Speedworks Motorsport will campaign a Ligier JS P3 LMP3 class prototype in both Britain and on the international scene in 2017, and is looking for drivers eager to compete in the new Creventic-run Proto Cup, the pan-European VdeV Endurance Series, the rebranded LMP3 Cup Championship or the Asian Le Mans Series.
Having hitherto predominantly fielded GT class machinery alongside its race-winning Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) effort, Speedworks’ acquisition of the Ligier JS P3 – officially unveiled today (12 January) on the Ligier UK stand during the pre-season Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC – sees the Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit step up its sportscar racing credentials by joining the base level of the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) pyramid.
Pivotal to its purchase, Global Insurance Management MD and former FIA International 24H Series SP3 Champion John Gilbert has already committed to drive the car in several events, including the 12H Spa-Francorchamps in early October when he will share the cockpit with Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick, but seats remain available in eligible series.
As a sizeable incentive, the overall Drivers’ Champion in Britain’s LMP3 Cup Championship – newly renamed after receiving official endorsement from the ACO, the organising body behind the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours – will be awarded complimentary entry into the 2018 Michelin Le Mans Cup, worth more than €45,000 and taking in six rounds across Europe including the prestigious ‘Road to Le Mans’ showcase race at La Sarthe.
“We’re thrilled to have added the Ligier JS P3 to the Speedworks stable,” enthused Dick. “This will be an exciting new adventure for us and the timing could scarcely be any better, with the Prototype Cup’s relaunch as the LMP3 Cup Championship and all the possibilities that presents.
“Ligier is an iconic and very cool brand with a famous heritage in the sport, and the JS P3 is a proven and reliable car, which ultimately is what it’s all about in endurance racing. What’s more, with LMP3 homologation frozen for three years, a level playing field is guaranteed, so this really is an outstanding opportunity for aspiring sportscar stars to demonstrate their mettle for comparatively little cost.”
“We are delighted to see such a quality team as Speedworks Motorsport joining the growing LMP3 grid,” added Richard Dean, Managing Director of United Autosports, the exclusive UK agent for the Ligier JS P3. “I’ve known Christian and Amy [Dick] for a long time and they will bring professionalism and serious competition along with what is always a fan-friendly and approachable racing team to the new LMP3 Cup Championship.
“Speedworks are perhaps better known for their successful BTCC operation, but they are no strangers to long-distance sportscar racing so they are certain to be very competitive. Speedworks’ entry into the LMP3 Cup Championship is a real boost and brings real credibility to this new prototype series. It is going to be the perfect starting-point for drivers and teams with ambitions to race in the European Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours.”
Source. Russell Atkins Media/Photo. Jakob Ebrey Photography