In 2017 a new racing series is on the British racing calendar, formally known as the British Prototype Cup, but is now known as the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship, quite a handful, but it would be silly to miss out on this brand-new racing series.
Tockwith Motorsport duo Nigel Moore and Philip Hanson take a historic first win of the new Prototype Cup series at Snetterton back in October, which puts them in the top spot in the fight for the championship.
With the ACO-homologated LMP3 cars all being neutral in performance, it is anyone’s championship at this point. However, it might be more favoured to the teams who have drivers with more experience as the driver paired alongside the bronze/amateur rated driver with limited racing experience.
This series is specifically targeted at drivers and teams who aspire to compete in the WEC or other international sports car championships, with the goal to compete at Le Mans. The LMP3 formula ‘enables teams, drivers and constructors to learn the specific aspects of endurance racing before moving up to the top level.’ This means, that getting experience with an LMP variant in a lower category would be a first-hand look for a large majority of the drivers at the type of car they wish to race in.
The LMP3 is a modern, simple, safe car but with Nissan engines, Magneti Marelli electrics and X-Trac gearboxes, there is no doubt these cars will have the performance to stand up to its LMP2 and LMP1 counterparts.
The calendar consists of six races. The series includes:
Donington Park (National) – 22nd & 23rd April
Brands Hatch (Grand Prix) – 20th & 21st May
Spa-Francorchamps (Grand Prix) – 9th & 11th June
Silverstone (Grand Prix) – 1st & 2nd July
Snetterton (300) – 12th & 13th August
Donington (Grand Prix) – 16th & 17th September
These tracks are a test for the drivers, long straights, tight chicanes and fast swooping corners all of which will test a driver’s skill and stamina.
High profile prototype racing has been missing from the UK racing calendar for quite a while now. Which means the timing of the Henderson Insurance Brokers LMP3 Cup Championship is perfect, and is set to be highly successful, the impressive rise in demand for the LMP3 race series’ over the last 18 months has shown that the car is perfect for entry level prototype racing, we’ll just have to wait for the inaugural race at Donington Park to find out.