Race the best automotive prototypes in Britain
Compared to Formula 1, which everyone knows about, and the popular race “500 miles of Indianapolis,” sports competitions are much less well known. Meanwhile, on May 20, they took another run on the famous Brands Hatch highway, just a few miles from London. Today starts the race on the Belgian track Spa-Francorchamps, and “Kommersant UK” tells about what are these mysterious sports prototypes.
For the first time racing sports prototypes were held in the French Le Mans in 1923. The 24-hour race is a demonstration of the reliability, endurance and speed of the cars that each team specially prepares for such competitions. Together with the “Grand Prix of Monaco” and “500 miles of Indianapolis” race in Le Mans constitute the “triple crown” of motorsport, which the best motorists of the world dream to get.
Sports prototypes are created specifically for such long races. They are not designed on the basis of production cars, but are developed separately. Aerodynamically perfect two-seater racing cars are capable of developing a much higher speed than a Formula 1 car.
Of course, first of all sports racing cars are used by automakers to demonstrate and promote the latest technologies and technological expertise. This year in the UK, finally, presented a new qualifying class – LMP3 (Le Mans Prototype 3). These are entry-level prototypes designed to prepare young pilots and new teams for faster LMP2 and LMP1.
To control costs, all the machines use the same basic components: engine, gearbox, brakes. This makes the task of developers more interesting and increases the degree of rivalry on the track. Chassis teams can choose from six proposed manufacturers. Most teams stop at the French Ligier, which boasts an impressive portfolio since the 1960s and until recently even contained its own Formula One team.
Ferrari, Bentley, Porsche and Jaguar have been participating in this competition for years. Audi recently joined them. The competition is so high that the race has often become an arena for the resolution of not sports disputes. For example, in 1960 Ford did not manage to buy Ferrari, the company decided to win back here, at the race in Le Mans, and achieved it. Four years in a row, Ford has won against Ferrari, leaving it far behind.
Driver training, as well as the quality of cars, is at the highest level. Regardless of who is in front of you – an experienced sports driver, a former Formula 1 driver or a young speed fan, the intensity of the rivalry reaches its limit and can be compared only with the sports races of the 1950s.
Le Mans Prototype runs will be held throughout the United Kingdom. Even fans of the Italian Monza or the German Nurburgring will have something to see. The race at Brands Hatch, where the LMP3 training and qualification races took place, has already proven this. It is on this road that the famous Paddock Hill turnaround is, which, due to a sharp drop in height, is practically not visible, and is filled with water during rain.
The next race will be held at Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium, famous for its majesty and steep turns. Sports car races have been held there since the early fifties and are famous for the unpredictable weather conditions that make driving on this track a real challenge.
After Belgium, the championship will return to the United Kingdom for the race at the Silverstone circuit, which will take place on July 1. On August 12–13, there will be a checkout on the Snetterton highway, and on September 16–17, Donington Park will accept prototypes