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European Le Mans

At the end of the 2012 season, an idea was born. An idea to forge a mutually beneficial partnership between the World Series by Renault and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) – two series with much in common. Patrice Ratti, managing director of Renault Sport technologies, and Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), took the concept forward. And they agreed that, in 2013, their respective events would join forces for three race meetings.

Gérard Neveu, managing director of ELMS organisers Le Mans Endurance Management (LMEM), explained the background to this promising partnership.

Complementary series
"Le Mans Endurance Management was looking for ways to maximise the quality of its events," Neveu said. "We think it's important for European Le Mans Series events to take place at great circuits, where first-class organisation is guaranteed."

Always on the lookout for innovations to ensure the continued success of the World Series by Renault, Renault Sport Technologies was strongly attracted by the idea of a major partnership.

"We had a meeting in Spain," Neveu continued. "It was clear that RPM and LMEM, and Renault Sport Technologies and the ACO, had a common interest in combining their events. And we had the ability to work together. The decision [to join forces] brings significant savings. That's what we're trying to achieve at the moment. It’s crucial in the current economic climate."

A marriage that works
The joining of the World Series by Renault and the European Le Mans Series makes sense – and not only for financial reasons. The two series share similar strengths and complement each other well, as fans at the Red Bull Ring, Hungaroring and Paul Ricard will very soon find out.

"We were looking for something to complement what we already had," Neveu explained. "On one side you have the World Series by Renault, which is very well organised and has an established business model. Marketing and brand building are at the centre of it. For our part, we wanted to enhance the experience for spectators and diversify the programme of our meetings. We have never been competitors. This partnership provides something unique for the spectators. It brings Le Mans-style endurance racing together with the Formula Renault 3.5 Series – a stepping stone to F1 – as well as the various other attractions of the World Series by Renault.

Shared vision
"We attract a family audience, with children who are just discovering motorsport, as well as their parents and grandparents," Neveu continued. "Entry is free. It allows the whole family to come together and spend a weekend at a motor circuit. It's all in the spirit of endurance racing. Both sides [of the partnership] will provide their own added value."

"Our job now is to validate, under real conditions, what we've been preparing since the end of last season. Our passion for motorsport unites us. There's also a romantic element to it, as Renault and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest go back a long way. A relationship between the World Series by Renault and the ACO was already in place, following the WSR meeting at Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans that attracted very large crowds. There's nothing to say that it won't return again one day," Neveu added with a smile.

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 20 July 2013
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