The European Le Mans Series has announced the cancellation of its final two races in 2012 at Brno and Portimao.
The decision was taken by series organisers alongside the ACO due to falling grid numbers, with just 13 cars taking part in the most recent event at Donington Park.
While the LMP2 class – which has become the headline class this season after LMP1 machinery was banned – has seen a strong entry established, the GTE and LMPC fields have proved to be disappointing, with the decision to allow GT3-spec cars to race failing to add any cars to the grid for the British race.
The second round of the year at Zandvoort has already fallen by the wayside due to a lack of interest.
At Donington, only one LMPC car featured on the grid, with a single car in GTE-Pro and two in GTE-Am.
Although the final two events have been cancelled, teams have instead been invited to join the American Le Mans Series regulars for the Petit Le Mans in October, which will mark the season finale for the ALMS.
The race is set to award double points towards the ELMS, with teams being offered assistance to cover some of the costs involved in making the trip to the USA.
More information on the future of the ELMS will be revealed in September, with talks ongoing about plans for 2013.
“Last weekend the second round of the European Le Mans Series held on the Donington circuit in England provided a thrilling high-quality battle in the LM P2 category (9 cars), but there was an evident lack of competitors in the LM PC (1 entrant) and LM GTE (2 entries in GTE Am and 1 in GTE Pro),” a statement read. “This situation is the result of the current economic climate and a very competitive GT market with numerous championships that have led to the dispersal of cars of this type in Europe.
“The entrants in the European Le Mans Series have been invited to a great final. It will take place in the Petit Le Mans, a race that will also mark the end of the American Le Mans Series. This decision was taken by the organisers of the European Le Mans Series together with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest in agreement with the American Le Mans Series as it will add more prestige to both championships. In compensation for this final the ACO and the ELMS are cancelling the last two rounds on the European calendar Brno (Czech Republic) and Algarve (Portugal).
“The organisers of the European Le Mans Series are working flat out on the future of the series, which is one of the essential competitions for training teams and drivers for the top level of endurance racing, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours. This work will result in a proposal for the coming seasons and will be announced in September.”