Filling the Void
With arch-rivals Audi and Peugeot battling tooth and nail at Le Mans from 2007 to 2011, interest in a global sportscar championship returned. Launched in 2010, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup was a “toe in the water” for the Automobile Club d’Ouest and the FIA and represented a successful attempt to bring together LMP1’s top two manufacturers, Audi and Peugeot, in a full-year sportscar series rather than just once a year at Le Mans. The result was a slightly convoluted three-round championship combining the ALMS race Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta with new destinations of Zhuhai in China and Silverstone.
The second season of the ILMC saw a much beefed-up calendar with seven rounds across the world, from the 12-hour race at Sebring in March (in conjunction with the ALMS) to a 6-hour finale at Zhuhai in November. Crucially, the 24 Hours of Le Mans became a championship race for the first time since 1992, with double championship points on offer for the victors.