Road to Le Mans
The Michelin Le Mans Cup comprises two classes: GT3 and LMP3 (a feeder prototype class introduced by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in 2015). Five of the six rounds are run alongside the European Le Mans Series (April-October), with the remaining round, Road to Le Mans, the third fixture of the 2019 season, being a support race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
All full-season Michelin Le Mans Cup entrants may take part. The remaining places are attributed by the ACO selection committee and priority is given to teams competing in the European Le Mans Series, the Asian Le Mans Series, the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
British outfit United Autosports (Ligier JS P3 – Nissan) was the first winner of Road to Le Mans in 2016, heading a 42-car field proud to race on the 13.629-km circuit. The format changed the following year with two races scheduled and four more teams on the grid, which only added to the excitement. United Autosports (Ligier JS P3 – Nissan) won the Thursday race and DKR Engineering (Norma M30 – Nissan) triumphed in the second race on the Saturday morning before the main event of the weekend.
This year’s Road to Le Mans will also be a two-stage event. Two 1-hour practice sessions are scheduled on Wednesday 12 June and Thursday 13 June, and Thursday’s two qualifying sessions that determine grid positions will last 20 minutes each.
The 55-minute races will take place on Thursday 13 at 17:30, and on Saturday 15 June at 11:30, just a few hours before the start of the 87th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Crews shall comprise two drivers and each must take the wheel for at least 20 minutes. The rules require at least one pit stop of a minimum duration. The rest of the time will be spent sampling the delights of one of the most revered circuits on earth.
Ferrari fans will be pleased to see the return of the Ferrari Challenge Europe as a curtain-raiser to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following a two-year hiatus, the competition for amateur drivers at the wheel of a Ferrari 488 Challenge is back at Le Mans. The fourth of seven rounds on the 2019 calendar is scheduled at 10:15-11:00 on Saturday 15 June.
The two 45-minute practice sessions will take place on Thursday 13 June at 10:00 and 11:25 with qualifying from 15:00 to 16:00.