Bugatti to hold Le Mans qualifying race

A one-off race on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit will be run on November 2 as a precursor to the new four-race Le Mans endurance series, which begins in 2004. Twelve cars from the 1000km race will gain automatic entry into next year's running of the La Sarthe classic

Bugatti to hold Le Mans qualifying race

The 2004 Le Mans endurance series will be based around four 1000km races expected to be held at Silverstone, Spa, the Nurburgring and Monza.

For the 2005 race onwards, the selection procedure for the Le Mans 24 Hours has been standardised as part of the ACO and the FIA's attempts to homogenise sportscar racing.

Eight entries will fall to the top performers in the Le Mans endurance series, the ALMS and the Le Mans 24 Hours itself, with four cars drawn from the FIA GT Championship. The remaining 22 entries for the 24 Hours will be decided by the traditional selection committee.

ACO President Michel Cosson said: "One of the main aims of this idea is to allow the cars selected for the Le Mans 24 Hours to be known as soon as possible and to integrate world endurance racing."

FIA GT promoter Stephane Ratel's International Sportscar Ltd will be involved in running the series along with the ACO.

Ratel said: "We all have to work together to better sportscars racing and to better motorsport as a whole. The worst thing that could happen would be to have two competing series for the same cars."

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