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British Prototype Cup: Paddock Notes

Interest high in LMP3-based UK series

The sale over the weekend of chassis #50 to MecTech Racing is the 11th Ligier JS P3 bought and/ or sold by United Autosports, appointed as Onroak Automotive’s UK distributor in April this year.

WestTec Racing, long-time backroom supporters of multiple LMP2 efforts – including ASM and KSM efforts, look set to launch a two car ELMS LMP3 campaign for 2017 with the team also showing much enthusiasm for the British Series. Team Manager Craig Bennett told DSC:

1st Ligier JS P3 and 50th Ligier JS P3

“We want to run a car ourselves, plus a customer car. The LMP3 formula is looking increasingly like a good commercial package, sensible entry costs, sensible maintenance costs and the drivers really like the cars.”

Douglas Motorsport, who fielded the brand new #72 car for customer Mike Newbould look set to return for the full British Series in 2017, and the team are enthused enough about the concept to be openly talking about adding a second car.

Indeed more than one team owner was talking of the interest levels from customers, the purchase and servicing costs for the LMP3 low enough for active consideration to be given to acquiring their own car, plus a second to offer as a commercial proposition for the team to find other paying customers, all of that within a single car budget for a new GT3!

Shaun Lynn, co-owner of the #23 Gulf liveried Ligier, housed and prepared by United Autosports, told DSC that his exploits in LMP3 are in no small part linked to increasing his abilities and confidence in campaigning his Group C historic racers:

united-autosports-gulf-liveried-ligier-js-p3-1

“It makes a lot more sense to develop a better level of understanding of how to get the best out of a downforce car aboard a car like this, with lower costs and higher safety levels than doing it in a Group C car. The Ligier is an excellent little car, huge fun to drive and that, for me, after all is the point!”

Patrick Byrne was another LMP3 ‘newbie’ who was very enthusiastic about the cars – “I really like the concept. It has good power, great aero and with no ABS and no traction control its a great test for a driver. It is a lot of fun out there.”

It has been a long time since the DSC Editor has been in a paddock with more questions being asked, by teams and drivers from the other Series present, about the cars and financial packaging of a new Championship. The LMP3 Ligiers drew a huge amount of attention, and, it seems, the United Autosports team took home a more than reasonable amount of follow up details from some very interested parties in joining the Series in 2017.