The FIA and Le Mans organizer the Automobile Club de l'Ouest have released further details of the planned new World Endurance Championship.
The seven-round series for 2012, announced last week, will include the Le Mans 24 Hours plus two other rounds in Europe, two in America, and two in Asia. All races will be a minimum of six hours. Points will be scored in the same way as Formula 1, with 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 being awarded to the top 10 finishers.
The ACO will act as the promoter of the championship, which will include constructors' and drivers' world titles.
FIA president Jean Todt, who signed the agreement with the ACO at the Le Mans press conference this morning, confirmed an endurance working group would also be set up. The group will include representatives of the ACO, the FIA, manufacturers, and private teams.
"It's several years now that the FIA and ACO have been collaborating on technical regulations and now we will collaborate more closely," said Todt, who masterminded the Peugeot wins at La Sarthe in 1992 and '93. "I've been attached to Le Mans for several decades and it was natural when I became president to look around. I could see a WEC was missing."
ACO president Jean-Claude Plassart added: "If Le Mans has been alive for so long [it first ran in 1923], it is on a very solid base. It is the summit of a pyramid, but you need a solid base. We have the ALMS and the LMS, and in the last three years we have had races in Asia, so we are developing on three continents.
"Everybody knows Jean Todt's attachment to Le Mans and we had the idea of doing something together. There have been some hectic periods [between the FIA and ACO], but over the last five years we have got used to working together."