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Prototype Cup makes debut at Snetterton

Friday, October 07 2016

A devoted field of Le Mans Prototypes starred at Snetterton this weekend (8-9 October) as the Prototype Cup for LMP3 cars launched at the Norfolk track.

Ten evenly-matched LMP3 race cars were entered for the first race, which is intended as a demonstration event ahead of a full championship (subject to MSA approval) in 2017. The 5-litre, normally-aspirated Nissan engine produces 420 brake horsepower and the most fantastic sound. The engine is paired with an X-Trac gearbox to ensure costs are kept as low as possible with only six manufacturers eligible to produce cars.

The cars are designed to strict parameters but certainly don't lack visual appeal, looking both purposeful and beautiful. The Onroak Automotive brand Ligier will be well represented on the grid but it is anticipated that more cars will become available in the new season with models from AVE-Riley, Ginetta, Norma and Adess becoming part of the field.

The Pro/Am driver format has proven appealing to the competitors with ELMS drivers Wayne Boyd and Guy Cosmo the latest pilots to be announced for United Autosports, joining Charlie Hollings on their roster.

British F3 race winner Thomas Randle competed with Douglas Motorsport who recently took delivery of their new car and plan on running a second car as well next season. The amateur drivers also represent a very high calibre of ability and international experience from Jacque Duyver, Mike Newbould and Jay Palmer participating.

The Prototype Cup joined an exciting programme of MSVR Racing at Snetterton which also featured its sister series the GT Cup Championship and the F3 Cup.