Connect with us

24H Le Mans

AMG Open to ELMS LMGT3 for Possible Le Mans Berth

Mercedes-AMG in dialogue with ACO for possible inclusion in ELMS as step to Le Mans…

Photo: Asian Le Mans Series

Mercedes-AMG is open to the possibility of having its GT3 car eligible in the European Le Mans Series in order to enable for a possible future presence at the 24 Hours of Le Mans through automatic invites according to its head of customer racing Stefan Wendl.

The German manufacturer, which along with Audi were left out of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new-for-2024 LMGT3 class, has not given up on being part of ACO-rules racing, outside of the Asian Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup, which run to international GT3 regulations.

Speaking with Sportscar365, Wendl said he’s remained in dialogue with the FIA and ACO regarding a potential future presence on the LMGT3 grids, in either the WEC or ELMS, with the hope of having eligibility at Le Mans.

“We are in contact and we talked about how it came to the result,” he said. “I respect the position of the ACO.

“We will meet again when they are in Spa [at the WEC event], just to touch base and to keep in contact about the latest developments.

“Also for the near future, seeing Aston Martin joining the [top class] and potentially McLaren, it makes it not easy for us.

“But still, we’re ready. We have customers, we have a car that’s possible to compete and that’s why we want to be close to them and see where and in which platform and when is the right time for us to join the ACO platforms.”

When asked if he’s open to eligibility in the ELMS only for 2025, Wendl indicated he’s hopeful that such participation could enable the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo to be able to compete at Le Mans, should any of its customers secure automatic invites to the French endurance classic.

“I wouldn’t say no to anything,” he said. “So far for us, there are some major costs involved to make the car eligible, in terms of homologation, torque sensors, and some other stuff like manufacturer’s fees.

“But for us, the important thing is to enable the platform for our car.

“So far for me, this would also be a reasonable step to go first in the ELMS, for example, so they get known to our car and they know exactly what to expect, to maybe make it only available just for Le Mans guest starts.”

Wendl added: “If you have a customer winning the Asian Le Mans [title] or being successful in IMSA, that at least those customers can join for the single-event Le Mans entry, which is at the moment impossible.”

Organizers have currently limited the Le Mans LMGT3 grid to eligible GT3 models competing in the WEC or ELMS for Balance of Performance reasons according to ACO President Pierre Fillon.

“It’s also a decision I can understand very well because they don’t want to see a car that’s never been in their competition,” Wendl said.

However, if the car is eligible for ELMS competition, Wendl said he feels the ACO would have “enough data available in their own pocket” to “find the right balance” for Le Mans.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

Click to comment

More in 24H Le Mans