The category below the top LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, LMP2 provides teams, as well as drivers, a very relevant ‘stepping stone’ to progress to the highest level.
“Le Mans Prototype 2″ (LMP2) is a key part of the “Endurance” family reserved exclusively for privateer teams independent of constructors and/ or engine suppliers.
While a new generation of LMP2 cars has been launched in the FIA WEC and ELMS in 2017, only the previous generation of cars remains eligible to run in the Asian Le Mans Series to allow new and existing teams easier access to the top level of competition in the Series.
Launched by the ACO in 2015, LMP3 is a new category of sports prototype, a pure bred racing machine that has become the fastest growing class in world motorsport.
LMP3 is the first step on the ladder for many teams and drivers before moving up to the LMP2 and even the LMP1 class (the latter in the FIA WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans).
The 420 bhp Nissan V8 engined LMPs have been developed with cost control in mind. Costs are capped, by regulation for both the entire car, and for spares packages.
Despite that the LMP3 cars have received much praise from both Professional and Gentleman drivers as providing the power and aerodynamic downforce required to provide a driving experience that comes very close to that offered by their larger and faster LMP2 cousins.
For the ACO, GTs are just as important as Prototypes. For the Asian Le Mans Series, the GT category encompasses LMGTE, FIA GT3 and GT 300 Japan cars.
LMGTE cars are production-based Grand Touring cars with limits and specifications defined by the ACO for endurance racing. They are subjected to a Balance Of Performance to ensure parity amongst manufacturers.
GT3 cars are defined by a set of regulations maintained by the FIA for GT racing cars designed for use in various racing series throughout the world. The regulations allow for a wide variety of car types to be homologated with almost no limit on engine sizes and configurations or chassis construction or layout.
However, cars must be based on mass production road car models. Performance of all GT3 cars are regulated, either by the GT Bureau of the FIA or by a series’ specific ruling body (eg, the ACO), through a Balance of Performance that adjusts limits on horsepower, weight, engine management, and aerodynamics to prevent a single manufacturer from becoming dominant in the class.
GT 300 Japan are often similar to LMGTE or GT3 with specifications defined by regulations set by the JAF.
The GT Cup (formerly known as GT Am) category in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup and Asian Le Mans Series is open to cars that have been homologated for various one-make series around the world such as Audi R8 LMS Cup, Ferrari Challenge, Lamborghini Super Trofeo and Porsche Carrera Cup.
Often featuring gentleman drivers, they also serve as development grounds for future professional drivers. 24Hrs of Le Mans Champion Earl Bamber is one example of a driver who came through Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.