The ACO’s new GT3 series, the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, is quickly forming ahead of its inaugural round next May at Imola. With one team confirmed and more on the horizon, the ACO has released further details regarding the series’ regulations.
The final set of rules will become finalised in January, ahead of the official registration period which runs from January 11th to March 14th.
Event 1: Friday 13 – Saturday 14 May, 2016 Imola
Event 2: Saturday 18 June, 2016 Le Mans
Event 3: Friday 15 ‐ Saturday 16 July, 2016 Red Bull Ring
Event 4: Friday 26 ‐ Saturday 27 August 2016 Le Castellet
Event 5: Friday 23 ‐ Saturday 24 September, 2016 Spa‐Francorchamps
Event 6: Friday 21 – Saturday 22 October, 2016 Estoril
Thursdays : dedicated to the set up, administrative checks and scrutineering.
Friday : briefings and the 2 free practice sessions.
Saturdays : qualifying session and race.
The precise format of the event to be held during the Le Mans 24 Hours will be specified at a later date.
During each event, there will be 2 free practices sessions of 60 minutes each and one qualifying session with a maximum duration of 30 minutes (15’ + 5’ break + 10’ super pole).
Only the Bronze driver will be allowed to take part in the qualifying session.
All races will be 2 hours in length apart from the one during the 24 Heures du Mans event which will be one hour with one mandatory pit stop.
To mark the launch of this new series and to allow full preparation for the 2016 season, an official test session will be organised for all Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup competitors. This official test will take place on 19/20 March at the Le Castellet circuit.
A maximum of 2 cars entered per competitor will be accepted (competitor license to be used as reference).
A maximum of 2 drivers per car will be authorized in the driver line-up.
One bronze driver will be mandatory. The second driver can be classified either Bronze, Silver or Gold (Platinum drivers are not allowed).
The drivers’ categorization list used will be that of the FIA.
The ACO will put in place a technical team dedicated to producing a Balance of Performance specific to each circuit to make sure that there is a fair balance of performance between the different models of cars entered.
Only full season GT3 competitor entries will be allowed to take part in the event to be held in Le Mans on the occasion of the 24 Heures du Mans event. The Le Mans round will be opened to LMP3 cars entering the ELMS but no GT3 race by race entries will be guaranteed.
The winner of the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup will receive an invitation to take part in the 24 Heures du Mans 2017 in the GTE Am category.
Entries open for the season on 11 January 2016, the same date that the Sporting Regulations will be available. The closing date for entries will be 14 March 2016.
The following prize money will be distributed:
• €100 000 for the championship winner
• €70 000 for 2nd place in the championship classification
• €50 000 for 3rd place in the championship classification
In addition, the following prize money will also be distributed at the end of the season
• €40 000 for the competitor which has received the least number of penalties throughout the season
• €10 000 for the winner of each event
In total more than €300 000 will be distributed over the full season to GT3 competitors.
FFSA GT Tour Ties
Should a competitor be entered in both the GT Tour and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, he will benefit from a 20% discount on the entry fee for each of the championships.
Calendars have been organized to avoid any clashes between the two championships.
A competitor entering both championships will be allowed to keep the same racing number. Driver crews can be modified between the two championships but one Bronze driver will stay mandatory.
General, sporting and technical organization, timekeeping, TV production, competitor and media relations will be managed by the same organization which is already in charge of the ELMS.
At each event, GT3 competitors will have available a dedicated paddock space in order to set up their trucks and awnings which is to be used as their working area.
A Team catering facility will be available for all the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup competitors on the same terms as those applied to ELMS competitors.
Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup competitors will have access to the Pits Club (VIP Hospitality) on the same terms as those proposed to ELMS competitors.