When the European Le Mans Series 2019 is run, an extra Le Mans ticket will be handed out.
So far it has only been the champions in LMP2, LMP3 plus first and second place in GTE, who get an automatic Le Mans ticket for the following edition of the race.
The fight between the LMP2 teams is so big now, that a lot of teams have to leave the series disappointed. ACO has therefore chosen to hand out an extra ticket.
By doing that, the ACO will put extra focus on handing out Le Mans tickets in their own series. The recently-started Asian Le Mans Series season will also hand out two LMP2 tickets, but that is one for the LMP2 Champions and the LMP2 Am champions, plus the LMP3 and GT Champions.
All FIA WEC teams are already secured a place at Le Mans, which leaves only limited space for other teams.
Number two in the ELMS LMP2 championship 2018, Racing Engineering did get an invite for the 2018 edition of the 24 hour race, and can probably already start packing for 2019, if they want to take up that offer. At least it would only be natural for the ACO to pick them for the race, after they have showed the quality throughout 2018.
There will be other changes to ELMS 2019.
The GTE category will start using success ballast, where each car will accumulate weight throughout the season, if they finished top 3 in races. The winner of each race will have to add 15 extra kilos, number two will have to add 10 kg, and the third placed car will gain 5 kg. On top of that, the top 3 in the Championship will also have 15, 10 and 5 additional kilos in the car at the following round. Should one of the full season entries get the idea of skipping a round, to avoid getting ballast in the car, they will automaticity be handed 15 extra kilos.
The series continue to welcome guest entries, but those cars won’t get any points for the championships – but will still be running for the trophies on the given day.
The pitstop rules will revert to the old rules, where you are not allowed to refuel and change tires at the same time. Only when the cars has been refuelled, the mechanics will be allowed to change tires and make other repairs or setup changes. That was changed for the 2018 season, but has been under critics from teams, drivers, spectators and a lot of others around the sport. That makes the series go back to the previous rules, which is expected for FIA WEC 2019/20 too.
The European Le Mans Series 2019 will start in April at Paul Ricard in the south of France.