LMP3 rac­ing is com­ing to the UK this year cour­tesy of Bute Mo­tor­sport’s new Pro­to­type Cup ini­tia­tive

Motor Sport News - - Feature: Track Test Lmp3 -

Europe won’t be the sole place for LMP3 cars to race as of next month, when Bute Mo­tor­sport’s new Pro­to­type Cup ini­tia­tive be­gins at Snet­ter­ton.

The new series aims to run six rounds next sea­son, with a pi­lot event at the Nor­folk cir­cuit on Oc­to­ber 8/9. The class – run by the or­gan­iser of the suc­cess­ful GT Cup Cham­pi­onship – caters for any vari­ant of LMP3 car run­ning to ACO reg­u­la­tions.

So far the class has at­tracted sup­port from French gi­ant Ligier and Ave-ri­ley as well as Le Mans or­gan­iser the Au­to­mo­bile Club de l’ouest, which has given its bless­ing to the first na­tional series ded­i­cated to LMP3.

“The Pro­to­type Cup will cater to a va­ri­ety of driv­ers – from pro­fes­sional ones look­ing to gain ex­tra mileage around their in­ter­na­tional LMP3 cam­paigns – to am­a­teur driv­ers want­ing to build ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore step­ping up to some­thing like the Euro­pean Le Mans Series,” says series head Phil Boland.

United Au­tosports is the first squad to sign up with a multi-car team, with Tock­with Mo­tor­sport fol­low­ing along with Mur­phy Pro­to­types. Other squads – such as Porsche Car­rera Cup gi­ant Red­line Rac­ing – have also ex­pressed in­ter­est in get­ting in­volved.

UA head Richard Dean says: “The series’ foun­da­tions are great. LMP3 is as­pi­ra­tional. If a driver is big on mo­tor­sport chances are Le Mans is on the bucket list, and these are real Le Mans Pro­to­types run­ning on our doorstep. The cars are built to last and guar­an­teed to run for way more mileage than some­thing like a sin­gle ELMS cam­paign and they’re good on spares and con­sum­ables. Bud­gets shouldn’t be too much more than top-level GT4 rac­ing.”

Huge five-litre Nis­san V8 en­gine In­te­rior is ba­sic but func­tional

Ac­cel­er­a­tion down the straights was bru­tal, and brakes were very solid

Get­ting into the Ligier took a lit­tle prac­tice, but we nailed it pretty quickly

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