When the opening race of the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup 2023 will be held at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, it will be on a new-old layout.
The Spanish track has chosen to revert to the original configuration, so the final two turns will be two very fast right-handers, instead of the ultra-slow chicane, which has been utilized for the last 15 years.
The chicane was made due to safety concerns regarding the speed of the Formula 1 cars, in case of an accident. But the track has been approved with the original layout again, so it will be a super fast end to the lap.
The chicane has resulted in contact numerous times between the faster and slower cars, but we still have to see how the new version actually races for sportscars. If a Prototype is caught behind a GTE car, it can lose a lot of time compared to its competitors, who might just have snuck by before the corner. But we will know a lot more in April.
The opening round of the Michelin Le Mans Cup 2023 will be run on 22 April, while the ELMS season opener will be run one day later.