IMSA drops LMP3 class from 2024 amid GTP development
In an announcement on Wednesday, IMSA acknowledged that LMP3 vehicles won’t be eligible to compete in its flagship collection following this yr’s Petit Le Mans season finale at Highway Atlanta.
This can depart the championship with a four-class construction, with two classes every for prototype and GT vehicles.
LMP3 vehicles will nevertheless proceed to discover a dwelling within the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Problem, which was established this yr as a alternative for the now-defunct Prototype Problem.
IMSA stated it was essential to drop LMP3 vehicles so as to accommodate an anticipated enhance in GTP, LMP2, GTD Professional and GTD entries within the coming years.
The sanctioning physique is anticipating doubt-digit GTP grids within the close to future, aided by the arrival of buyer vehicles and doubtlessly a fifth producer alongside Acura, Cadillac, Porsche and BMW.
IMSA can be anticipating extra GT3 vehicles to hitch the sector throughout GTD Professional and GTD courses, with Ford gearing as much as launch the Mustang in 2024 and Corvette making ready a brand new GT3 automobile from the bottom up primarily based on the C8.R.
#33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320: Lance Willsey, Joao Barbosa, Nico Pino, #74 Riley Ligier JS P320: Gar Robinson, Felipe Fraga, Josh Burdon
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“The LMP3 class has contributed to the expansion and success of the WeatherTech Championship since 2021,” IMSA President John Doonan stated.
“With that has come expanded fields at many occasions that may check the capability limits we’ve got at some IMSA tracks.
“We anticipate that development pattern to proceed into 2024 and past, making it mandatory to simply have the GTP and LMP2 courses for Prototypes with GTD PRO and GTD courses for Grand Touring (GT) competing collectively going ahead.”
IMSA included LMP3 vehicles within the SportsCar Championship from 2021 so as to increase grid numbers, however the choice has come below hearth within the following years attributable to poor driving requirements within the class.
IMSA stated the true intent of the LMP3 platform was at all times to nurture up-and-coming racing drivers by offering them with an reasonably priced technique of entry into prototype racing. It goals to proceed to fulfil that aim with the way forward for LMP3 vehicles within the VP Racing SportsCar Problem now safe till 2026.
“We’ve already seen the promise that the VP Racing SportsCar Problem holds by the primary two occasion weekends,” Doonan stated. “We noticed a substantial enhance in entries between the primary race of the season at Daytona and Spherical 2 at Sebring, and the competitors is tight.
“The format of two 45-minute dash races on a weekend permits LMP3 entrants to race for total wins whereas opponents in each the LMP3 and GSX courses achieve useful multiclass racing expertise. It’s the perfect studying surroundings for drivers and groups seeking to transfer up the IMSA ladder.”
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