The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has lodged a dispute with Creventic over the licensing rights for LMP3 in its recently announced 24H Proto Series.
The Dutch agency, known for its successful Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai and 24H Series, announced last week the formation of a prototype-only championship, featuring LMP3, CN and other entry level prototype machinery.
The ACO alleges that Creventic has not arranged the necessary licensing agreement to utilize the LMP3 platform, which they control.
A Statement from the ACO reads: “The ACO intends to respond and denies having agreed with Creventic on the organization of a racing series in 2017 called “24 Proto Series”, which is open to LMP3.
“The ACO denies having granted to Creventic the LMP3 brand, as well as LMP3 technical regulations, which are its exclusive property.
“Similarly, the use of the list of LMP3 competitors entered in ELMS, as that of future events organized by the Dutch company, was made without the knowledge and against the will of the ACO.
“On this point, as on the above, the ACO strongly denies and reserves to defend its rights.”
Officials from Creventic, including Ivo Breukers, were on hand during last month’s European Le Mans Series round at Spa-Francorchamps and released a provisional entry list for its planned opening race in Dubai featuring nearly all of the current ELMS LMP3 competitors.
Breukers said he’s been unable to reach ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil to discuss the matter but is hopeful of coming to a positive outcome.
“It’s not our intention to hurt anybody; it’s our intention to give service to our customers and teams,” Breukers told Sportscar365.
“It’s good for [the ACO], especially if you look at the business case for the teams. They are asking us for more track time, more races, because they want to [race more with LMP3 cars]. There’s one manufacturer that’s very happy [about our series] because they see a good business case.
“I think it can only support this category of racing. What the ACO is doing is on a completely different level and intention.”
It’s understood each series utilizing LMP3 cars and the brand must complete an agreement with the ACO, as has been the case with various championships around the world, including the VdeV Endurance Series, British Prototype Cup and new-for-2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge series.