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Cost caps, engine life and more – the LMP3 announcement

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Ashley Westwood is at the Red Bull Ring for the ELMS. Here he takes us through the LMP3 announcement, including a recording of the press conference.

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Gerard Nevue, Vincent Beaumesnil and Pierre Fillon at the LMP3 announcement.  LMP3 will feature in the ELMS from 2015.

ELMS – LMP3 EXCLUSIVE PRESS CONFERENCE

Vincent Beaumesnil, Automobile Club de l’Ouest Sports Manager delivered an exclusive press conference on Saturday at Austria’s Red Bull Ring, unveiling further details of the highly anticipated LMP3 racing category, due to begin racing by 2015.

The new category, which was announced earlier last year, aims to be a budget Le Mans racing category with the philosophy with as little restrictions as possible, be it from an economic, technical, driving or running point of view. With chassis and engines to be capped under €200,000 per car ($290,000 AUD) and running costs per season falling below €400,000 ($575,000AUD) it brings accessible Le Mans Prototype grade racing to small four-man teams and gentleman racers without the need for top-tier corporate sponsorship.

A high number of standardized components across the field will help keep costs down for the category. All cars will be assigned a single V8 Engine producing around 420hp (313kw.) A six-speed sequential Gearbox will be available from Magneti Marelli, along with standardized Engine Management Systems. Oreca will be supplying low-cost packages of all homogeneous components, as well as providing a back-up service to all teams at every circuit on the championship calendar. Common parts are also likely to include wheels, brakes, fuel tanks and safety equipment. (More tba.)

Teams will only be allowed to use one engine per car per season, the engine that must be guaranteed to operate for 10,000km without maintenance, reducing the need for rebuilds an high maintenance costs associated with Le Mans Prototype racing. Tyre sizes will be largely similar to those used in the Porsche Cup and will be standardized with a single manufacturer per championship season.

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Text and photos (c) Ashley Westwood,  July 2014

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