LMP2 class regulations have just gotten quite a bit stiffer, perhaps for reasons unknown. nonetheless, in a joint ruling handed down by the FIA, ACO, and IMSA, the LMP2 class will now be defined by just four manufacturers, authorized to supply LMP2 manufacturers globally.
Dallara, Onroak, Oreca, and a new joint venture between Riley and Multimatic will now be the only authorized manufacturers of LMP2 chassis, with all of the four except Onroak having expansive global operations, including centers in the US. The United SportsCar Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series, and the Asian Le Mans Series will now all begin exclusively using cars built by the aforementioned manufacturers beginning in 2017.
Popular suppliers such as Signatech, Zytek, Ligier, and Lola will be forced to go elsewhere for competition. A couple of manufacturers have already announced that they will be making the jump to LMp1 to compete as privateer teams. The expanding LMP3 class a rather recent creation, is also wide open. Considering the changes also apply tot he US, Mazda with its Skyactiv diesel racer and Honda, who only recently launched their entry in the United SportsCar Championship, will both likely be forced out, notwithstanding any exceptions.
Also being added to the LMP2 class for 2017 is a new engine homologation, which will see all LMP2 cars employ the same engine, manufactured by a single supplier. Though there has been no news as to who exactly the supplier will be, many are pointing to Nissan as the supplier of the 600-odd horsepower power-plant.
Scott Atherton, President of the International Motor Sports Association said the following regarding the change,
“The process we followed with our partners at the ACO and the FIA to select these four chassis constructors was unprecedented in its level of professionalism and collaboration among three major governing bodies in international motorsport. It was the most thorough and detailed selection process we’ve ever seen in the sport.”