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ACO Confirms First Details of 2020 LMP3 Regulations

Initial details of second-generation LMP3 rules announced; four manufacturers confirmed…

Photo: MPS Agency

The ACO has released initial details of the second-generation set of LMP3 regulations, which come into force in 2020.

The prototype category’s first rules cycle will expire at the end of next year, after five seasons of competition in various championships including the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda.

Chassis models from four manufacturers – Onroak Automotive (Ligier), Duqueine Automotive (Norma), ADESS AG and Ginetta – will be granted homologation for the new set.

The number is down two from the original group of six permitted LMP3 constructors that also included Ave-Riley and Dome.

An ACO statement said that the quartet was chosen on grounds of “cost control, driver-friendly operation, modernization, guaranteed service to the teams and closer competitiveness between the various models.”

It also confirmed that second-generation LMP3 cars will be the same as the current crop but “equipped with a kit chiefly designed to improve power and driver safety.”

Only minor bodywork modifications will be allowed, as the prototype formula continues to maximize cost effectiveness for entrants.

The new set of regulations will be active until the end of 2024.

“To ensure continuity, we needed to form solid foundations and build up a talent pool of new drivers with a feeder series that enables novices to take their first steps in endurance, and gain race experience without breaking the bank,” said ACO president Pierre Fillon.

“LMP3 seemed an obvious solution. And it has proved to be a sound decision.”

Further details including the cost of new LMP3 kits will be “published shortly.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Mart

    May 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Onroak Automotive (Ligier), Duqueine Automotive (Norma), and Ginetta I understand.
    ADESS AG not, do they have customers for their current car? I am not aware. Anyone else is?

    The Ave-Riley is considered a total flop, it’s as fast as it looks. Same for their LMP2 car on a different matter.

    • Nate B

      May 23, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Ave-Riley does have a win in IMSA, at Daytona I do believe. There is something to be said for its looks though. Prototypes are not pretty cars, but that one is ugly among an ugly field of cars. Only think they ever made/sold the one too. Not really a ringing endorsement to be moved into the second iteration. Still think limiting chassis manufacturers is a mistake, just like in LMP2 though.

      • Justin A Porter

        May 23, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        ADESS teams are principally active in Asia, and for that reason it’s likely that they’re maintaining ADESS as a supplier rather than opening the tender to another new non-starter like Riley or Dome.

        At the moment, I would imagine Dallara, Gibson, Osella, and potentially Swift would be the only viable candidates to produce cars if they were so inclined.

        • thomas

          May 26, 2018 at 1:02 am

          ALso Tatuus and Wolf

      • Jack

        May 23, 2018 at 2:14 pm

        It did not win Daytona

    • FlyingLobster27

      May 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      It’s Ginetta I don’t get. They ran a factory team for one year, won Chris Hoy a title and their cars have barely been seen since! Their catalogue contains a modified P3 that can’t race in ACO series and a P1 car. That shows that Ginetta aren’t interested in P3. And apart from two French manufacturers and an admittedly healthy number of teams and drivers, no-one honestly seems to be.

      • Daedalus

        May 23, 2018 at 3:43 pm

        There was an issue with Ginetta not getting proper parts availability from a supplier as I recall, together with the fact that the liger was a better car, it resulted in no demand from customers or willingness to build more cars.

        Bascially like Oreca in LMP2 everyone bought the fastest of the 4 cars. Thankfuly the norma is now just as good as the liger. Hopefully they will bump the power to 470 like they said they would so they don’t mess with the GTE cars in ELMS.

    • Carefull With That Eugene, Axe

      May 24, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Riley P3 is the flying shoe box.

  2. Anonymous

    May 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I’m surprised other manufacturers haven’t tried to enter LMP3, like Tiga, Tatuus, Osella or even Radical. I wonder why they won’t throw their hats into the ring.

    • Andy

      May 23, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Radical no cause everything they’ve built above a track day kit car has been a WRECK and from team reports even more poorly built than the last few Lolas. And those were 50% duct tape it seemed.

      • Daedalus

        May 23, 2018 at 3:54 pm

        @Andy If what you said was true they would not have sold more prototype race cars than any other manufacture in history (over 1000 cars and counting) and have successful Continental championships in Europe and North America plus many national series in UK,Australia,Sweden,Middle East among others.

        • Justin A Porter

          May 23, 2018 at 4:24 pm

          The Radical SR9 was routinely a podium car in the ELMS when it was squaring off against Courage C65’s and Lola B05’s. In the states it was only tiny Van der Steur Racing that used the machine at a point in time where it had to compete with the Penske Porsches and the Acura triple threat.

          Not really a wreck from where I’m standing.

    • Daedalus

      May 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Too risky for them. Lots of investment required to build a LMP3 cars for these small firms and no guarantee there will be customers considering the market saturation already.

      • Anonymous

        May 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm

        Forgive me but I wouldn’t consider Osella a small firm given how long they’ve been going racing! Let’s not forget that Osella have built and raced in F1 back in the 80’s (albeit not very successfully, though that was more to do with poor engine choices than chassis problems). I suspect that Osella wouldn’t enter LMP3 because they enjoy such control of the Hillclimb Racing and Sports Car market. Just my own theory.

  3. The Fisherman 🎣

    May 23, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Interesting to see ADESS and Ginetta on the list, especially given the latter’s issues with the engine supplier. Hopefully the V8 is replaced too.

  4. SaskRacer

    May 24, 2018 at 10:53 am

    How did Ginetta and ADESS keep their licenses? LMP3 has kind of become, or always was, a JSP3-spec series with the odd Norma able to keep up. ADESS has been absent, so maybe they can still show up with a competitive car, but given that Ginetta abandoned their LMP3 effort when they realized it was way off the pace, allowing them to keep a manufacturer license seems especially odd.

    • David

      May 25, 2018 at 3:13 am

      Carlos Tavares is involved in Adess.
      Officially Ginetta had problems with delivery of the Nissan-Powertrain which is provided by Oreca.

      Nevertheless I hope LMP3 will get an power increase up to 500 hp.

  5. bjones

    June 12, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    For you who wonder why certain manufacturers do not build a car, It takes money and if you (manufacturer) can’t see or obtain a return on investment you don’t make it. Some of the ones mentioned has done well building cars in there area, Why would they jump into a snake pit? One when you never know when certain powers to be change the rules an or the whole damn game on ya. I for one would be quite nervous if I jumped or even if I thought about it. So basically to just build a car is easy making it make you money is another hurdle which is quite high. I can fill this page with manufacturers with their names on tombstones. Yes some of those names could and has built some bad ass cars in their time.

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