Created in 2015 by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the LMP3 class helps make endurance racing more accessible to teams and drivers. This past February, it was announced a second generation of LMP3s was on the way, and at the 87th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the four approved constructors - namely Ligier, Duqueine Engineering, Ginetta and Adess - presented the new prototypes ahead of their start in competition scheduled for 2020. The cars are in the process of being homologated, with identical technical deadlines required of the four constructors so as to maintain fairness and balance in the class. The various designs were submitted before summer and the ACO's technical department is currently checking the cars. The approval process will be completed by the end of 2019 in accordance with the schedule and the first deliveries to clients are planned for early 2020.
The new LMP3s are updates of each constructor's current model rather than an all-new car (the client has the option of an updated or new car). These prototypes will compete in the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Asian Ultimate Cup beginning next year. The Asian Le Mans Series (2020-2021 season), IMSA Prototype Challenge (2021) and Australian LMP3 Cup (2022) will then switch out the current cars for the new models. To date, 170 LMP3s have been produced. This class has paved the way for young talent like Thomas Laurent, Signatech Alpine Matmut driver and reserve driver with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Several gentlemen drivers have also opted for the LMP3 class as a way to compete in endurance racing.
Related article: THE NEW-LOOK LMP3 FOR 2020!