LMP3 cars have been added to the newly renamed Michelin Le Mans Cup, the ACO announced on Sunday, which will see the European Le Mans Series support race feature multi-class racing next year.
The entry level prototypes will join existing GT3 machinery in the championship, which has struggled for entries in its first year, with only ten cars having taken part in this weekend’s season finale at Estoril.
The format change mirrors the class structure utilized in the Road to Le Mans support race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although lengthened to two-hour races for the balance of the season.
LMP3 cars will remain in the ELMS, with the top-placed entries from Le Mans Cup getting invites to ELMS, and lowest-placed cars in the ELMS championship being transferred to the Le Mans Cup the following year.
“In Europe there is a growing demand for LMP3 cars and we have recognized this by extending the options for entrants and providing the perfect stage for them on which to compete,” said series boss Gerard Neveu.
“We should not forget that this prototype category was created and developed by the ACO and it is the first step on this fantastic adventure that is endurance racing.”
2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup Schedule (Provisional):
May 13 – Monza
June 17 – Road to Le Mans
July 22 – Red Bull Ring
Aug. 25 – Paul Ricard
Sept. 23 – Spa-Francorchamps
Oct. 21 – Portimao