With the recent announcement of the four constructors that will be allowed to build LMP2 chassis from 2017 onwards according to FIA and ACO, some companies received the news as heavy blows into their plans for the future in the class. But some of the parties left out of the box are already thinking in solutions for when the new LMP2 rules come in force, may they involve upgrading or downgrading.
With practically not even one year of development in their LMP2 model, Strakka Racing already settled for the LMP1 class in 2017, returning to the privateer side of the class since 2013, when the team partially ran the FIA World Endurance Championship season with a HPD ARX-03c model.
Their new LMP1 chassis will be made entirely at home, with some measurements to try to cut costs in the car development, something hard to balance with the fact that they will only face off the swiss guys of Rebellion Racing and the Austrian ByKolles Racing squad, but also the almighty LMP1 manufacturers with their hybrid cars.
While the new LMP1 car is built, Strakka Racing won’t cease its sportscar activities like they did in mid-2013, as the team acquired a Gibson 015S to be used for the remainder of the season, while their current Dome S103 will become a testing mule for the new program.
Another company that is also thinking in the future is BR Engineering, as the Russian constructor failed to succeed in a bid to be one of the four LMP2 constructors.
Their BR01 model took a huge step up in the game as the relatively new car became competitive enough to take on the top teams in the European Le Mans Series, but it was stated clear by car designer Paolo Catoni, the car was purposefully made for the LMP2 class and nothing more, meaning that a new car would need to be made if they think on jumping into LMP1.
But the SMP Racing team manager Benjamin Durand hinted us with possibilities for the coming years in an interview to DailySportscar, as they are not certain to which road they’ll follow. Into the Le Mans Prototype terrain, the LMP3 class is a possibility, as there’s still a void to be filled in the list of constructors, but Durand stated that it wouldn’t make too much sense with no LMP2 class car to go in a talent development program.
The solution is in fact to go to LMP1, as both BR Engineering and SMP Racing have resources enough to make a move, but Durand stated that the decision will be announced in the coming weeks. But the BR02 will be in fact a reality.
The conclusion is that the roads are closing to other manufacturers in the Le Mans Prototype world, and it seems to be more obvious that the path may lead to an LMP1 leap, if the parties can afford to it.
PHOTOS: Strakka Racing, SMP Racing