The LMP3 class was introduced by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in 2015 and the next generation of cars will make its competition début in 2020. Four manufacturers have been selected to help ACO take the class forward. Here we present the 2020 version of LMP3, with some key figures and comments from Vincent Beaumesnil, Sports Director.
LMP3 is a feeder series and forms the first tier of the ACO’s endurance pyramid. The class was introduced by the organisers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and will enter a new phase in 2020.
The second-generation chassis will race from 2020-24, fielded by teams and drivers looking to gain a footing in the endurance discipline. The class has been a resounding success with, to date, 170 LMP3 cars entered in various racing series. Several drivers have used the class as a springboard, including Thomas Laurent, LMP3 winner of the 2016 Road to Le Mans who took the LMP2 crown at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans (finishing second overall) and came third at Le Mans in 2018. LMP3 is also popular with amateur drivers.
Competitive cars, a top-flight sporting programme, an affordable budget, a straightforward mechanical set-up and technology within everyone’s reach will continue to form the backbone of the series. LMP3 was designed as a training ground for endurance racing, an arena in which drivers, team members, engineers and mechanics can hone their skills and prepare for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
HOW LMP3 WILL LOOK IN 2020-2024 :
-The four manufacturers selected are Ligier, Duqueine Engineering, Ginetta and Adess.
-Oreca remains the exclusive powertrain (engine, gearbox and electronics) supplier.
-The car will be an upgrade of the manufacturers’ present vehicles, not an entirely new car. An upgrade kit has been defined, covering safety, performance and design.
-The costs stipulated in the regulations are €4,900 to upgrade the current engine, and €50,000 for the chassis upgrade kit (technical passport included), making a total €54,900 to upgrade the current car for 2020. A new 2020 car will cost a maximum €239,000 (technical passport included).
-Customer quality will be a prime concern with technical support at circuits, a spare parts service and a technical passport.
KEY TECHNICAL INFORMATION FOR LMP3 IN 2020-24 :
-Engine power has been increased by 35 hp, to 455 hp.
-The new Nissan VK56 engine will be introduced. The current engines (Nissan VK50 V8) will be adapted to deliver the same power and performance as the VK56. Competitors can thus keep their current engines until they come to the end of their useful life and then acquire the new one.
-Introduction of traction control.
-As for the chassis, some safety-related changes have been approved for the driver’s headrest structure and the driver’s seat, and Zylon side panels will be introduced.
-A bodywork upgrade kit and mechanical modifications are also permitted, provided costs do not exceed the price of the kit indicated in the regulations
WHEN WILL THE 2020-24 LMP3 BE INTRODUCED?
– 2020 season: European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup, Road to Le Mans, Ultimate Cup, V de V
– 2020-21 season: Asian Le Mans Series
– 2021 season: All other competitions