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Le Mans GT3/LMP3 Support Race Details Revealed

Sporting regulations, eligibility confirmed for new ACO GT3/LMP3 Le Mans support race…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Details of the ACO’s new support race, comprised of GT3 and LMP3 cars during the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend, has emerged, with the initial sporting regulations and eligibility for the event, called “Road to Le Mans” having been released.

The race, which will be between 50 to 60 minutes in length, will feature all full-season Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup entrants, as well as being open to LMP3 teams competing in the European and/or Asian Le Mans Series.

Invitational entries may also be accepted, with the ACO’s selection committee to decide the complete field. The exact size of the grid will be determined later this month.

A minimum drive time of 20 minutes will be imposed for the race, which can see either one or two-driver lineups, including a mandatory pit stop within a to-be-determined window.

Platinum-rated drivers will not be eligible to compete, with each car requiring at least one Bronze-rated driver. Bronze/Bronze or Bronze/Silver lineup combinations will be permitted for both classes, with a Bronze/Gold pairing allowed for GT3 only.

Additionally, GT3 will not permit a single-driver lineup, as the event will count as a race of the new six-round Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.

Michelin will provide a single slick specification tire for each class, although there will be no limit on tires over the course of the event.

Two-one hour practice sessions will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a 30-minute qualifying session Thursday evening. The race is scheduled to get underway Saturday, June 18 at 11:10 a.m. local time.

“Road to Le Mans reinforces the determination of the ACO to consolidate the development of the endurance nursery and to highlight the promotional categories in this branch of the sport,” a statement from the ACO read.

Entry requests for the event will open on March 18 and close on April 15, with the final entry list to be released shortly after.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Tobin Smith

    March 1, 2016 at 10:39 am

    The practice sessions could be longer than the actual race. That’s funny.

    • Bakkster

      March 1, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      It’s a sprint race, most sprint races that’s the case.

  2. someone

    March 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

    The Ligier parade more like.

    • kw

      March 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Yes, it’s a pity. The large request for LMP3 cars is making up a very good class field of about 20 cars in the European Le Mans Series, but except two they are all Ligier’s, which makes it more or less a one-make cup like the Oreca LMP-C class in the Weather Tech Championship(but there it was defined this way). Maybe the competitors ADESS and AVE/Riley couldn’t offer a comparable package or just were not able to cope with this big request. Another reason: the ELMS has only 6 races, but the LMP3 cars can also be used in the French “VdeV” series, which is a reason why many French teams are going for this “double”, and the French teams are natuarally home-(Ligier-)connected…

      • someone

        March 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm

        The biggest reason all the teams are saying is because if they by an Onroak car they can buy a P2 from the same people they bought their P3 from. That is why no one is buying any of the other chassis.

  3. 7D3

    March 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Car Manufactures: Hopefully

    LMP3:
    Ligier JS P3
    Riley AR-2
    ADESS 03

    GT3:
    Audi R8 LMS
    Nissan GTR Nismo GT3
    Glickenhaus SCG 003c*
    BMW Z4 GT3/ M6 GT3
    Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia/ 488 GT3
    Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3
    Lamborghini Huracán GT3
    Jaguar XKR-S GT3*
    Bentley Continental GT3
    McLaren 650S GT3
    Chevrolet Callaway Corvette C7. R GT3*
    Lexus RC F GT3
    Dodge SRT Viper GT3 R
    Mercedes SLS AMG GT3/ AMG GT
    Porsche 911 GT3 R

    Inv GT3:
    Lotus Evora GT3
    Toyota GT86 GT3
    Volvo S60 V8 GT3
    Subaru BRZ GT3
    Toyota Prius GT3

    • DS

      March 1, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      I can tell you right now it is most likely going to resemble the GTC class from ELMS last year. Probably 8-10 Ferrari 458’s, 3-4 Audi’s, 2-3 Mercs, maybe 1 or 2 Astons, and maybe Mclaren, Lambo, BMW and Porsche. I highly doubt any other cars participate.

    • Gabriel Medina, The other

      March 1, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      What about the Ginetta LMP3?

      • Max

        March 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm

        The Ginetta is one and done it seems. Ginetta itself seems to be done with dealing with ORECA over the engine program and their car seemed to be a little rushed and likely won’t perform with the next generation of cars. The ACO added a fifth manufacturer recently, likely due to this.

    • StueyB83

      March 1, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Lexus is not yet FIA homologated – out. Nor is the Frey Jag (NAT G3), and the Glick isn’t even. You may luck in with a Ginetta G55 GT3 or the new Radical RXC-GT3 but as they are only NAT-GT3 homologated you probably wouldn’t be allowed.

      You forgot Reiter altogether. I reckon the Sareni Camaro is the best car for this – cheapest to buy, and with the amount of long straights at Le Mans – well that’s where the 7.9L beast makes all of its lap time!

      As for the dream list, Toyota would compete vs Lexus (same thing), BRZ would need major work.. Volvo?? Really?

      • StueyB83

        March 1, 2016 at 9:05 pm

        Toyota wouldn’t*

  4. Grid S2

    March 1, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Multi driver lineups for a 50-60 minute race is a farce. No need for a mandatory pit stop.

    This set up seems more fitting for a historic race.

    This supporting race should be at least 120 minutes long to have multi driver lineups.

    The race is much ado about nothing. I guess just getting to run La Sarthe makes it something to talk about.

    • Helmut

      March 2, 2016 at 7:44 am

      Yes, it’s kinda ridiculous. Not sure how fast the new LMP3 go under good conditions (the fastest lap was a 3:58.308 last year, but it was wet at that time plus the new LMP3 should be faster than the Ginetta), but say the lap time is 3:50, then it means seven to eight laps for each of the drivers in a two-driver lineup (in case of a 60 min race). Doesn’t really sound like an option to gain much experience with the track.

      • anywho

        March 2, 2016 at 12:40 pm

        Why would the Ligier be faster, it wasn’t faster last year, the Ginetta was over a second faster a lap than the Graff Ligier when they went head to head.

  5. 7D3

    March 9, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Thing lots of teams from Blancpain GT, Brit GT, Dutch SC, WTSC (GTD), Aussie GT and GT Asia will hopefully race in the Le Mans Cup. if not, at least the Le Mans Round.

    Audi
    BMW
    Jaguar
    Mercedes-Benz
    Aston Martin
    Ginetta
    McLaren
    Bentley
    Nissan
    Lexus
    Lamborghini
    Ferrari
    Porsche
    SRT Viper
    Chevrolet

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