The LMP3 category started this year with the Ginetta-Juno model making the full European Le Mans Series season, as na alternative for teams interested in entering in the world of LMP competition.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest decided to lock the number of chassis contructors to only five, and four of these were already of common knowledge, as Onroak Automotive, Ginetta-Juno, ADESS and Riley-Ave are with confirmed debuts or in plans of testing. The fifth slot was vacant until this Tuesday(05), when the Japanese constructor Dome was selected to fill the void. The Project was already presented, and the new Japanese prototype will be known as Dome S104.
The Japanese company was in activity on track this year, as their S103 chassis ran with Strakka Racing in the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance CHampionship. The project was sidelined due to the new LMP2 regulations for 2017 which also limited the number of constructors involved, so this announcement comes to not let Dome without ties with ACO.
Dome is also well known for their works in LMP competition during the last decade, as their beautiful S101 LMP1 model achived good results at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the two FIA Sportscar Championship titles with the Racing for Holland squad. After that, they returned with the S102 and S102.5 LMP1 cars, but a weak race in 2008 with the works team, as well a bad presentation in 2012 with the soon-to-be-closed Pescarolo Team sealed the fate of the prototype, which never returned.
Currently, alongside the future LMP3 operations, Dome also is responsible for the Mother Chassis cars in the GT300 category of the Japanese Super GT competition, which already had a class win with the VivaC Team Tsuchiya.
The Idea behind Dome’s choice could be part of the plans from ACO to revamp the Asian Le Mans Series, as the presence of a dedicated Asian constructor added to the LMP3 machinery may boost grid sizes in the championship, and probably would attract these Mother Chassis cars to the AsLMS GT category, as GT300 cars are elegible for it.
PHOTO: Automobile Club de l'Ouest