The Ligier European Series at the 24 Hours of Le Mans beginning in 2022
17 September 2021 – To race one day on the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit is a dream for many endurance enthusiasts that will become a reality from 2022 for the Ligier European Series drivers behind the wheel of their Ligier JS2 Rs and Ligier JS P4s! The series launched in 2020 with the European Le Mans Series, and Michelin Le Mans Cup teams is going from strength to strength in season three, adding a round at Le Mans in 2022. And that's not all. The series will include two other new circuits for the first time: Imola in Italy and the Hungaroring in Hungary. The series will follow the Michelin Le Mans Cup meetings throughout the season. Get ready because the 2022 season is going to be a blast!
Only two race meetings remain on the 2021 Ligier European Series calendar, with the Heat at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, which is now underway, and the season finale at Portimão in Portugal on 22-23 October. The ideal time to announce the 2022 calendar. While the Ligier European Series runs in conjunction with the Michelin Le Mans Cup and most rounds of the European Le Mans Series as in 2020 and 2021, in 2022 it will race on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit for the first time! Following the Ligier LMP2 and LMP3 cars, which each year participate in the twice around the clock classic and Road to Le Mans, now the time has come for the Ligier JS2 Rs and the Ligier JS P4s to experience the tarmac of the endurance world's iconic 13.6km-long circuit.
The season will start in the sunshine of Provence, at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France, on 15 and 16 April 2022. The season will then move to Italy and the magnificent Imola circuit on 13 and 14 May. It will be a first for the Ligier European Series, which has only enjoyed the "Dolce Vita" at Monza. There is no doubt that Imola's legendary Tamburello, Tosa, and Rivazza corners will thrill the drivers at the controls of the Ligier JS2 R and Ligier JS P4. The next round of the series will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 8 and 11 June. For the first time in its history, the Ligier European Series will head to Hungary, and the demanding Hungaroring circuit, which has hosted the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix every year since 1986, a few weeks later on 1 and 2 July. As in 2020 and 2021, the post-summer break will start at the daunting Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, on 23 and 24 September. And to finish the season in style, there is no better venue than the rollercoaster Portimão circuit on 14 and 15 October.
The weekend format, which was revised for 2021 to offer even more track time, will continue, with four hours of running spread over two days with a 90-minute free practice session and two 15-minute qualifying sessions to determine the starting grids for the two one-hour races.*
Other improvements introduced in 2021, such as the new branding of the Ligier European Series paddock, the hospitality reserved for drivers and teams and the live streaming of the two races, will continue. The series also intends to introduce new initiatives to make the 2022 season a memorable one.
Ligier Automotive will conduct two days of testing at the Magny-Cours circuit on 10 and 11 March 2022 to allow the Ligier European Series teams and drivers to prepare for the 2022 season in the best possible conditions.
Jacques Nicolet, President of Ligier Automotive: "I am truly delighted that we can announce this development now for the 2022 season. The series was launched in 2020 amid a pandemic, and we have worked tirelessly since then to bring about changes in terms of track time, cost management and the atmosphere of the series. The Ligier European Series at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a project that has been very dear to us with the European Le Mans Series teams. As a racing car constructor, I am so very proud that two more of our models will now race on this legendary circuit. It is a circuit that means so much to all drivers and motorsport enthusiasts. And it is a circuit that has a special meaning for the Ligier brand, created in 1969 by Guy Ligier. It all started on this circuit with the Ligier JS1, and then the Ligier JS2, which finished second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975 and from which the Ligier JS2 R is derived."
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest: "The Ligier European Series is the first step in the ascent to the summit of endurance racing. For season three, the drivers will compete on Europe's most prestigious circuits and, for the first time, a special race during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I am delighted with the evolution of this series, which will once again have a substantial field. We expect to see some great battles on the track."
2022 Ligier European Series Calendar
15 - 16 April 2022 Le Castellet, France
13 - 14 May 2022 Imola, Italie
8 - 11 June 2022 Le Mans, France
1 - 2 July 2022 Hungaroring, Hongrie
23 - 24 September 2022 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgique
14 - 15 October 2022 Portimão, Portugal
* The racing format for the Le Mans meeting will be confirmed very shortly.
Photo credit: DPPI Images