New LMP3 category announced
[Editor's Note: With so many categories in the various sports car series in Europe, Asia and the USA, it is sure to cause major fan confusion to the point almost all will throw up their hands in disgust and what little fans sports car racing has today will slowly evaporate. This just adds to the confusion.]
In order to complete the endurance racing pyramid the Automobile Club de l’Ouest announces the creation of a new sports-prototype category baptized LM P3 (Le Mans Prototype 3). In 2015, this car that opens the door to endurance racing will be eligible for the Asian Le Mans and European Le Mans Series.
The aim of this new prototype is to supply teams and drivers with a low-cost ensemble, which will allow them to make their debut in endurance racing with a prototype whose characteristics are similar to an LM P (Le Mans Prototype).
This LM P3 will provide a second series of prototypes for the Asian and European Continental Championships. The LM P2 category (Le Mans Prototype 2) will remain the blue riband category in these competitions.
The exact characteristics of the car will be defined by the ACO in the coming weeks taking into account the following elements: a single engine-gearbox power train, a single tire manufacturer: all constructors/manufacturers who wish to build chassis will be free to do so.
The level of performance will be situated between that of an LM P2 and an LM GTE Am. Nonetheless, the turnkey sales price is fixed at 150 000 euros. The technical regulations will also implement the lowest possible running costs thanks to a capped price of spare parts, the use of a single engine-gearbox power train per season, a limited number of particularly hard-wearing tires, etc.
This new car will replace Formula Le Mans, baptized LM PC, Le Mans Prototype Challenge in North America, although the latter will continue to race in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
In 2014 and 2015 in order to ensure a transition period until the new LM P3s arrive on the market, the second category of prototypes in the Asian Le Mans Series will consist of cars having received an FIA CN homologation.
Only Group CN cars equipped with a carbon chassis will make up this second prototype category in the 2014 Asian Le Mans Series. During the following one the CNs will race with the LM P3s.
In the European Le Mans Series for which the CN Groups are not eligible, the LM P3s will replace the Formula Le Mans in 2015.