The Ligier JS P325, ready to take over the reins

Le Mans, Saturday, 8 June 2024 - Following on from the Ligier JS P3, the first LMP3 Ligier produced in 2015, and the Ligier JS P320, which entered competition in 2020, there is now the Ligier JS P325. Ligier Automotive unveils its third-generation LMP3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the ninth edition of the Road to Le Mans gets underway. Motivated by the introduction of a new engine, a twin-turbo V6, which all the homologated constructors used, this new generation has required extensive work on the cooling system.

In August 2023, at the Aragon round of the European Le Mans Series, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) announced the arrival of a third generation of LMP3 cars beginning in 2025, five years after the previous generation made its competition debut. This is due to the end of production of the Nissan VK56 V8 engine, which powered all the LMP3 cars. Only the engine perimeter, layout, and cooling must and can be modified by the LMP3 constructors. “More than an evolution, this new generation of LMP3s is an adaptation of the current LMP3s to the arrival of the twin-turbo V6 engine,” explains Richard Tur, COO at Ligier Automotive.

With its smaller displacement, the constructor had to integrate this new turbocharged engine into its current LMP3. “This twin-turbo V6 requires greater cooling than the naturally aspirated V8, and the power to be dissipated is greater,” adds Richard Tur. “As a result, we had to make significant modifications to the water-cooling circuit, which also cools the turbocharger's air circuit. We had already done this with the Ligier JS PX, equipped with a twin-turbo V6, and on the Lamborghini SC63, fitted with a twin-turbo V8 engine.”

In particular, the constructor entrusted the development of the Ligier JS P325 to its long-time driver, Olivier Pla, who had previously worked on the Ligier JS P2, Ligier JS P3, Ligier JS P320 and, more recently, the Ligier JS PX. “Engine cooling impacts the car's aerodynamics and drag,” emphasises Richard Tur. “Validating these developments on track was vital, particularly on a straight.” Testing will continue over the summer to fine-tune the final settings before homologation, which will take place by the end of August 2024 at the latest for all LMP3 constructors. Orders are now being taken, and the first deliveries are scheduled for the final quarter of 2024.

The Ligier JS P320 will be replaced by this newcomer from 2025 in the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Road To Le Mans. But before bowing out of ACO competitions, the Ligier JS P320 will be out to finish the job. With 21 titles since 2020, the constructor has already secured two additional titles in 2024 (the first in the Asian Le Mans Series with COOL Racing and the second in the Prototype Winter Series with Konrad Motorsport). And the Ligier JS P320 is set to break its Road to Le Mans entry record for the fourth year running, with 34 Ligier JS P320s ready to battle.

As with the Ligier JS P320 in its day, teams and drivers wishing to acquire the third-generation LMP3 from Ligier have two options. They can either acquire a new Ligier JS P325 or convert their Ligier JS P320 into a Ligier JS P325 with an upgrade kit, which can be installed directly by the teams.

For more information about the Ligier JS P325, download the brochure from the Ligier Automotive website or join us in Le Mans to discover her  from 9 to 15 June 2024.

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