The Spirit of Le Mans coming to Australia!

LMP3 Cup Australia launched. 

2019 will see the arrival of LMP3 prototype racing in Australia thanks to an agreement between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, (ACO) and LMP3 Cup Australia Pty Ltd,with the agreement and support of the Confederation of Motor Sport (CAMS).
The LMP3 Cup Australia:
The 2019 LMP3 Cup will be a six round series, with each round featuring two x 1 hour races. 
Utilising the FIA driver seedings, and running ACO sprint cup format regulations, each car will be required to run at least one silver or bronze rated driver. Higher rated drivers, up to platinum, will be permitted to run as co-drivers. This allows lesser experienced drivers to partner with more experienced professional drivers to learn and develop their skills during the season.
Calendar details are still to be announced as the exact dates for the Australian motorsport calendars for 2019 have yet to be finalised. However, it is expected that the majority of the series will feature on the Shannons Nationals program, racing on premium tracks such as The Bend, Phillip Island and Sydney Motorsport Park. 
The dates have been specifically identified to avoid clashing with the Asian Le Mans Series calendar, even allowing for shipping transit between regions. This is by design to allow teams from throughout the region to compete in both series, adding an exciting element and offering Australian teams an opportunity to race on the global stage. 
The Series will feature a broadcast package that, while still being negotiated, aims to be a mix of both live streaming and television. The details will be confirmed once the calendar is announced. 
The Prize:
Teams and drivers will fight for either the outright championship, or an amateur trophy for all silver/ bronze driver line ups. 
The Outright Championship winning team will receive a free entry to the Asian Le Mans Series for the following season.
The Cars:
The LMP3 class was established by the ACO in 2015 to create a global base for sports prototype racing cars, and to provide a pathway to the World Endurance Championship (WEC) featuring the internationally famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race at its pinnacle. 
Eligible cars for the LMP3 Cup Australia will be homologated LMP3 machines from the ACO designated constructors – Adess AG, Ginetta, Ligier (Onroak Automotive), and Norma.All cars incorporate a carbon fibre monocoque chassis with FIA approved safety standards. The powertrain is engineered by Oreca and features a Nissan 420 bhp normally aspirated 5 litre V8 engine, and an X-Trac gearbox. 
With such a high specification, LMP3 cars have the potential to showcase the fastest racing of any Australian series when you consider the performance of the cars compared to other categories at circuits around the world.
The cars have received much praise from both professional and amateur drivers for providing the power and aerodynamic downforce required to give a thrilling driving experience, creating the perfect entry point to this level of world standard, top tier sportscar racing.
New cars (complete with engine) are cost capped at €206,500, and spare parts are also cost capped to ensure value for competitors. The result is low purchase and running costs for cars at this level.   
Since the ACO introduced the category in 2015, over 150 LMP3 cars have been produced and compete in a dozen different series, among them the Asian Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, Road to Le Mans, LMP3 British Cup, V de V, lMSA Prototype Challenge, Gulf 12 Hours and the FRD LMP3 Series.
 LMP3 technical specifications:
 Minimum weight – 900 kg
 Fuel tank capacity – 100 litres
 Engine – Nissan V8
 Gearbox – 6 forward gears + reverse
 Brakes – Steel discs / max diameter 14″ (355 mm)
 Overall length – 4650mm (including rear wing)
 Overall width – 1900 mm
 Wheels and tyres – Max width 13″/ Max diameter 28″
Series Entrants: 
Organisers have already received significant interest in the category following speculation of its introduction. There have been a large contingent of Australian and New Zealand drivers who have previously had to travel overseas to race these amazing cars. The LMP3 Cup Australia organisers aim to provide a strong local championship allowing these drivers to race much closer to home, whilst making the distinctly different class accessible in Australia. 

Series organisers are also aiming to encourage teams from Asia and around the world to come to Australasia to experience some of the impressive circuits normally out of their reach. 
The Asian Le Mans Series connection: 
 The Australian LMP3 Cup will provide a direct pathway for Australian teams and drivers to compete in the Asian Le Mans Series and prove themselves on the regional stage. There will be a reciprocal pathway for teams and drivers from Asia, Europe and the USA to come to Australia and race in equivalent machinery.  
The winner of the 2019 Season will receive a free entry to the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series in the LMP3 class. There they will fight for a money can’t buy invitation to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2020, awarded to the LMP3 Class winner.
For more information about the Asian Le Mans Series – see here.  



Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: 
“The LMP3 Class of racing is the fastest growing prototype category globally and Australia is well known for creating world class motorsport events. The cars, style of racing, and the organisation, combined with some of Australia’s most iconic race tracks should be an exciting prospect for both professional and gentlemen drivers. We are delighted at the prospect of seeing LMP3 cars racing in Australia. 
“Australia has a long, and very successful motorsport history, with drivers from Australia regularly winning on the global stage. Indeed, Australia’s own Mark Webber won the FIA World Endurance Championship with us in 2016. Through the introduction of the LMP3 Cup in Australia we hope to see more Australian drivers racing with us, and potentially we could see an Australian team racing at the highest level globally.”
Chris Papadopoulos, LMP3 Cup Australia: 
“The arrival of LMP3 racing in Australia is just mega. A quick look online will show everyone the sight and sound of these pure racing cars is amazing. The Cup is going to be great for spectators with the close and exciting racing, but also for teams and drivers looking to experience the high-speed thrill of Le Mans Prototype racing. 
“From an engineering side, the cars are designed to provide a comfortable learning platform, whilst not sacrificing any of the exhilaration of prototype racing. This allows bronze and silver drivers to, if they wish, partner with more experienced drivers in a proven formula to help them gain experience and get more out of their race weekends.”
“The cost-cap on the cars and the nature of the category will means it is a cost effective racing option in this market. The one hour race format means teams will not need expensive refuelling, or pit stop equipment and crews, making it easier for new teams to get involved or expand existing programs. 
Josh Hunt, LMP3 Cup Australia:
“I have been excited about LMP3 since I saw it on its debut in the 2015 Asian Le Mans Series. The concept of fast, great sounding cars that are cost effective to run has been so successful around the world and it is so exciting to bring it to Australia.”
“We have seen so many Australian drivers travel overseas to compete in LMP3 recently, so now LMP3 Cup Australia gives those drivers a place to compete in Australia, whilst also giving many more drivers the opportunity to progress to Le Mans and prototype racing.”
“The partnership with ACO has been important in establishing the LMP3 Cup Australia. This brings us into the ACO pyramid and gives Australian drivers a better opportunity than ever to progress into overseas racing and hopefully a world championship in WEC like Mark Webber, Alex Davison and Matt Campbell.”

Eugene Arocca, CAMS CEO confirmed the CAMS Board has approved the introduction of LMP3 in Australia.
“LMP3 will be an exciting addition to the Australian motor sport scene in a category that is popular around the world.
“This category has already seen its share of success with series in Asia, Europe and the USA. It will no doubt help young drivers help establish their careers here too and provide more opportunities to race.
“While a calendar is yet to be confirmed, we believe the Shannons Nationals will be able to host this category in future and will be able to showcase some exciting racing on circuits around Australia.”
ABOUT LMP3 Cup Australia Pty Ltd:
LMP3 Cup Australia Pty Ltd has been established with input from former F1 Engineer Chris Papadopoulos, Professional Driver Josh Hunt in consultation and co-operation with the ACO to bring the exciting class of LMP3 racing cars to Australasian shores. 

Negotiations are underway with key experienced staff to form a category management team that will oversee the organization and administration of the category for the first season in 2019.

Further Information: 
For more information about the LMP3 Cup Australia, please contact / +61(0)7 5559 6537

Team Virage

Created in 1998 by Philippe Gautheron under the name G-TEC Sport, our structure gained successes in many singles-seaters series, from the Formula Junior to the Open Telefonica by Nissan – recently known under World Renault.

In 2011, Gautheron started Virage Academy and was joined by Julien Gerbi in order to assist the drivers’ physical, mental and technical preparation. Among them, Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov, Giedo Van der Garde, Rio Haryanto and other 60 drivers enjoyed the Virage Academy services.

In the winter 2017-2018, Team Virage is born in order to compete with two LMP3 in the European endurance series.

The team have entered two LMP3s for their first Asian Le Mans Series!

United Autosport

Founded in 2009 by businessman, Zak Brown and racing driver, Richard Dean, United Autosports is based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.

The team race in a number of different championships, with a vast range of cars and drivers.They are double European Le Mans Series LMP3 champions, having clinched the title in both 2016 and 2017, and are currently racing in the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, the 24 Heures du Mans, and the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

The 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series will be their first and the team has entered two Ligier JS P2s and two Ligier JS 3s – creating a very strong effort.

United Autosports are also sole UK agents for Onroak Automotive’s range of Ligier Sportscars.

Viper Niza Racing

Viper Niza was founded by Malaysian Douglas Khoo in 2015. The team is based in Kuala Lumpur and currently participates in the Asian Le Mans Series, TCR Asia and VdeV Endurance Series (in Europe).

Their best position in the Asian Le Mans Series was 4th place in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and the 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series, in their first season.

The team has entered a Ligier JS P3 for the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series.

TCR Asia
Team Championship 5th

TCR Asia
Driver Championship 7th Overall, 2nd in Cup
Team Championship 5th

TCR Asia
Driver Championship 9th Overall, 4th in Cup
Team Championship 6th

Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup
Driver Championship 4th

Asian Le Mans Series
Driver Championship 4th in LMP3
Team Championship 4th in LMP3


Algarve Pro Racing

Algarve Pro Racing Team, founded in 2010 by Stewart and Samantha Cox, is a leading international prototype racing team. They run successful campaigns in the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and the 24 Heures du Mans.

The Albufeira, Portugal-based team provides pro, semi-pro, and amateur ‘gentleman’ drivers with a nurturing platform to succeed. The team won the 2016-17 Asian Le Mans Series title, and last year the team, with Ate Dirk de Jong and Dean Koutsoumidis, claimed the Gentleman’s Trophy.

ARC Bratislava

ARC Bratislava is a Slovak team that was established in 1997 by a race driver Miroslav Konopka. In more than 20 years in motorsport, ARC has raced in several series around the world including the FIA GT Championship, European, American and Asian Le Mans Series. The team has already raced on all continents, entered more than thirty 24-hour races and other endurance events.

ARC Bratislava is the first ever team from Slovakia, as well as the only team from the whole Central European Zone (CEZ), that has started at 24 Heures du Mans. The team are looking forward to the fourth season of the Asian Le Mans Series in winter and have entered a Ligier JS P2 in the LMP2 Am class.

Eurasia Motorsport

While we are busy behind the scenes building an exciting new season, we thought we would introduce you to the teams that race with us! First up is Eurasia Motorsport!

Founded in 2003, Eurasia Motorsport runs under a Philippine licence with a workshop at Sepang in Malaysia.

The team has an impressive record in Asian Le Mans, finishing runner-up in 2016/17, and has propelled many well-known drivers to the top level of world motorsport.

For the 2018/19 Asian Le Mans Series, the team has entered two prototypes – a Ligier JS P2 and JS P3.

Recent roll of honour:
2017 – 24 Hours of Le Mans – 13th in LMP2 class
2016 – Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup Champions
2016 – European Le Mans Series – 5th position
2016 – 24 Hours of Le Mans – 5th in LMP2 class
2015 – European Le Mans Series, 6th position
2015 – Asian Le Mans Series – LMP3 Champions