New-for-2017 P2 regulations discussed; GT3 will ‘bring manufacturer influx’.
The action in Daytona didn’t end with the flag-fall of the Rolex 24 Hours on Sunday, as it was today the scene for crucial discussions between the FIA, Le Mans organisers Automobile Club de l’Ouest and US sanctioning body IMSA, with a working group meeting held with key manufacturers.
Central to the discussions, which are aimed for the 2017 season, were the rules definition for common LMP2-style cars, so they can be run in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the USA as well as FIA World Endurance Championship, European and Asian Le Mans Series.
A bone of contention is that IMSA will require a degree of manufacturer backing, while the ACO appears keen for the P2 class to remain the domain of privateers rather than marque-backed entries.
Technical director at IMSA, Scott Raymond, told IMSA Radio at the weekend: “We are meeting with the FIA and ACO on Tuesday to see what parameters need to fit. Our customers are the manufacturers, so we believe in making what we do very relevant to them, so they can showcase their product.
“We’re not going to F1-level technology; the prototype category that we’re working on is to create a closer relevance to what you see on the road."
Some decisions have already been taken for the United SportsCar Championship, with GT3-spec cars being allowed into the current GTD class. Raymond said that the inclusion of GT3 machinery is a huge boost to the series’ least-powerful class, currently known as GTD.
“The GT3 going forwards is an opportunity for new cars to join,” he said. “Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes – there are lots of new potential manufacturers coming on board.”
IMSA is also understood to be evaluating the new LMP3 class to replace its Prototype Challenge machinery.
“A number of different ideas have been explored for an ‘accessible prototype’,” he said. “It allows people to test the waters, and it’s cost effective. We need a place for that going forwards. I don’t know what that’ll look like. Once we get though this prototype planning, we’ll see a closer fit.”