ACO taking ‘clean sheet’ approach to next LMP2 regulations

The next-generation LMP2 regulations, which will now be introduced for the 2028 racing season, are being rewritten from a “blank sheet of paper”.

Today at the ACO’s annual pre-Le Mans press conference, confirmation was given that the next-generation LMP2 ruleset has been postponed by two years from 2026 to 2028.

This shift in direction for the category comes amid an ongoing debate behind the scenes between the rule-makers, suppliers and teams about the future shape of the class. It is a topic which RACER wrote about in-depth earlier this year.

“LMP2 is a key category for ACO. It’s a top category that we must protect. We talked with all the teams and decided to extend the current generation until the end of 2027,” said Pierre Fillon, the ACO President, at today’s press conference.


“We have had lengthy discussions with all stakeholders and will prepare for this new generation.”

The decision to delay comes after the ACO recently reached out to the current set of ELMS and Asian Le Mans Series teams for opinions on the matter. RACER has been told that an overwhelming majority of teams pushed the rulemakers for a delay.

This delay has led to a total rethink, meaning question marks still remain over the next-gen P2 rules, including the look and specification of the chassis and engine.

“The new chassis and engine have yet to be selected but will be based on two key principles: a downsized engine and reduced weight,” the ACO statement released on Friday reads.

“LMP2 is not part of FIA WEC this season or next, but remains the premier class in the European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series.”

In the aftermath of the press conference, RACER spoke to multiple senior paddock sources who all wished to remain anonymous. During these conversations It was reiterated in these that the previously proposed LMP2 ruleset has been put entirely to one side.

Crucially, RACER has had it clarified decision means that the next-gen cars from the four manufacturers (Ligier, ORECA, Dallara and Multimatic) no longer need to be based on an LMDh spine.

The final engine specification has also not been determined. While Gibson was previously announced as the sole engine supplier until 2030 with its 4.2-litre V8, this element is now up in the air too.

RACER has been told by a source that Gibson is “aware and understanding” of this situation, and is now no longer officially confirmed as the sole supplier for LMP2 engines in the new era.

However, RACER’s understanding is that the Repton-based manufacturer is still highly likely to be awarded the new tender.

The introduction of hybrid technology to the formula is also believed to be back on the table after being previously ruled out.

“We have taken this decision because we have listened to the paddock. And we do believe in the future of P2,” Frederic Lequien, the CEO of LMEM, told reporters after the conference.

“We must start again with a white patch – and make a lighter car with a smaller engine, something which will be more linked to the future.”

Lequien also confirmed that the current four LMP2 constructors (ORECA, Dallara, Ligier, and Multimatic) will continue to work with the ACO on the next-gen LMP2 ruleset.

However, he declined to comment when asked directly if Gibson Technologies will continue to construct the next-gen LMP2 engines or if hybrid technology will be implemented.

From the IMSA side, RACER also spoke to President John Doonan on the topic of LMP2 today.

Like the the European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series, IMSA will also continue to feature the current LMP2 regulations that have been extended through the 2027 WeatherTech season. And Doonan is in full support of the delay.

“We’ve seen a really nice growth trend in LMP2, now 13 full-season entries, which is really strong for us,” he said.

“To extend those regulations, with all the equipment and the assets and the investments that have been made by the teams – this creates additional stability there.

“There’s certain LMP2 teams now that would love to be in a GTP program or a top-category program. So for me, this is quite good.”

Story originally appeared on Racer