Racing24-7.net had the pleasure to spend half an hour with the head of LMEM, Frederic Lequien, who is running the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series.
We chose to split the interview into several pieces, which contain different subjects.
GT3 racing has been part of the ACO ladder for many years. The ELMS contained GT3 for several seasons. GT3 then moved into the GT3 Le Mans Cup for 2016, and when the LMP3 cars joined in 2017, it has been the Michelin Le Mans Cup ever since.
GTE cars are slowly being removed from sportscar racing. IMSA removed the category at the end of 2021, and replaced them with GT3 cars. The same will happen in 2024, when GTE Am in the FIA WEC and GTE in European Le Mans Series will switch to GT3 machinery. One of the advantages of that, is that there is a massive amount of manufacturers, who are currently involved in GT3 racing, instead of just four in GTE, with Aston Martin having stopped the development after the 2019-20 season.
The Asian Le Mans Series is GT3 only, with GTE cars not being allowed.
So our first question – from 2024 there will be three different series, all with GT3 cars in the ACO series, with GTE being replaced by GT3 machinery. Is that the plan for the future?
“Yes, WEC, ELMS and the Michelin Le Mans Cup – that’s the plan at the moment. And I do not see any reasons, why we should change that. GT3 Premium will be FIA WEC and ELMS. You will most likely hear more about GT3 Premium before the end of the WEC season.”
What is the reason for pushing the Michelin Le Mans Cup to the Friday of Le Mans week, instead of the Saturday morning race, which has been the tradition for the past years?
“It’s because of the activities, linked to the centenary (the 100-year centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, editor)- just a question of a timetable. Friday with be a nice day. Even the Ligier European Series, we moved the race to the test day – it’s good. We had two solutions. One was to say, no Ligier European Series at Le Mans this year, but we moved to something different about the format, but we still have it.”
Thanks a lot to Frederic Lequien for taking the time to answer the questions.
We will bring the third part tomorrow, which is about the tv coverage of the FIA WEC.