GT1 class to be dropped from 2011

The GT1 class will be dropped from next year's Le Mans 24 Hours under new plans by event organiser, the ACO

GT1 class to be dropped from 2011

A handful of the new breed of GT1 cars, also competing in the new-for-2010 FIA GT1 World Championship, are racing at Le Mans this year, but will have to be adapted to continue their participation next season.

The ACO plans to create a single 'GT Endurance' category for next year's event, "based on the 2009 GT2 regulations with a few modifications", according to ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil.

"We are delighted to see the success of this category [GT1], but the [2011] FIA GT calendar is not compatible with our series," he said.

"The GT1 cars are also sprint race cars, so they do not comply with the philosophy of endurance [racing]."

The ACO will implement the single set of regs for GT cars from 2011 to 2013, and split the category into two classes: LMGT PRO (for any car and driver line-up) and LMGT AM (for cars at least one year old, and drivers from the silver and bronze categories under the current FIA driver grading system).

Beaumesnil added: "There are lots of gentleman drivers in the Le Mans Series and this will enable them to fight for victory."

When asked if manufacturers like Ford and Nissan, which have built new cars for the FIA GT1 World Championship, could adapt their current models for 2011, Beaumesnil said: "It's quite possible. There's much [talking to be done], but I see no reason why Ford and Nissan can't be at the start next year."

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Series WEC
Author Ben Anderson
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