"We had a great day of testing yesterday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the Norma Automotive P3 car, I absolutely love this thing." ~ John Walko
Norma Auto Concept Engineering (or Norma) is a French manufacturer of racing cars based in Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre (in the Hautes Pyrenees - France) and founded by Norbert Santos in 1986.
The European Le Mans Series is a European series of endurance races reserved for cars such as "Le Mans Prototypes" and "Le Mans Grand Touring". In 2017, the ELMS presents three different categories : LMP2, LMP3, LMGTE.
In order to strengthen the pyramid of endurance racing which was introduced in 1999 by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the ACO has launched in 2015 a new category of junior sports-prototype for endurance racing, LMP3.
In the pyramid of "Le Mans Prototypes," LMP3 becomes the first step on the ladder before moving up to the LMP2 and LMP1 classes (the latter in the FIA WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans).
The thinking behind this car is that there should be fewest number of constraints possible, whether those are budgetary, technical, driving or operation. The sale price of the new car, complete, must not exceed €206,000.
The LMP3 is a closed car. The chassis and bodywork of LMP3 can be built by six manufacturers which have been designed by the ACO : Ginetta, Ligier, Adess, Dome, Riley and Norma. They are very close to those of the current LMP2 (closed cockpit, carbon chassis with tubular steel roll cage). The powertrain consist of a Nissan 420 bhp normally aspirated V8 engine, and an X-Trac gearbox. It is identical for all chassis, and marketed by the ORECA company which also provides specific assistance to teams.
To emphasise the driver development of the category, crews must include at least one bronze driver, gold drivers are only allowed in crews of three drivers and platinum drivers are not permitted to compete in LMP3. Driving times are also controlled with gold drivers only allowed to drive for 60-minutes during a 4-hour ELMS race giving more time at the wheel for the silver and bronze members of the crew.
JWR, wants to extend a Big thank you to Jeremiah Grenier, Russ Gaglio and Brian McGoldrick for looking after the car, Scott Andrews for wheeling the thing like he does, and Gerry Kraut and JDC MotorSports for making it happen.
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