Alex Cascatău To Get Second LMP3 Outing, with BHK Motorsport
The 2021 season isn’t over yet for Alex Cascatău who’s preparing to once again step into the cockpit of an LMP3 car almost one year to the day he was first able to enjoy the sensations of a Ligier JS P320 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This time, Cascatău is slated to put BHK Motorsport’s car through its paces around the Tazio Nuvolari track in Italy.
Romanian Alex Cascatău is once again about to sample the performance levels of an LMP3 racing car as he will join European Le Mans Series regulars BHK Motorspor for half a day of testing at Tazio Nuvolari, in Cervesina, next week. This marks the second year in succession that Cascatău has been able to drive a Ligier JS P320 and it is yet another step that the Romanian is taking towards furthering his racing career with the aim firmly set on driving a P3 machine in an actual race next year. While many options are still on the table, a partial campaign in the Michelin Le Mans Cup is one of them and testing mileage is vital before committing to such a career move.
Alex last drove the JS P320 in November of last year. He had a go in Team Virage’s car which was its weapon of choice in the Ultimate Cup and the European Le Mans Series. Setting competitive times, close to what fellow Romanian single-seater star Petru Florescu was able to lay down in the same car, Alex is now looking forward to learning another new track.
The car is by far the most popular in its class with countless racing all around the globe. For instance, in the ELMS alone there are 16 LMP3 cars in action and out of those only two are not Ligiers. The prototype that is powered by Nissan 5.5-liter V8 engine that makes 455 horsepower. An Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox sends all the power to the back wheels and, while 455 horsepower may not seem much when you compare it to what a road-going Ferrari produces, the Ligier’s lightweight construction sees it tip the scales at just 900 kilograms dry.
Launched back in 2015, the LMP3 category was meant to be the gateway into the world of endurance racing for many up-and-coming drivers and teams. As a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive and, admittedly, faster LMP2 cars, LMP3 models feature a variety of spec parts including the engine which means a bespoke powerplant is out of question. This is all done in an effort to keep the platform below the €240,000 price cap.
Ligier is the dominant player in the LMP3 market with cars engaged in the ELMS, the Asian Le Mans Series, the IMSA Prototype Challenge, the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Series, and many other championships in between. However, the French automaker that falls back to the steady cache of Guy Ligier's F1 team isn't the only one to offer P3 machinery with both Duqueine Engineering and Addess also in the market and beginning to gain momentum in recent seasons.
About Circuito Tazio Nuvolari
The Tazio Nuvolari racing venue is located in Cervesina, Italy, and features two circuit versions: the 'High Speed' course and the 'Short Track'. The former measures 2.8 kilometers (1.74 miles) in length and features 11 turns. The venue itself opened its doors all the way back in 2014 and was named in honor of the legendary 'Flying Mantoan', Tazio Nuvolari. A winner of multiple Grand Prix races in the days prior to the Second World War, including the 1935 German Grand Prix, Nuvolari thus joined Ascari, the Rodriguez Brothers, Carlos Pace, and other racing drivers who've been bestowed with the honor of having a race track named after them.
About BHK Motorsport
BHK Motorsport is an Italian outfit that’s currently sitting in 13th place in the ELMS P2 standings following a season-best finish of 9th in the recent 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The team’s drivers are Italian Francesco Dracone who competed in Indycar on a number of occasions in 2010 and, again, in 2015. The former Dayle Coyne Racing man is partnered by fellow Italian Sergio Campana who has acquired a wealth of experience following his time in both the Formula Renault Eurocup 2.0 and the Italian Formula 3 championship.
Alongside its exploits in LMP2, BHK Motorsport is also exploring options on the LMP3 front as the team has a Ligier JS P320 in its stables. The car has not seen any action in the ELMS this season but Alex and another driver will split the test day at Circuito Tazio Nuvolari with an eye on future opportunities.
Alex Cascatău: „I am extremely happy to announce that I will once again have a go in an LMP3 car, which is an experience that I’d been vying to repeat for quite a while. This is a deal that was completed at short notice and, while I am not familiar with the track or the team, I’m sure that I’ll get to grips with the environment quickly and be able to get through the sessions without a hitch.”