Constructor limiting became the base for ACO and FIA of their plans to reduce costs and make the lower prototype classes more acessible to amateur drivers and tight-budget teams. The only thing that was left to know was how many constructors will join the party, but this is no secret now.
Surprisingly, the constructor cap that was intended for the LMP2 class Will be applied into LMP3 too. Five companies Will be available to make elegible LMP3 chassis, which of them only Ginetta has a car that is properly competing. Onroak Automotive will soon enter their Ligier JS P3 car whichis in test phase now. Riley-Ave with their AR-2 model and ADESS with the ADESS-03 chassis are still in the project phase, so there’s no timeframe for their competitive debuts.
There’s still a vacant slot that can be filled until August 31st, and as there are no details specifically, so if you come with a purpose and ACO accepts it, you’re in.
Coming with this announcement, the minimum weight was adjusted a little, from 900 to 930 kg, and the car price cap for the whole car is now settled at 206.000 euros.
Later in the week, it was the time to announce the four elegible LMP2 constructors for 2017. Onroak Automotive is also in this list, alongside ORECA, Dallara and Riley Tech/Multimatic.
The first two ones are without discussion the pillars of the most recent LMP2 era, as both sell chassis since 2009 and achieved various feats with different teams during the time. Probably both Onroak Automotive and ORECA have the best two LMP2 cars currently, the Ligier JS P2 and ORECA 05, as both cars proved to be competitve for wins right from the start. ORECA also prepares the engines for the LMP3 class, which is another reason to not let them go.
Dallara currently is one of the busiest between the four companies involved, as they make chassis for several single-seater championships, like the IndyCar’s DW12, Super Formula’s SF14, Formula 3’s F312, as well many others. They also were involved with the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 project, which is now proving to be a competitive car. The question is, even though they have such reputation, Dallara doesn’t build and LMP car since the early 2000s, so there are still some question marks about how it will fare.
The joint Riley Tech/Multimatic fills the american slot in the game, a combination of two companies that doesn’t have built LMP chassis for a long time. Riley is without building a Le Mans Prototype since the Cadillac Northstar program in the early 2000s, but this probably will be balanced by Multimatic’s experience with the Mazda SDR-14 program in the United Sportscar Championship.
The curious part of the new regulations is that the rest of the world will race under the same engine, still unknown, while the United States will continue with a multi-engine formula, which will be allowed to race in the European Le Mans Series and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the US will be open to manufacturer-specific bodywork, one of the points that some US teams were talking about. Of course, the American machines will be balanced with the worldwide ones, but it will take time to see some tweaks in this part.
PHOTOS: Onroak Automotive, ORECA, Dallara, Ultimate Car Page