2015 LAS Motorsport LMP3 Race Car
Having announced the brand-new LMP3 category for the Le Mans series in 2014, FIA has just opened its doors to new manufacturers that previously weren’t able to handle the high costs of developing and racing LMP1 and LMP2 cars. Ginetta-Juno was the first company to join the newly founded tier in October. As we move closer to 2015, yet another manufacturer announced plans to develop and sell its own LMP3 racer. This time around it’s LAS Motorsport, a joint venture between ADESS AG, Sebastien Loeb Racing (yes, it is owned by the famed French rally driver with the same name) and SORA Racing.
LAS Motorsport plans to offer two different versions of its race car. An LMP3 version built to ACO regulations will be eligible for the European Le Mans Series and the Asian Le Mans Series, while a second LMP "Challenge" variant will enable customers to take on different events. Naturally, the racing prototype can also be built to 24 Hours of Le Mans specs.
The company’s venture into LMP3 racing isn’t surprising. ADESS AG is well known for its F1 and LMP design office, SORA Racing has manufactured Le Mans race cars in the past, while Sebastien Loeb Racing is a well-established reference in LMP2 and GT racing. Needless to say, LAS Motorsport has all the credentials to build a competitive LMP3 car and we are confident it will succeed.
Click past the jump to read more about the LAS Motorsport LMP3 Race Car.
2015 LAS Motorsport LMP3 Race Car
Horsepower @ RPM:420
0-60 time:3 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:186 mph (Est.)
Although LAS’ race car competes in a brand-new tier, its appearance should look familiar to any prototype racing enthusiast. That because these LMP3 racers are developed to mimic the design of the LMP1 and LMP2 track machines, sporting anything from the muscular fenders and the aviation-inspired cabin to the massive fin and rear wing. The most noticeable difference between this and a top-tier LMP1 car is its length, as LMP3 cars are six inch shorter than the quickest prototypes you can see at Le Mans.
Still, several body details are subject to individual development, meaning LAS’ example will feature a few unique elements compared to its direct competitors. The nose, the headlamps, the wheels and the rear diffuser are just a few of the features that will make it stand out on the grid. Naturally, LAS Motorsport will also use a livery of its own. The presentation car is finished in various shades of gray and bright-green, but the wraps will change once these cars will find their owners and hit the track.
|Length||4,650 MM (183.07 Inches)|
|Width||1,900 MM (74.80 Inches)|
|Height||985 MM (38.77 Inches)|
|Front overhang||1,000 MM (39.37 Inches)|
|Rear overhang||750 MM (29.52 Inches)|
Much like its exterior, the car’s cockpit will mirror the high-tech interiors seen on LMP1 racers. Although official photos have yet to be revealed we expect it to be of the no-nonsense variety, with a simple dashboard used as a base for a host of buttons, switches and gauges. The driver will communicate with the car via a multi-function steering wheel and push it to tremendous speeds from a lightweight, bolstered seat with multi-point harnesses.
Since safety comes first with these prototype racers, it’s also natural to assume LAS’ LMP3 racer will be equipped with the latest safety features approved by the FIA, including a full roll cage and a quick-release steering wheel, as well as a state-of-the-art communication system.
Drivetrain details are still under wraps as of December 2014, but LAS Motorsport says the race car will be offered in an "LMP3 version with a 420 horsepower Nissan engine and a LMP “Challenge” version with a 500 horsepower engine." The former is likely the same 4.5-liter V-8 powerplant seen in various LMP2 cars throughout the 2014 racing season. The said engine cranks out between 400 and 570 ponies, depending on the series the vehicle is built for. The eight-banger mates to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters, while a traction control system is offered as an option.
LAS Motorsport hasn’t released pricing information, but since the whole LMP3 concept wraps around reduced costs, we expect it to cost around £100,000, which converts to $155,000 as of 12/26/2014. Such a sticker would be similar to Ginetta-Juno’s very own LMP3 car.
Ginetta-Juno is the first manufacturer to have announced it is working on an LMP3 racer. Similar in design, but set apart by different headlamps, wheels and various body panels, this race car is motivated by the same tried-and-true, Nissan-sourced, 4.5-liter V-8 engine. Output specifics are still a mystery, but we expect the Ginetta-Juno to also benefit from at least 400 horsepower.
The British manufacturer plans to build a prototype eligible for various series, including the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series, Malaysian Super Series, Open Sports Car Series, Dutch SuperCar Challenge, and the Britcar Endurance Championship. The first batch of 15 race cars will be sold for £99,000 ($154,000 as of 12/26/2014), not including VAT.
LAS Motorsport’s LMP3 car is still in its infancy, but that’s something we can say about just any third-tier prototype. The 2015 season will likely be an experimental one for the LMP3 class, but it will also pave the way towards a cost-friendly racing scene that will bridge the gap between the GT class and the much quicker and expensive LMP1 and LMP2 tiers. Along with Ginetta-Juno, LAS Motorsport is basically laying the foundation of tomorrow’s entry-level prototype racing stage.