GT CUP BOSSES PLAN NEW LMP3 SERIES
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.