LMP2 Restricted To Four Constructors Around The World

Some racing series are completely open to any constructor interested in competing. Others are limited to just one constructor. But there’s a middle ground between the two, and that’s where the LMP2 class of sports car racing has settled.

LMP2 restricted to four constructors

In a joint decision made by the FIA, ACO, and IMSA, all second-tier Le Mans prototypes will now be supplied by one of four constructors, which the three motor racing sanctioning bodies have just identified. Starting from 2017, the only manufacturers that will be authorized to supply LMP2 chassis will be Dallara, Onroak, Oreca, and a new joint venture between Riley and Multimatic. Though Onroak Automotive is strictly a French company, the others are all transoceanic outfits with operations in the United States.

The rules will be applicable to a wide range of racing series that run LMP2 prototypes, including the United SportsCar Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series, the Asian Le Mans Series, and of course the 24 Hours of Le Mans itself. So come 2017, don’t expect to see any other suppliers represented in the LMP2 class in any of those racing series. That’s bad news for other constructors that have been active in the class, like Signatech, Zytek, Ligier, and Lola.

A new LMP3 class is also being introduced this season, but the restriction of the LMP2 class could also see more manufacturers stepping up to the top-tier LMP1 class that’s currently only part of the FIA WEC and Le Mans (not the other regional series). For example, Britain’s Strakka Racing, which long competed in LMP2, announced in the wake of the regulators’ decision that it’s preparing to enter LMP1 as a privateer outfit. The bigger question is what the next step will be for companies like Mazda, which fields its own diesel Skyactiv Prototype in the LMP2 class of the United SportsCar Championship, or Honda, which only recently launched its new HPD ARX-04b prototype.

Also starting in 2017, all LMP2 entries will be powered by the same engine. Though the three bodies have yet to agree on which supplier will get the nod, the tender calls for an output of approximately 600 horsepower. A single electronics supplier will furnish the engine management as well. Currently, Nissan is one of the most popular engine suppliers in the class, providing the motivation for about a quarter of the LMP2 entries at Le Mans alone.

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