FIA, IMSA stabilize LM P2, DP regulations through 2016
The OAK Racing LM P2 Morgan Nissan competes in the FIA WEC series – Anne Proffit photo
It took four hours to reach a meeting of the minds at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin, Texas today, as officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) confirmed a collaborative decision that cars eligible for the Prototype class in the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship and the internationally-contested LM P2 category will remain so through the conclusion of the 2016 racing season.
The Tudor United SportsCar Challenge is set to debut at the 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona next January. It includes cars that currently compete in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype (DP) class as well as the internationally sanctioned LM P2 class and the DeltaWing DWC13 coupe that debuted at COTA on Saturday, the latter two currently competing in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
“This is outstanding news for prototype teams all over the world,” said Jim France, IMSA chairman. Noting the agreement “addresses long-term on-track competitive stability, along with economic realities of today’s business climate that face everyone wanting to compete at sports car racing’s highest level.”
The decision enables teams racing DPs and/or LM P2 cars to make worthwhile equipment investments that they can use over the upcoming three seasons.
The LM P2 cost-capped regulations were set by ACO in 2011 and are currently used in both the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series, the Asian Le Mans Series and ALMS. “The success of the current regulations in LM P2 is such that it does not require short-term evolution,” said Pierre Fillon, ACO president. “Extending this category to 2017 will allow further success for three years and guarantee the teams a sufficient period to absorb their costs.”
Fillon explained that ACO, IMSA and the FIA now have sufficient time to explore the possible creation of “the future prototype that could replace and further revolutionize the LM P2s and DPs in 2017 in the best possible conditions.”
In making these decisions, the ACO, FIA and IMSA now have “ample time for reflection and studies to put forward new technical regulations that could replace those currently governing these classes,” said Lindsay Owen Jones, president of the FIA Endurance Commission. “However, there’s no doubt that with engineers as competent as those working for the three above-mentioned odious, the design of the prototype that could race in 2017 is in the right hands.”
By Anne Proffit