Progress continues to be made towards a common set of LMP2-style prototype regulations, with the FIA, ACO and IMSA set to hold its second working group meeting with manufacturers next week in Daytona following the Rolex 24.
The proposed new-for-2017 regulations will align the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, European and Asian Le Mans Series with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, to create a single technical platform for all series worldwide.
According to IMSA President and COO Scott Atherton, the meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, will be the next step in the ongoing discussions with the sanctioning and governing bodies, which so far has be positive.
“It’s strong, cooperative and productive,” Atherton told Sportscar365. “I think we have many common objectives.
“The goal and objective from the beginning has been to have those prototypes that are competing in the TUDOR Championship be eligible for ACO competition, and vice versa, so LMP2 cars that are in ACO-sanctioned championships and Le Mans are eligible here.”
With a target operating cost reduction of 30 percent, a number of cost-cutting initiatives were discussed in the first meeting in Paris last September, including the possibility of having a certain amount of common parts among manufacturers.
Another key talking point was the concept of manufacturer-specific bodywork, similar to what’s currently seen with Daytona Prototypes in the TUDOR Championship. However, it’s understood the ACO’s initial proposal was to limit manufacturer involvement in the class.
“There are some examples where their perspective and ours are not completely aligned, primarily because their focus with the LMP1 category is very manufacturer-centric,” Atherton admitted.
“Obviously, we need that same manufacturer focus but in our Prototype [LMP2-style] class. But that’s not mutually exclusive.
“That just means our approach to engaging manufacturers in our Prototype category will be different than how they will approach for them what will be a LMP2 car in Europe, Le Mans and other ACO-sanctioned series.”
It’s understood the 2017 LMP2 regulations could be finalized and unveiled by as early as September.