The new wave of LMP2 regulations have been delayed until 2026, in a further postponement to the launch of the next-generation Pro-Am-based prototypes.
Announced Wednesday during the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Bologna, the one-year delay will keep the current LMP2 cars eligible through the end of the 2025 seasons in the European and Asian Le Mans Series.
While not outright confirming elimination of the class in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the FIA and ACO have stated there will be “rational adjustments” to the WEC grid beginning in 2024, with Hypercar and the newly-named LMGT3 class taking priority.
This is due to the projected car counts, particularly in the top class, which could reach 20 cars by 2024.
“To accommodate these two classes comfortably, the ACO and the FIA may possibly restrict admission to the FIA World Endurance Championship to Hypercar and LMGT3 challengers from 2024,” a statement from the FIA and ACO read.
“Irrespective of this decision, LMP2 remains crucial to endurance and will continue to form the top class in the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series.
“From 2024, therefore, the ACO will keep at least 15 slots open to LMP2 cars on the 24 Hours of Le Mans grid. These places will be allocated to teams competing in ACO-badged series.”
Additionally, LMP2 cars will have a 10 kilowatt (13 horsepower) power reduction and 500 rpm cut for the 2023 WEC season, based on the need to “guarantee the best possible balance” between Hypercar and LMP2.
It will mark the third consecutive year LMP2 cars have been slowed to create a larger buffer to the Hypercar class machinery.
The change will also be in effect for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although LMP2 power levels in the ELMS will be raised by 15 kW (20 hp) compared to this year’s benchmark.
No word has been given on LMP2’s eligibility in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beyond the 2023 season.