The Sunset 500 is the premier night race of the FARA endurance racing series. Taking place at Miami Homestead International Speedway, it is a grueling 4 hour endurance race on a 2.21 mile road course with 20 degree banking that tests even the most seasoned drivers. The Ligier LMP3 ran the entire race on one set of Hankook Ventus F200 slick tires and finished with over a full lap lead above the competition.
Homestead, FL, May 8, 2016 – The first ever Ligier LMP3 in the United States debuted with a big win in the FARA series Sunset 500 Endurance Race. Ligier, a brand under the Onroak Automotive umbrella, is a French constructor of sports racing cars and is the result of the combination of two of the passions of its president, Jacques Nicolet: his passion for motor sport, in particular the Le Mans 24 Hours, and his passion for entrepreneurship. The result was Onroak Automotive based at the strategic Le Mans and Magny-Cours sites, where it designs, produces and sells a range of sports prototypes, in particular the Ligier make.
The LMP3 was brought over to the US via a joint effort by European engineering team DayvTec, American racing team PowerSport, American driver Sam Tawfik and Dutch pro driver Danny van Dongen. Lead engineer of DayvTec, Davy Lemmens, was selected to head the project because of his extensive experience with the Dome Factory LMP1 car and his participation in five LeMans 24 Races from 2001-2007. He currently runs a team in Europe on a Ligier LMP3 and is very familiar with the car. “The Ligier LMP3 is a world class machine that reminded me of the LMP1 car that I have worked with previously. It is precise and is designed for endurance racing,” said Lemmens.
Omar Menem of Powersport Racing Team was thrilled to debut the car in the US. “It’s like nothing we’ve seen here before. The combination of accuracy, durability and relative affordability make it truly one of a kind.” Powersport is known for its Porsche racing but the team was able to switch over to the LMP3 with relative ease because of the simplicity of the design.
Drivers Sam Tawfik and Danny van Dongen plan to continue with the LMP3 in the FARA championship and have their sights set on IMSA for the 2017 season. Tawfik has a motocross background and although he is relatively new to sportscar racing, he has taken to the LMP3 quickly and is extremely pleased with its performance. He chose to run the car on Hankooks because of the high durability of the tires. Just like the LMP3, the tires are designed for endurance racing. Both drivers were able to make excellent lap times and finish the entire race on just one set of tires – giving them the edge over competitors who had to stop for a tire change.
Official Race Results can be seen here: http://www.mylaps.com/en/classification/3924835