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Old 19 Aug 2005, 10:16 (Ref:1386177)   #1
Rubinho
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Time for LMP3?

I just finished reading an interesting article in Racecar Engineering called Time for LMP3?

In the article it discusses the rise of small prototypes such as Radical, Jade, Chiron etc. and their involvement in national series such as Britsports (UK), VdeV (France) and the SCCA one the name of which I can't recall.*

It then goes onto suggest the ACO get involved by specifying LMP3 regulations along the lines of LMP aero regulations, min weight 550kg, 8 cylinder max, 3L atmo, 1.5L turbo engines. These regulations would be the basis for national series to tie together the rather disparate rules of the existing ones to allow manufacturers to develop cars for all the series with an aim to there being an LMP3 class at Le Mans. The rationale being that the cars could be run for the same price or cheaper than a GT but would have lap speeds approaching F3 therefore quite a bit quicker.

I found the article quite compelling as I am very interested in the development of these mini-prototypes. What do you think about the proposal? Would it be a benefit to national prototype series or would it hinder them? Would you watch or get involved in the races?

* I'm working from memory after reading the article last night.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 10:49 (Ref:1386212)   #2
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LMP3 as a class at Le Mans may not be called for, but formulating rules for "sub-LMP" competition isn't necessarily a bad idea.

The FIA Gp.CN regulations are a bit tired these days, and really only good for hillclimbing; and championships like Britcar, Sports Car Challenge, VdeV, or the SCCA sports racer classes all formulate their own package. A bit of unification may strengthen the scene as a whole, and make life easier for manufacturers, too.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 10:51 (Ref:1386214)   #3
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I agree with an LMP3 category for national series, but Le Mans and now LMEs really have no need for it as they already have full or oversubscribed grids.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:12 (Ref:1386236)   #4
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This is not the topic here but, Le Mans oversubscribed? Hardly. And ALMS needs all the help it can get. But it shouldn't come from such cars, but rather from the established LMP/GT classes.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:30 (Ref:1386249)   #5
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Maybe as a national category, but I tend to think we already have too many categories, not too few.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:43 (Ref:1386263)   #6
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Maybe as a national category, but I tend to think we already have too many categories, not too few.
It would have to (and if set up well then I believe it could) happen at the expense of other classes.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:51 (Ref:1386273)   #7
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But which? GT2? LMP2?
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:52 (Ref:1386274)   #8
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Perhaps formulate regs for LMP3 as a bottom rung of the ladder. Teams can learn about protos in National LMP3 cars before stepping up to LMP2 or LMP1 internationally, much as Brit GT teams do before going FIA-GT or LMES. Perhaps a 2 hour LMP3 race using cars from all the National championships on Saturday morning at Le Mans before the 24 hrs could become the traditional curtain raiser. Just my thoughts.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:53 (Ref:1386275)   #9
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Originally Posted by cybersdorf
A bit of unification may strengthen the scene as a whole, and make life easier for manufacturers, too.
This is where I see the value of common regulations coming from. Having LMP aero regulations would also get the smaller manufacturers on a path where they can understand the higher classes and hopefully move into them. I could see it spawning more LMP2.

In my eyes there could never be too many prototypes!
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 11:58 (Ref:1386282)   #10
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I could see it spawning more LMP2.
I'm not sure if too many of the current small manufacturers are ready to make the step up.

Radical, PRC, Norma, Osella, Lucchini...

Hm, in fact there are quite a few!
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 12:09 (Ref:1386288)   #11
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Radical already have their SR9 LMP2 car which is expected to compete in ALMS/LMES later this year and Le Mans in 2007. The step up wouldn't be easy and most manufacturers wouldn't make the jump but in terms of business case for expanding their businesses I think most would appreciate a proven path.
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 13:18 (Ref:1386350)   #12
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Originally Posted by cybersdorf
This is not the topic here but, Le Mans oversubscribed? Hardly. And ALMS needs all the help it can get. But it shouldn't come from such cars, but rather from the established LMP/GT classes.
I though there were 70 odd entries for 50 places this year - thats oversubscribed to me
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 13:36 (Ref:1386370)   #13
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I though there were 70 odd entries for 50 places this year - thats oversubscribed to me
And there is easily room for another 10 cars on that grid. But, again, that's not the subject here (perhaps the mods would like to split these posts and create a topic of its own?)...
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 15:04 (Ref:1386432)   #14
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Why not do it as an ALMS Support Series...

Currently, there is no form of "transition" series where GT drivers could get prototype experience before moving up to the LMP2 level of competition...

I believe that a variety of builders would love to have such an opportunity to do so as a "transition step" for their future plans as well....

Wish I would have thought of that...
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Old 19 Aug 2005, 15:12 (Ref:1386436)   #15
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As a national series, sure. But not as an actual class in ACO sportscar racing IMO.
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