Q: Which car classes race at Le Mans?
A: Throughout the years different car classes, reflecting the current
regulations, competed at Le Mans.
The last couple of years there have roughly been two categories: The prototypes
and the street-like cars (GT cars). The prototypes have mostly been open-top sports cars build
with racing at Le Mans as its only goal, where the GT cars have been closed race
cars as for example Porsche 911
For the race in 2005 there are four categories in total:
LMP1 is the fastest cars on the track. The category includes the
Audi R8 and Dome. Their weight are typical 900 kilos and are often
equipped with a turbocharged V8 engine, and often sets the fastest lap times.
The category includes the old (2004 regulation) LM-P900, LM-GTP and LM-P675 with
carbon fibre chassis
LMP2 is the small prototype class and due to its low weight (750 kilos
as a minimum) they can deliver pretty fast lap times. Their engines are often small
2 litres V6 with turbo. An example of a LMP2 car is the WR (Welter Racing).
GT1 is for the powerful GT cars, which often are classified in the
overall top 10. In the last couple of years the big race car companies have competed
in this category. They are cars like Ferrari 550 and Corvette C5-R using V12 and V8
engines respectively – both normally aspirated.
GT2 is the slowest cars at Le Mans – and the types we best knows from
the streets. This is the class where small private teams compete against each other, and
without serious changes for winning the overall race. The class is dominated by the
reliable Porsche 911 with turbocharged boxer engine, and which has been at Le Mans
since the 1970s. Also in this class is the Ferrari 360 Modena with V8, and other humorous
cars with seldom reaches the finish line.
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