The European Le Mans Series have announced their 2021 race schedule, as they expect it to be, with pending potential COVID-19 changes.
The series is back up to six weekends once again, with a few changes, compared to the previous seasons.
The season will start a bit later, with testing on 12-13 April, followed by the race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya the following weekend.
It’s a return of Red Bull Ring a month later, which hasn’t been on the schedule since 2018, ahead of a two-month Le Mans break.
There will be a race held at Monza, one week prior to the FIA World Endurance Championship visiting the same circuit, while Paul Ricard keeps the late August date, just like the replacement race for Barcelona was this year.
Spa Francorchamps will get their traditional mid-September date back, before the season concludes in Portimao – one week earlier than this year.
That leaves Silverstone without a FIA WEC nor a ELMS race weekend. There haven’t been any details of why that is, just like the FIA WEC didn’t give any clues, but it’s not beyond the possibility of Brexit being a part of it, with a lot of uncertainly regarding taxes for travelling in and out of the country + the added costs of taking a ferry to Great Britain, for the majority of the teams.
The Michelin Le Mans Cup schedule hasn’t been released just yet, but it’s expected to followed the same schedule, with Saturday races, and ELMS doing their Sunday races everywhere. Let’s see if Paul Ricard for ELMS will stick to a Sunday run, or if it will be Saturday evening, like it was this year. It served as a warm-up for Le Mans, with the teams being able to get a bit of extra night running, plus they avoided the burning hot afternoon temperatures.
The European Le Mans Series have two rounds left in 2020 – this weekend at Monza in Italy, and in three weeks’ time at Portimao in Portugal.