Norma joins LMP3 Cup grid with Mectech Motorsport

(Photo: Mectech Motorsport)

Norma will be represented in the UK-based LMP3 Cup Championship this year, following Mectech Motorsport’s confirmation of a one-car entry.

The Essex-based Radical squad has entered a French-built Norma M30-Nissan to be driven by sportscar regulars Bradley Smith and Duncan Williams.

Norma has been closely linked with a move to the LMP3 Cup, which attracted only Ligier entries during its inaugural season in 2017.

Mectech Motorsport was spotted sampling the M30 at Nogaro in France, while fellow British outfit Lanan Racing has also turned laps with the chassis.

Smith, who was part of the Nogaro testing programme, believes the Norma can challenge the well-established Ligiers for the LMP3 Cup title.

“We’ve tried the Ligier and the Norma and they’re both fantastic cars,” said Smith, “But if you’ve got something different it’s almost like you’ve got an advantage.”

“It’s had strong results in Europe and Norma is keen to work with us and offer lots of support.”

“We’re not just entering this for a bit of fun, we’re going for the championship, so we’re looking for every advantage we can find.”

“We are working very closely with Norma and hopefully we can be fast and up the front for the first race.”

Norma entered LMP3 competition last season and claimed its first championship victory in the Michelin Le Mans Cup with Luxembourg outfit DKR engineering.

It also won the second Road to Le Mans support race held on the morning of that year’s 24 Hours, as well as the European Le Mans Series 4 Hours of Monza.

In Britain, Smith and Williams will become the first drivers to race the Norma in a national championship.

The pair are both experienced prototype racers, with Smith finishing second in the inaugural LMP3 Cup meeting at Snetterton in 2016 along with Radical European Masters victories, and Williams, who has found success in CN machinery.

Williams took his first steps in an LMP3 car last October, when he tested a Ligier JSP3 at Snetterton, but decided upon piloting the Norma for his series debut.

“I like the engineering side,” said Williams.

“Arrive and drive is fine and well, but I’ve driven at a fair level in quick cars and I think the responsiveness of the Norma will suit me.”

“The important thing is it’s driven by Bradley, run by Mectech and supported by Excool.”

“I have great respect for Mike Smith at Mectech Motorsport and if I hadn’t got him running the car I might not have gone with the Norma.”

Round one of the 2018 LMP3 Cup Championship takes place at Donington Park on April 21st.