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The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup

The 2016 season sees Michelin join forces with the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) to introduce the new Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup which will star some superb GT3 machinery at Le Mans and at rounds of the European Le Mans Series.

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup fills a gap in the endurance racing landscape which, until now, didn’t provide a chance for GT3 drivers and cars to compete around the legendary home of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

On Saturday, June 18, the teams and drivers registered for the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup will be given the opportunity to share the famous 13.629km circuit with LM P3 prototype competitors in a special curtain-raiser ahead of the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours.

The event stands out as the highlight of the new series which features five other rounds that will serve as support races of European Le Mans Series and Formula Renault meetings at such well-known venues as Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Le Castellet (France), Estoril (Portugal) and Imola (Italy).

Rounds of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup will be based on a format of two 60-minute free practice sessions and a 30-minute qualifying session (including a 10-minute ‘Superpole’ shootout) on the Friday, followed by a two-hour race on the Saturday.

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup is open to FIA GT3 cars, with performance subject to a ‘Balance of Performance’ specified by the ACO. The two-driver crews must have at least one ‘bronze’-rated member who will be tasked with qualifying the car. The other may be ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ or ‘gold’, but ‘platinum’-listed drivers are not allowed.

Michelin, which has won such famous GT3-based long-distance classics as the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, is the new championship’s exclusive tyre supplier.

Competitors have a choice of competitive, durable customer racing tyres which have the mission of equipping a wide variety of cars (Ferrari, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini, etc.).

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup’s top finishers will share a total prize fund of €300,000, with €100,000 going to the outright champion – who will also be invited to contest the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours – and €10,000 set aside for the winner of each round.

An agreement between the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup and the GT Tour (which also features Michelin tyres) makes it possible to contest the two championships with reduced entry fees and to keep the same racing number for both.

Entries for the 2016 Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup close on March 14.

 

2016 GT3 Le Mans Cup calendar

March 19-20: pre-season test, Le Castellet (France)

May 13-14: Imola (Italy)

June 18: Le Mans (France)

July 15-16: Red Bull Ring (Austria)

August 26-27: Le Castellet (France)

September 23-24: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)

October 21-/22: Estoril (Portugal)

The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup

07/01/2016 8:28 am

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