LMP3 Cup becomes multi class championship with new Pro category

The new ruling is a boost to Silver-rated drivers. (United Autosports)

The British LMP3 Cup Championship will be split into ‘Pro’ and ‘Pro-Am’ categories for the final two rounds of 2017, and from 2018 onward.

Silver/Silver driver pairings will be permitted to run in the Pro bracket, whilst Silver/Bronze crews will be designated Pro-Am starting at the Snetterton round on August 12-13.

A multi-class system had been requested by some teams that were hoping to run two Silver-rated drivers in the same car.

Under the previous regulations, all Silver drivers were required to team with a Bronze competitor.

Furthermore, in a bid to equalise the two categories, Pro crews will be given a longer mandatory pit stops time than their Pro-Am counterparts.

Different points systems will operate next year, with each class competing for a separate podium.

“We are in the first year of an exciting new Championship and we knew that we would likely need to change and develop the format,” said Chris Haynes, director of series organiser Bute Motorsport.

“It’s a hallmark of Bute Motorsport that we listen to our partners; drivers, teams and the ACO. Therefore I am delighted and grateful that the team has been able to implement these changes so quickly and efficiently.”

“Now is the right time to make these changes to ensure that our 2018 regulations are clear and founded on proven experience.”

“This change presents a marvellous opportunity for aspiring young drivers to get involved in Le Mans Prototype racing and we are really excited to see how they and the racing develops over the coming rounds.”

The decision will come as a boost to young single seater drivers, most of whom are ranked Silver by the FIA grading system.

It is hoped that in allowing pairs of Silvers to compete, grid numbers for the championship will increase with young drivers eager to try their hand at LMP3.

The previous round held at Silverstone attracted the lowest entry of the season so far with just six entries.