ACO creates Formula Le Mans

Le Mans organiser the ACO and the Oreca team have joined forces to create a new endurance racing feeder series for 2009

ACO creates Formula Le Mans

Formula Le Mans will use an LMP2-derived open prototype, built by Oreca at Le Mans and fitted with a 420bhp V8 engine. The 14-round series will take place over seven meetings next season, five of which will be at Le Mans Series' events.

Each race will be an hour long with an obligatory driver change. The aim is to attract young drivers into racing prototypes and to give them experience of the cars before they enter the Le Mans 24 Hours.

ACO president Jean-Claude Plassart believes the initiative will help a wave of young drivers on a path towards Le Mans.

"Outside the American Le Mans Series and LMS there was no feeder formula to enable drivers to race the prototypes that create the magic of the 24 Hours," he said. "With Formula Le Mans we've fulfilled this need."

Oreca boss Hugues de Chaunac, who fielded two Courage Orecas at La Sarthe last weekend, added: "Endurance racing is attracting more and more drivers, and Formula Le Mans will enable them to find out what it's like to drive a prototype.

"It's also the start of a feeder formula that helps all those who want to succeed in this very demanding branch of the sport, in which experience is, more than ever, a determining factor."

The ACO driving school will also run a prototype course, and the best performer will move up to Formula Le Mans.

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