2 February 2018
The LMP3 Cup Championship is pleased to announce expansion to a multi-class format in 2018. Bute Motorsport, with the support of the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest), will allow entries from the Ligier JS P4 and Radical RXC into class PT4, providing an intriguing mix of prototype and sportscar racing.
Launched in 2016, the LMP3 Cup was intended to run with three groups of prototype racing cars. This announcement realigns the Championship with its original plan, whilst crucially retaining the ACO endorsement as the UK’s only Le Mans Prototype Championship.
"I am delighted to confirm that having worked closely with the ACO and MSVR we have reached an agreement to run this class," said Christopher Haynes, Managing Director Bute Motorsport. "This move will further cement the status of the LMP3 Cup as the go-to Championship for those who aspire to race at Le Mans, whilst broadening its appeal to more teams and drivers alike."
The Ligier JS P4 keeps to the same philosophy as the JS P2 and JS P3 in terms of performance, design and reliability. Its aim is to help drivers and teams to discover driving and running a sports prototype, and runs a supercharged Ford V6 3.7 engine producing 425 PS.
The Radical RXC, powered by a 3.7-litre V6 or 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged 454 PS Ford engine, is the world’s most extreme road-legal coupe, inspired by LMP design, bringing the taste of Le Mans to the road.
"It makes perfect sense to have an additional ‘P4’ style class alongside the LMP3 cars, in the same way GT racing around the World has GT3 & GT4," said Richard Dean, Ligier UK. "The Ligier P4 cars share the same carbon fibre monocoque and safety standards as the Ligier LMP3 cars, so they complement each other well and serve as both a feeder series and training ground.
"We have had a great reception at Autosport International when we launched the P4 car and all that was really missing was a UK series where you can regularly race these cars. Congratulations to Bute Motorsport and the ACO in taking the initiative."
The 2018 LMP3 Cup Championship will consist of 12 races over six weekends across the UK and a visit to Spa Francorchamps, in a split-Championship race with the GT Cup.
Provisional 2018 schedule:
Rounds 1, 2: 21/22 April – Donington Park National
Rounds 3, 4: 19/20 May – Brands Hatch GP
Rounds 5, 6: 2/3 June – Spa Francorchamps
Rounds 7, 8: 30 June/1 July – Snetterton 300
Rounds 9, 10: 8/9 September – Donington Park GP
Rounds 11, 12: 13/14 October – Silverstone GP