 in 2012, and will move its test day to a fortnight before the main event.

Organiser the Automobile Club de L'Ouest has announced that next year's running of the endurance classic will take place on 16-17 June, with the test day on 3 June, rather than the April date used this season. The traditional test had been dropped for 2009 and 2010 on cost grounds before its return this year.

An ACO statement said that the schedule had been designed to be as practical as possible for teams.

"This will enable the teams to set up home inside the circuit, and they will not have to dismantle their hospitality units etc before the blue riband event in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship," it said.

ACO sports manager Vincent Beaumesnil explained that with the regulations stable for 2012, it was felt there was less need to give teams time to work between the test and the race.

"In 2011, the test day was held on 24th April due to the introduction of the new regulations, which meant that manufacturers had to build new cars for the LMP1 and LMP2 categories," he said. "It was essential to allow them to test their cars on the 24 Hours circuit well before the race itself.

"This time, in agreement with the entrants, it has been decided to organise the test day again because of its technical and sporting utility, but shortly before the event to minimise its budgetary impact on the teams and organisers."

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