When I heard that the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup was to become an official FIA sanctioned championship next year I was really pleased. Endurance racing deserves to be on par with the likes of F1 and WRC in my opinion, and from next season it will be. It’s a fantastic decision.
The official name of the new series will be the FIA World Endurance Championship, which sounds great to me. In terms of the races and the way it works though, not much will change from the current ILMC which is probably the best thing, though I wouldn’t say no to a few more races being added to the schedule.
Still, before that begins, there’s a small matter of this year’s ILMC to be decided. The first race since the headline 24 hour race happened this past weekend, the 6 hours of Imola. I didn’t manage to catch the whole thing, but from what I did see, Peugeot’s 908 seemed to have the raw pace at this race that they lacked at Le Mans. Anthony Davidson was driving extremely well and despite a late scare with a puncture while Seb Bourdais was in the car, the 7 Peugeot held on to win from the 8. The Audi’s struggled to keep up in traffic and finished third and fourth a lap down.
Despite the fact that a Peugeot 908 has won each of the 3 other races but Le Mans itself this year (1 for Team Oreca and 2 for the factory team), I’m sure they would trade them for that elusive 24 hour win, which hopefully they’ll get again in 2012. In the meantime, winning every other race in the ILMC will help ease the pain until next June I’m sure. This starts with the 1000km of Silverstone in August, which Peugeot also won last year.