The ACO has announced that the 2010 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will be the final race to feature the GT1class, with a revised structure being put in place for 2011.
The class has already struggled for numbers in the Le Mans Series this season, although a number of cars are competing at La Sarthe this weekend – including three of the new generation Ford GTs as raced in the FIA GT1 World Championship.
However, the ACO has now revealed that it plans to run a single GT class from 2011-13 under the GT Endurance banner, with the regulations being based on the 2009 GT2 regulations, with a number of minor modifications.
The decision to drop GT1 has been taken for a number of reasons, including clashes on the respective race calendars and the fact that the new generation of GT1 machinery is designed for shorter sprint events.
GT Endurance will feature two classes within the class, one being a 'Pro' class which is open to all cars and drivers and an 'Am' class for cars over one year and with a minimum if two silver or bronze category drivers.
There will also be changes within the prototype classes, with the possibility of teams running hybrid cars at La Sarthe in future.
Despite the advent of new regulations, the current LMP1 and LMP2 cars will still be eligible which will allow teams to keep running their current cars for another year.
LMP2 will become a low cost formula powered by production series engines running to GT2 regulations. The costs of the category will be capped to keep costs down while the life of an engine will be extended.
Current LMP2 cars will be able to race next season as long as they are fitted with new engines and performance will be adjusted to keep them in line with the new 2011 LMP2 machines.