20 October 2021 - As the 2021 Ligier European Series season draws to a close on 22-23 October in Portugal, the European series continues to make announcements for 2022. After publishing next year's calendar, with the addition of a support race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, the organiser now reveals the driver bonus scheme for 2022, with over 250.000 € of prizes to be awarded! The champion(s) of the Ligier JS P4 category will receive €150,000 in prize money to take part in the Michelin Le Mans Cup the following year in a Ligier JS P320. For the Ligier JS2 R category, the champion(s) will receive €100,000 to participate in the 2023 Ligier European Series in a Ligier JS P4 sport prototype. These exceptional bonuses are intended to enable drivers to advance up the ACO endurance pyramid. Meanwhile, the series is introducing several improvements to its sporting regulations to offer drivers and teams an unrivalled package.
On 17 September, just before the fifth and penultimate round of the Ligier European Series at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the Ligier European Series presented its 2022 calendar with some nifty surprises: a round on the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit in June 2022 and two new venues, Imola in Italy and the Hungaroring in Hungary. This announcement confirms the positioning of the series as the first step in the endurance pyramid.
Just days before the final race in Portimao, Portugal, on 22 and 23 October 2021, the Ligier European Series has divulged its new prize structure for 2022, improvements to its sporting regulations and the full season and race by race entry fees.
A unique prize money scheme to move up the endurance pyramid
In 2022, more than €250,000 in prize money will be at stake in the general classifications of the Ligier JS P4 and Ligier JS2 R categories. The champion(s) of the Ligier JS P4 sport-prototype category will receive €150,000 to be used exclusively in 2023 to enter the Michelin Le Mans Cup at the controls of a Ligier JS P320 with a team selected by Ligier Automotive. On the GT side, the champion(s) will receive €100,000 to compete exclusively in the Ligier European Series in 2023 in a Ligier JS P4 with a team selected by the constructor.
“The aim of the prize money for the two categories is to reinforce the endurance pyramid consisting of the Ligier European Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, European Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship with the 24 Hours of Le Mans," says Frédéric Lequien, Managing Director of Le Mans Endurance Management, which is the organiser of the Ligier European Series. “We want to allow the Ligier European Series champions to move forward in endurance racing. As the series organiser, we need to support the drivers and teams from their beginnings in endurance racing and take those who want it to the top of the pyramid. With the introduction of these incentives and the addition of a round on the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, as is already the case in the Michelin Le Mans Cup with Road to Le Mans, we are further embedding the Ligier European Series in the endurance landscape and making it a must-do series for drivers and teams passionate about endurance racing."
As in 2021, drivers entered for the season will benefit from a range of products and services: live streaming of both races, Ligier welcome package, discount from Stand 21 for all race equipment, access to the Ligier European Series hospitality area, dedicated communications team, free photo and video content with access to a photo gallery, Ligier technical support (chassis, electronics, engine), Michelin tyre technical support, spare parts truck at all events.
A revised format for greater comfort for teams and drivers
The format of the free practice session is changing. The session will now take place in the form of two separate 40-minute sessions. The structure of the race meeting over two days (Friday and Saturday) remains unchanged to allow drivers to reconcile their passion, professional and personal lives.
“We have listened to the competitors (drivers and teams) throughout the season," explains Frédéric Lequien. “The change from a one-hour free practice session in 2020 to 90 minutes in 2021 was very much appreciated. But it was difficult for the teams and drivers to fine-tune their settings and debrief with their engineers during the session. Splitting the session in two will allow the drivers to learn the circuits in the best conditions, debrief between sessions and improve during the second session. For the teams, they will have more time to work on their set-up.
Qualifying will still take place on Friday afternoon with two 15-minute sessions with a 10-minute break between each session. The duration of the races on Saturday will be maintained: two one-hour races.
Changes to the sporting regulations
In addition to the new free practice session format, the organiser has worked on other points in the sporting regulations that have been raised by certain competitors: enlargement of the pit stop window, while maintaining equity between the Silver and Bronze drivers and the reduction in the number of obligatory mechanics in the pit lane, etc.
An unrivalled package
With its new calendar featuring Europe’s finest venues, including the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, its condensed track time format with 3 hours and 50 minutes over two days, and its prize money package, the Ligier European Series offers drivers and teams a unique package in the motorsport landscape.
The price for the 2022 season is €19,900, including the support race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit. For race-by-race entries, the fee is €4,000, except for the support race on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, for which the entry fee is €9,900.
2022 Ligier European Series calendar