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Smoking Dog

European Le Mans Series To Allow GT3 Cars In Its Races

After the cancellation of the second round at Zolder due to a lack of entries, the European Le Mans Series today announced that the new GTC category in the series will be open for FIA GT3 cars.

Despite previous rejections of the idea in Europe the ACO finally agreed to let GT3 cars run in the European Le Mans Series. GT3 cars already raced with the LMP and GTE cars at Zhuhai as part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The reason given by the European Le Mans Series organization is that they have received numerous requests from GT drivers and team from across Europe and hope to meet the minimum number of entries (25) for the next round of the European Le Mans Series at Donington in July.

The class will be open for all GT3 models, including the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage, the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. Even though allowing GT3 cars to race in the series is a step forward, it remains to be seen what happens as the ACO has already announced that the level of performance of the GT3 cars will be adjusted to make them slower than the current GTE Am cars.

With that in mind it is obvious that a class winner in GTC would finish behind the LMP2, LMPC, GTE Pro and GTE Am cars under normal circumstances. This could prevent teams from joining the European Le Mans Series as they can take overall victories in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the FIA GT3 European Championship and various national championships, where they can choose to race for 3 hours or 1 hour sprint races.

One can also only hope that this announcement doesn’t mean that teams will leave the Blancpain Endurance Series and join the European Le Mans Series. We will see at the next round at Donington, as the GTC cars will not be racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and at Le Mans.