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The different classes

In taking part in the 2013 European Le Mans Series, the best endurance racing specialists in the world will be able to see how they measure up against their competitors. The meetings organised will become a rite of passage just as is the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With the LMP1 category being reserved for the FIA World Endurance Championship, there will be two main classifications in the ELMS: Prototypes and GTs which are themselves sub-divided into LMP2, LMPC and LMGTE and GTC.

The "Le MansPrototypes2" class is effectively the premier class of the European Le Mans Series.The chassis and engine are free choice,drivers are professionals or amateurs.

The matrix of classes available in Endurance racing allows teams as well as drivers to progressively move on to higher levels.After an apprenticeship in the monotype LMPC formula competitors can move on to the LMP2 category. This ladder of progression has most notably allowed the Rebellion Racing and Strakka Racing teams to establish their credentials before entering LMP1.

Featuring open or closed cockpit cars, LMP2 is intended only for privateer teams and is independent of manufacturers. This category has similar characteristics to LMP1 (carbon monocoque chassis) while at the same time respecting strict cost criteria: chassis cost is capped at € 362,100; cost of engines is capped at € 78,750.

Finally, eachdriver line up mustbe made up of at least one "Silver"or "Bronze" rated driver.

LMP2 technical specifications:

Minimum weight
900 kg
Width of rear wing
1600 mm maxi
Fuel tank capacity
75 litres
Engine
Max cylinders
Cubic capacity
Normally aspirated petrol
8
5000 cm3
Turbo/supercharged petrol
6
3200 cm3
Supercharged diesel
By authorisation of Endurance Commission
2500 cm3
Gearbox
Max 6 gears + reverse
Carbon brake discs max diameter
15" (380 mm)
Overall length
Max 4650 mm (including rear wing)
Overall width
2000 max
Wheels and tyres
Max width
14"
Max diameter
28"

Launched in 2009 in order to give young drivers their first opportunity to drive a prototype, LMPC is reserved for Formula Le Mans chassis and constitutes the first rung on the endurance ‘ladder’ before moving up to LMP2 (then LMP1 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans or in the FIA WEC). Offered at a lower cost than the more senior categories (with engine, €240,000 plus taxes), FLM offers features and technical specifications that are close to the LMP2 reference. In 2013 the FLM cars will run alongside the LMP2s in the Prototypes classification.

For the LMGTE, LMPC and GTC classes, the composition of driver line-ups must adhere to the Drivers’ Categorisation List. A crew of 2 or 3 drivers must have no more than one Gold or Platinum rated driver.

LMPC technical specifications:

Chassis
ORECA FLM09
Weight
900 kg
Width of the rear wing
1990 mm
Fuel tank capacity
85 l
Engine
V8 GM block
Power
430 bhp
Gearbox
Xtrac -6 speed + reverse
Brakes
CarbonBrembo
Tyres
Michelin - Front 30/65 - 18
Rear 31/71 - 18

GT cars are part of the tradition of endurance races, most notably the 24 Hours of Le Mans.The GTE category remains the preserve of sports car manufacturers! The link between the track and theroadis very real.

To be homologated, a GTE (E forEndurance) must come from a road car of which at least 100 examples (25 for a "small manufacturer", 300 for a carbon chassis) have been produced. The "race"version must retain the basic shape of the production model from which it is derived. The location of the engine, its orientation and position must remain as per the base model. In ELMS the cars in this category must be at least one year old. The regulations for this category are based on the LMGTE Am technical regulations.

For the LMGTE, LMPC and GTC classes, the composition of driver line-ups must adhere to the Drivers’ Categorisation List. A crew of 2 or 3 drivers must have no more than one Gold or Platinum rated driver.

LMGTE technical specifications:

Minimum weight
1245 kg
Fuel tank capacity
Min 50 litres
Max 90 litres
Engine
Cubic Capacity (max)
Normally aspirated
5500 cm3
Turbocharged
4000 cm3
Overall length
4800 mm
Gearbox
6 gears max + reverse
Wheels and tyres
14" max width

A true launch pad for entrants wishing to move into GT endurance racing, the Grand Touring Challenge class will, in 2013, include FIA GT3 homologated cars. 

GTC is principally aimed at amateur drivers, with cars close to production models.  The onus is on each manufacturer to develop its car and to definitely homologate the vehicle with the FIA.  The car cannot be developed during the season by its tuner and teams are limited are limited in what they are allowed to modify.   At each round, the scrutineers must verify that the car conforms to the homologated version or to any adjustments made by the FIA.

A for the LMGTE and LMPC classes, the GTC composition of driver line-ups must adhere to the Drivers’ Categorisation List.  A crew of 2 or 3 drivers must have no more than one Gold or Platinum rated driver.