The ACO has clarified its position on the LMP3 platform, citing its desire to control the expansion of the emerging entry-level prototype category instead of allowing it as a free-for-all for sanctioning bodies and championships.
It comes in the wake of legal action taken on Creventic, promoters of the new 24H Proto Series, which announced plans to utilize the ACO’s LMP3 formula for endurance racing.
“I have to say in the beginning when we created LMP3, we had very little interest and support from people who maybe didn’t believe in this category,” ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil told Sportscar365.
“But we had the conviction that it was the right thing to do. I’m happy that, at its origin, that some people supported the concept.
“Now it’s successful and many people are interested in it. I have no problem with that.
“The only thing is that we want to control the expansion of LMP3 and make sure there’s no interference between the championships that could create what would become a threat for LMP3.
“If you don’t control [LMP3] and it goes everywhere… if there is no strategy, you could kill the category. So we think it’s important to control this.
“Also because we have created LMP3. We own the brand and technical regulations. We have the intellectual property of the regulations. Based on that, we want to make sure the expansion of LMP3 is coordinated.”
Under agreements with the ACO, the LMP3 platform has been introduced into numerous championships beyond the European and Asian Le Mans Series, including the VdeV Endurance Series, Supercar Challenge and newly launched British Prototype Cup.
It will also feature in IMSA’s newly restructured Prototype Challenge powered by Mazda series next year.
“There’s been interest in having national championships,” Beaumesnil said. “These are the people we’re discussing with.
“If you coordinate this, it will make a proper development that will be beneficial for the teams, the manufacturers, the suppliers, everybody.
“If you have no control, it will end in a clash at some stage for sure. This is what we have to be careful with.”
While Beaumesnil wouldn’t comment on the ongoing legal situation with Creventic, he did confirm that the ACO does require a licensing agreement for use of the LMP3 technical regulations.
“It’s not a problem of making money for us,” he said. “It’s really a problem of having the control on the sport and making it proper.
“We have always said that we’re happy to discuss with some promoters about LMP3. The projects we have are about national series with sprint races.”