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GT3-Based Category to Replace GTE in 2024

GT3-based formula to replace GTE from 2024, opening Le Mans and more to new brands…

 

Photo: Jules Benichou/21creation

The FIA and ACO have confirmed that a new category “based on the GT3 platform” will replace GTE at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and its associated championships from 2024.

FIA Endurance Commission president Richard Mille outlined the shift during the ACO’s annual press conference on Friday on the eve of this weekend’s 89th Le Mans edition.

The current GTE regulations will continue through to the end of 2023 before being replaced by a version of the FIA’s global GT3 formula which is used by most major sports car racing series around the world.

Landmark races such as the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the Nürburgring 24 and the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour also use the globally successful GT3 ruleset.

It is currently unclear whether the ACO-approved GT3 racing class, or classes, will consist of standard GT3 cars or vehicles with technical modifications.

The move is set to open the door for GT3 manufacturers that do not currently build GTE cars such as Lamborghini, Audi, Mercedes-AMG and Honda to race in the GT ranks of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series and Le Mans.

GT3s are already permitted in the ACO-run Asian Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup.

The WEC’s GTE-Pro class, which now only includes Porsche and Ferrari as full-season entrants after Aston Martin quit after last season, will continue until the end of 2023.

It was initially anticipated that GTE-Pro would be phased out after next year, leaving GTE-Am to steer the formula through its final season, however both categories will remain for the full duration of the regulations.

“GT was always an important parameter for the ACO and FIA,” said Mille.

“It’s important for us that many amateurs can race. The current situation is that until 2023 we are going to keep the current category: GTE.

“But from 2024 on, we will have a new GT category which will be based on the current GT3 platform. Our goal is to work on this topic during the second half of the year.

“We want all this to be finalized at the FIA World Motor Sport Council by the end of the year.”

The decision to replace GTE with a GT3-based category in 2024 comes after the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship announced in January that its dwindling GTE-based GT Le Mans class will be replaced by GT3 cars starting next year.

The new IMSA all-professional GT category will be known as GT Daytona Pro, as an addition to the current GT Daytona class.

This article was updated following clarification from the FIA and ACO that GTE-Pro will be eligible through to the end of 2023.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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