The Gulf 12 Hours has received the backing of the ACO, with December’s around-the-clock enduro at Yas Marina Circuit set to fully adopt the LMP3 platform, which will run to full ACO technical regulations.
A licensing agreement has been made between race promoters Driving Force Events Ltd. and the Asian Le Mans Series, which will see the entry level prototypes run for overall race honors in the seventh edition of the event, set for Dec. 16.
LMP3 cars were introduced into the race last year but run to the event’s own Balance of Performance regulations, with the best-placed P3 car finishing seventh overall and GT3 entries dominating the event up front.
“The ACO’s endorsement represents an important validation of the job we have undertaken in cooperation with Yas Marina Circuit, over the past six years,” said race promoter Andrea Ficarelli.
“Last year, we successfully tested the compatibility of the LMP3 cars with our Gulf 12 Hours, a race originally developed around the GT3 cars.
“The feedback we received has been very positive and we believe that LMP3 cars are the ideal element to add to the Gulf 12 Hours and will help create a perfect mix between GT and prototype cars.”
Asian Le Mans Series Managing Director Cyrille Taesch-Wahlen added: “The LMP3 Class is growing from strength to strength worldwide and teams and drivers are looking for additional opportunities to race their cars.
“We see the Gulf 12 Hours as an exciting opportunity to grow the catalogue of ACO backed events available to LMP3 entries.”
United Autosports, which took part in the event last year with two Ligier JS P3 Nissans, have already committed to an increased three-car entry, with additional LMP3 teams from Europe and Asia expected.
Beyond the LMP3 confirmation, the format for this year’s race has yet to be confirmed, although is expected to again be open to GT3, GT4 and Cup-class entries.