The Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO) has announced that French-based Norma Auto Concept will become an Official Manufacturer for the LMP3 category.
Norma, whose factory is located in Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre in the south west of France, was founded in 1986 and has specialised in prototypes. It has sold more than 400 examples of its Norma M20. Norma joins Ginetta, Onroak with its Ligier brand, Riley/Ave, ADESS and Dome as a manufacturer of chassis for the fast-growing LMP3 class.
Norma has participated three times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its Judd-engined LMP2 M200. In 2012 it finished 29th overall and 12th in class with a car entered by Extreme Limite ARIC.
“We are extremely delighted about the decision taken by the ACO,” said Norbert Santos, Founder of Norma Automotive Concept. “Since its launch we were convinced that Norma really has a place in this category which has already met with huge success. When the ACO took the decision to limit the number of manufacturers last year, we already actively launched our first studies. Since then, we have not stopped and today the time and patience taken has proved right.”
The launch of the LMP3 category in 2015 has proved to be very popular. 20 examples have been entered for the first round of the 2016 European Le Mans Series at Silverstone. All but one are Ligier JS P3s. This is seen as an opportunity by Santos.
“The design of the next Norma LMP3 is already very advanced,” he said. “It benefits from a number of technological solutions that, I am convinced, will enable us to get the performance that we set for ourselves. And for Norma, it’s only victories that count.”
Norma intend to present the first chassis this summer and aims to have at least Norma LMP3 racing before the end of the year.