Le Mans Prototype
A Le Mans Prototype (LMP) is the type of sports prototype race car previously and currently used in various races and championships, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. Le Mans Prototypes were created by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The technical requirements for an LMP include bodywork covering all mechanical elements of the car. Currently, there are three classes within Le Mans Prototypes, designated LMP1, LMP2, and LMP3.
While not as fast as open-wheel Formula One cars around a track, LMP1s were the fastest closed-wheel racing cars used in circuit racing. Le Mans Prototypes are considered a class above production-based grand tourer cars, which compete alongside them in sports car racing. Later LMP1 designs included hybrid cars that use electric motors to assist acceleration.
The Le Mans Prototype LMP1 class has been replaced by Le Mans Hypercars in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the 2021 season. Non-hybrid LMP1 cars were eligible to be "grandfathered" for two more seasons and compete alongside the new class for the 2021 to 2022 seasons.
Starting from the 2023 season of WEC and IMSA SportsCar Championship, Le Mans Hypercars are joined by Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) cars. These two kinds of prototypes will form the top class of endurance racing: Hypercar in WEC and Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) in IMSA.