In a recent interview published on www.norma-auto-concept.com Norbert Santos, founder of the Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre-based company, has said that new M30 LMP3 chassis will be ready in January, in preparation for the 2017 European Le Mans Series season.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced in April 2016 that Norma Auto Concept, founded in 1986 and specialising in the manufacture of prototypes, had been selected as one of the Official Manufacturers of LMP3 chassis.
In the interview, Santos explained the challenges of preparing the new M30 chassis for the forthcoming season:
“That was the initial plan, yes (to be ready for the end of 2016). But it will now be ready in January. We had to incorporate regulatory upgrades related to the driver’s safety. That was not planned and we had to perform a series of calculations over several weeks. Today, we are very happy with the results that we got in simulation. The lights are all green now.”
The success of the LMP3 class in the 2016 European Le Mans Series and interest beyond Europe in North America and Asia means that demand for LMP3 chassis is substantial. Santos is clear about the volume of M30 chassis that Norma Auto Concept will be able to supply.
“Today I can tell you that we will not be able to supply more the fifteen M30s before the start of the European Season, while the demand is much higher.”
“It’s also a choice that we have imposed on ourselves,” continued Santos. “We don’t want in any way to sacrifice the quality of the finished product for the quantity. I can only add that, beyond what has already been announced, we have sold M30s in the U.S. and to other teams in Europe. In the last ten days, three other established European teams have placed orders. And advanced discussions are underway with some others, including in Asia.”
The 2017 European Le Mans Series opens at Silverstone on April 14 – 15.