GT CUP BOSSES PLAN NEW LMP3 SE­RIES

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

LMP3 cars could get their own class in the UK as early as this year af­ter both the GT Cup and Brit­car or­gan­is­ing bod­ies each un­veiled plans for new open pro­to­type se­ries.

Bute Mo­tor­sport, which or­gan­ises the suc­cess­ful GT Cup Cham­pi­onship, has be­gun work to run a mini-se­ries of events for sports-pro­to­types this sea­son be­fore a full sched­ule in 2017.

Bute plans for the se­ries to have three classes, with the top tier ded­i­cated to LMP3 ma­chin­ery, class two for FIA Cn-spec sportscars and the third cat­e­gory op­er­at­ing for mar­ques such as Rad­i­cal, Aquila, Saker and Ri­ley.

Tyre sup­plier Pirelli has al­ready backed the plans and Bute is work­ing with MSVR to de­cide on dates to run pi­lot races along­side the GT Cup at its GP cir­cuit rounds at Brands Hatch, Sil­ver­stone and Don­ing­ton Park.

Bute Mo­tor­sport tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Phil Boland said: “The new Gt3-spec cars are cost­ing up to half-a-mil­lion euros or over so we see this as an op­por­tu­nity be­cause there are plenty of peo­ple out there in the mar­ket for a se­ri­ous rac­ing car who don’t want to be spend­ing that kind of money. LMP3 fits that bill per­fectly so why not have them rac­ing in a UK cham­pi­onship?

“LMP3S are cur­rently lim­ited to just the Euro­pean Le Mans Se­ries, but they are good to run for thou­sands of miles so hav­ing a se­ries like this al­lows teams to gain ex­tra com­pet­i­tive mileage and find more value for driv­ers.”

United Au­tosports will make its LMP3 de­but this year with a pair of Ligier JS P3 chas­sis. Team head Richard Dean said: “We love the con­cept of a na­tional pro­to­type se­ries and I’m con­vinced it is a cat­e­gory that could grow and grow.

“LMP3 cars are prob­a­bly the best value for money rac­ing car out there at the mo­ment and it’s a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion for GT driv­ers so it makes sense to have them rac­ing in Bri­tain. We’d cer­tainly run cars in the cat­e­gory and sup­port it.”

Brit­car will also run a new four-round Dun­lop Pro­to­type Se­ries this year, tar­get­ing cars such as the Ginetta G57, Rad­i­cal RXC and Cn-spec cars. One­hour races are planned at Sil­ver­stone, Don­ing­ton Park and Snet­ter­ton be­fore it con­cludes with a two-hour event at Spa-fran­cor­champs.

LMP3 cars will form part of new cat­e­gory

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