The final door has closed on the contemporary racing career for pre-2017 LMP2 cars with the Asian Le Mans Series confirming that their LMP2 Am class will switch to the newer Gibson-powered cars from the 2020/21 season.
That decision means that the older cars are now looking either at collector status or a career in historic racing.
We’ve already seen open topped cars, plus a few of the later ‘coupe’ versions of the LMP2s feature in historic race series including the Masters Endurance Legends, with last season’s Monza race in May featuring an Invitation class entry from the very same Ligier JSP2 Nissan that had won that year’s Asian Le Mans Series just 12 weeks earlier (pictured below)!
And if Bob Berridge gets his way (and he usually does!!), we could be seeing more cars of that ilk back in competition as the BBM Sport concern that he co-owns with Tech expert Steve Briggs and everybody’s favourite Frenchman Nic Minassian has obtained no fewer than five complete SMP BR01 LMP2s.
“Yes, we have the cars, two that raced back in 2016 for SMP Racing and three unraced cars!”
All five have the Nissan V8 engines that were the original equipment for the BR01, with arrangements also in place for the motors to be serviced and rebuilt when required. Not that this should be a major issue as Berridge explains:
“These cars come from an era in endurance racing where they effectively were expected to race flat out for 24 Hours with no reliability issues, the engines should be good for 7-8000km, more than enough for a full season of historic racing plus testing.”
The BR01s did service with SMP Racing in 2015 and 2016 in ELMS and FA WEC, scoring multiple podium finishes. In addition, one car scored pole position at the Rolex 24 Hours in 2016.
Bob describes the cars as “excellent entry-level modern historic race cars, pretty bulletproof and with low running costs and spares available.”
The cars are for sale and/ or available for ‘arrive and drive’ race deals in relevant Series when the world gets back to racing.
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