Early work has begun on the new Dome LMP3 car, following confirmation of the Japanese manufacturer becoming the fifth and final approved constructor for the ACO’s new junior prototype formula. (En Français)
The yet-to-be-named prototype will join models from Ginetta, Ligier, ADESS and Riley-Ave in the new LMP3 platform, which has seen significant growth in the last six months throughout Europe and now in Asia.
“It’s with some emotion that we learned our selection for LMP3,” Dome President Hiroshi Fushida told Endurance-Info. “We firmly believe in the future of the category.
“We had this confirmation only a few days ago. We had a feasibility study on the project but everything remains to be done on the study of the car.”
Fushida, who visited with ACO representatives at last weekend’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji, said the manufacturer is still in the very early stages of the car’s development, which will serve as the successor to its previous LMP1 and LMP2 models.
It’s expected the the new Dome will not make its competition debut until 2017, with extensive testing and development planned for next year.
“The car has to take to the track over the course of next year,” Fushida said. “Right now, it’s just an artistic [rendering] of the car.”
Fushida is optimistic about the LMP3 platform’s future, including the potential for growth in Asia, with the ACO’s proposed prototype sprint series, which could launch as early as next year.
“We see that many [LMP3] cars are being sold in Europe as more and more championships are accepting LMP3,” he said.
“The situation is different in Asia because it’s necessary to launch the cultivation of the prototype. This will take time but I’m confident.
“To start a sprint series is a good idea to cushion the cars.”
While its collaboration with Strakka Racing on the Dome S103 LMP2 car has come to an end, Dome is still involved with multiple other projects, including in F4 and the GT300 ‘Mother Chassis’ in Super GT.
“Four [Mother Chassis] cars have been sold,” Fushida said. “The first year has led to some early problems but a car won in the last race.
“We could see one or two more cars next season, knowing that the export of the cars is almost impossible as they’re not eligible for GT3 championships.”
Fushida said there are no plans to enter the GT500 class as a constructor, while LMP1 “requires a lot of resources to only sell a few cars.”