Performance Tech Motorsports team principal Brent O’Neill believes that the addition of the LMP3 class into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will provide an easier pathway for drivers to graduate to the top series.
Confirmed on Wednesday, new-generation LMP3 cars will compete as a fifth class next year alongside DPi, LMP2, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona, with a six-round championship plus eligibility in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
O’Neill, whose Florida-based team currently fields LMP2 and LMP3 machinery, has applauded IMSA’s move to allow LMP3s into the WeatherTech Championship.
“I think this was a great call by John Doonan and IMSA,” he said.
“With the LMP2 class dwindling it left my LMP3 guys at a dead end. Now they can advance to the next level while still driving the cars they’ve grown accustomed to.
“I think a ton of other teams will continue their programs into the WeatherTech series and we’ll see the overall car count skyrocket.”
The team’s Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 entry was absent from last weekend’s six-hour WeatherTech Championship enduro at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta although is expected to return for the final two Michelin Endurance Cup races
Performance Tech has yet to confirm its 2021 plans although is likely to include involvement in both the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA Prototype Challenge, which has been retained with a new two-class formula between old and new-gen LMP3 cars.
Muehlner Planning Two-Car Rolex 24 LMP3 Entry
Fellow LMP3 entrant Muehlner Motorsports has revealed plans to compete in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona wth “at least” two Duqueine D08 Nissans according to managing director Bernhard Muehlner.
The Belgian squad, which has been a regular entrant in North American sports car racing through its satellite workshop in Florida, campaigned two Norma M30 Nissans on behalf of Robillard Racing in IPC in 2019.
While taking part in Michelin Le Mans Cup competition in Europe this year, Muehlner said discussions are already ongoing for a return Stateside with new-gen LMP3 machinery.
“Now that LMP3 is now eligible for our home race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, it gives us the chance to return to Daytona International Speedway,” Muehlner said.
“We will participate with at least two Duqueine D08s.”