Grand Touring Endurance, shortened to GTE, is a set of regulations maintained by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and IMSA for grand tourer racing cars used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 hours of Daytona GTLM, and its associated series. The class was formerly referred to as Group GT2. The GT2 name has since been revived for a different set of regulations.

HistoryEdit

The class, derived from the former 'GT3' class in 1998, debuted in 1999 under the name of 'GT' in 24 Hours of Le Mans, American Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series, and as 'N-GT' in the FIA GT Championship. In 2005, the class was renamed GT2, below the faster GT1 class (formerly known as GT).

Originally, it was dominated by the Porsche 911 GT3 in its R, RS and RSR versions, but the Ferrari 360 Modena, Ferrari F430 and Panoz Esperante were also successful, as well as the BMW M3 in the United States. Other models entered were the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Morgan Aero 8, Spyker C8 and TVR Tuscan.

Since the GT1 class was dropped from ACO competitions for the 2011 season, the GT2 class was renamed LM GTE in Europe and GT in the United States. The new main rivals for the Porsche 911 were the Ferrari 458 Italia, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Chevrolet Corvette, BMW M3, BMW Z4 (E89) and SRT Viper. Other less successful models in the early 2010s were the Jaguar XKR, Lamborghini Gallardo, Lotus Evora and Ford GT.

In 2015, the two dominating cars were the Porsche 911 RSR and the Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 (by points achieved).

In the 2018/19 season, the most competitive LM GTE cars are the Porsche 911 RSR, the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and the Ford GT (by points achieved).

In 2021, IMSA announced that the GTLM class would be replaced with a GT3 based GTD pro class.[1] The ACO also announced that GTE in the WEC would also be replaced by GT3 in 2024, with the GTE pro class seeing its final race in 2022 and GTE am in 2023.[2]

RegulationsEdit

Class plates of LM GTE categories
 
LM GTE Pro
 
LM GTE Am

The ACO has defined limits and requirements for the LM GTE category to ensure that cars are legitimately production-based. The car must have "an aptitude for sport with 2 doors, 2 or 2+2 seats, opened or closed, which can be used perfectly legally on the open road and available for sale."[3] The ACO modifies its regulations for “small manufacturers” (less than 2000 cars produced a year). In order to be eligible, a big manufacturer must produce at least one car a week or a small manufacturer one car a month. The cars will be eligible to race when 100 road cars for big manufacturers or 25 road cars for small manufacturers are produced. The car must have an official launch campaign and sales network. The engine must be used in a production car; while this is usually the engine from the road car, the ACO has made exceptions for cars like the BMW Z4 GTE which use engines from other models. Carbon fiber, titanium and magnesium are banned except for special parts like spoilers or wheels. Cars with carbon cockpits (that are not directly attached to the suspension) are allowed. The engine displacement is limited to 5.5L naturally aspirated or 4.0L turbo/supercharged. The SRT Viper is granted a special waiver to 8.0L. The minimum weight is 1,245 kg including driver, fuel, helmet and liquids. Cars must have working lights and windshield wipers at all times. To distinguish from faster Le Mans Prototypes at night, LM GTE cars must use yellow headlights (not in WEC). Four-wheel drive is banned while engine-based traction control is allowed. Gearboxes are limited to six forward gears. All cars must also have rear-view cameras in addition to side mirrors.

LM GTE[4]
LM GTE Pro LM GTE Am
Minimum weight 1,245 kilograms (2,745 lb) (possibly subject to Balance of Performance) including driver, fuel, helmet and liquids
Maximum length

4,800 millimetres (190 in)

Maximum width

2,050 millimetres (81 in) (excluding rear view mirrors)

Engine displacement naturally-aspirated:
5.5 litres (340 in3)

turbocharged/supercharged: 4.0 litres (240 in3)

Fuel tank size

90 litres (24 US gal) (subject to BoP)

Drivers

free composition

2 to 3 drivers, at least

1 Bronze plus
1 Bronze or Silver

Cars are allowed one set of modifications every two years. Brand new cars are allowed one extra set of modifications in the first year of competition. Small aerodynamic modifications are allowed for Le Mans each year. If the road car is upgraded with a new part, that part can also be used on the LM GTE car through updating the homologation. Manufacturers can also apply for waivers to allow the homologation of cars or parts that would normally be banned by the rules.

Overall, the technical regulations are focused on keeping LM GTE cars relatively close to road cars in terms of parts and dimensions. Aerodynamic devices such as spoilers are heavily regulated. There are also minor requirements that are holdovers from the earlier era of Le Mans, such as requiring at least 150 cubic decimetres of luggage space.

At Le Mans, LM GTE is divided into two classes: GTE-Pro and GTE-Am. GTE-Am cars must be at least one year old or be built to the previous year's spec, and have limits on the qualification of drivers allowed in the lineup.

The Endurance Committee of the ACO has the absolute right to modify the Balance of Performance between LM GTE cars through adjusting the weight, engine or aerodynamics. Air restrictors are used with default values for specific engine capacities.

2016 updatesEdit

At the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ACO announced a range of changes for the LM GTE class for the 2016 season. The aim of the changes is to increase the performance of the cars relative to the GT3-spec machinery that they compete against in certain series, whilst reducing cost and improving the safety of the cars. The regulations will be less restrictive, and so there will be a reduced reliance on waivers to allow certain cars to compete. One example of this is the increased freedom of aerodynamic development within specific regions of the car.[5] The new cars will be able to compete in LM GTE Pro from 2016 alongside the 'old' specification of car, before becoming available for LM GTE Am in 2017. In 2018, the 'old' specification of car will be out of competition.

Replacement of GTE RegulationsEdit

Autosport magazine reported that on the 20th August 2021 the ACO announced that they will be dropping the GTE class in favour of GT3 cars from the 2024 season onwards. "The current GTE Pro and GTE Am classes will remain in place for the 2022 and 2023 WEC seasons, including Le Mans. Following the decline of GTE racing with only 4 cars in the WEC championship and 3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.[6]

List of LM GTE carsEdit

Manufacturer Model Developer Photo Year Notes
  Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2 Prodrive   2008–2011
V8 Vantage GTE   2012–2019 Second generation Vantage GTE, includes Vantage GTE Upgrades
V8 Vantage AMR GTE   2018- Second generation Vantage
  BMW M3 GT2 (E92) BMW Motorsport   2009–2012
Z4 GTE (E89)   2013–2015
M6 GTLM (F13)   2016–2017
M8 GTE (F92)   2018-2021
  Chevrolet C6.R Pratt & Miller   2009–2013
C7.R   2014–2019
C8.R   2020-
  Dodge SRT SRT Viper GTS-R Riley Technologies   2012–2015
  Ferrari 430 GTC Michelotto [it]   2008–2010
458 Italia GTC   2011–2015
488 GTE   2016– Includes 488 GTE Evo
  Ford GT (Mk.VII) Doran Racing   2008–2011
GT (Mk.VIII) Ford Performance   2016–2019
  Jaguar XKR GT2 RSR Racing   2010–2011
  Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560 GT2 Reiter Engineering   2009–2011
  Lotus Evora GTE Lotus Sport   2011–2012
  Panoz Abruzzi GT2 Panoz Auto Development 2011
  Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997) Porsche Motorsport   2006–2012 997.I & 997.II generations 911 RSR
911 RSR (991.I)   2013–2016 First 991 generation 911 RSR
911 RSR (991.II)   2017–2019 Second 991 generation 911 RSR
911 RSR-19 (991.II)   2019- Third generation 911 RSR
  Spyker C8 GT2-R Spyker Squadron   2008–2010 Includes C8 Spyder GT2-R and C8 Laviolette GT2-R
Source:[7]

Series which use LM GTE carsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Malsher-Lopez, David (28 January 2021). "GTD Pro for GT3 cars to replace IMSA's GT Le Mans class in 2022". www.autosport.com. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  2. ^ Cleeren, Filip (20 August 2021). "GT3 cars to replace GTE class at Le Mans from 2024". www.autosport.com. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Technical Regulations for Grand Touring Cars" (PDF). Automobile Club de l'Ouest. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Classes - FIA WEC". fiawec.com. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  5. ^ FIA WEC: 2016 GTE Regulations, Key Points, Summary of New Regulations From DSC.
  6. ^ "GT3 cars to replace GTE class at le Mans from 2024".
  7. ^ Hergault, Julien (11 June 2013). "24 Hours of Le Mans: Introduction to the LM GTE Pro Class". www.24h‑lemans.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Classes". World Endurance Championship. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Category". Automobile Club de l'Ouest. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  10. ^ "The different classes". Automobile Club de l'Ouest. Archived from the original on 17 February 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.

External linksEdit

  • LM GTE regulations as of March 8, 2013 [1]