One of the most interesting news tidbits from the 24 Hours of Le Mans for next year is that of an Intercontinental Cup. In the simplest sense, it is about the cloesst we'll get to a "World Le Mans Series." It is an endurance racing championship that consists of seven different races. The championship concept will begin in September this year with three races in three different parts of the world:
2010 Le Mans Intercontinental Cup Schedule:
* Sep. 10 - Sep. 12: Silverstone 1000km
* Sep. 29 - Oct. 2: Petit Le Mans
* Nov. 5 - Nov. 7: Zhuhai 1000km
But look at next year's lineup of races:
2011 Le Mans Intercontinental Cup [Provisional] Schedule:
* Mar. - 12 Hours of Sebring
* May - Spa-Francorchamps 1000 km
* June - 24 Hours of Le Mans (double-points race)
* Sep. - Silverstone 1000 km
* Sep./Oct. - Petit Le Mans
* (end of October) - Fuji 1000 km
* (mid-November) - Zhuhai 1000 km (or 6 hours?
This Intercontinental Cup will be a championship where the big-name teams and drivers will pretty much continually race in the major races. A plus for this is (at least in the American Le Mans Series) is more entrants racing at Sebring and the Petit Le Mans. I have to say that this is going to be pretty exciting and a great chance for great sportscar racing teams to compete around the world.
^ from: intellectualize.org - Call it what it probably will be- the World Championship of Sportscar Racing.
I'm excited for this and think that this will step the game up of sportscar racing teams. Seeing a lot of the better sportscar racing teams compete around the world will be amazing. This has a lovely balance of Pan-America, Mediterrenean, and Asia-Pacific. That, to me, is the basic definition of international. I am a bit surprised that they don't race at the Shanghai International Circuit rather than Zhuhai. Needless to say, the respective games of the better sportscar racing teams are going to be stepped up. This is a proper World Championship of sportscar racing. Going to be quite a thrill ride!
For more information, here is an article you can read online:
* "Le Mans expands Intercontinental Cup," from autosport.com
* "ACO Names Sebring, Petit Le Mans As 2011 Intercontinental Cup Events" from paddocktalk.com
What do you make of this Intercontinental Cup for major league sportscar racing? Comment!