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 when used in the context of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to distinguish it from the faster, more powerful GT1 cars. The GT2 name has since been revived for a different set of regulations.
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.
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." 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 Pro||LM GTE Am|
|Minimum weight||1,245 kilograms (2,745 lb) (possibly subject to Balance of Performance) including driver, fuel, helmet and liquids|
4,800 millimetres (190 in)
2,050 millimetres (81 in) (excluding rear view mirrors)
5.5 litres (340 in3)
turbocharged/supercharged: 4.0 litres (240 in3)
|Fuel tank size||
90 litres (24 US gal) (subject to BoP)
|2 to 3 drivers, at least
1 Bronze plus
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.
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. 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.
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.
|Aston Martin||Vantage GT2||Prodrive||2008-2011|
|V8 Vantage GTE||2012-2019||Second generation Vantage GTE, includes Vantage GTE Upgrades|
|Vantage AMR||2018-||Second generation Vantage|
|BMW||M3 GT2||BMW Motorsport||2009-2012|
|Chevrolet||C6.R||Pratt & Miller||2009-2013|
|Dodge SRT||SRT Viper GTS-R||Riley Technologies||2012-2015|
|458 Italia GT2||Ferrari Competizione GT||2011-2015|
|488 GTE||2016-||Includes 488 GTE Evo|
|Ford||GT Mk VII||Doran Racing||2008-2011|
|GT LM GTE||Ford Performance||2016-2019|
|Jaguar||XKR GT2||RSR Racing||2010-2011|
|Lamborghini||Gallardo LP 560-4||Reiter Engineering||2009-2011|
|Lotus||Evora GTE||Lotus Sport||2011-2012|
|Panoz||Abruzzi GT2||Panoz Auto Development||2011|
|Porsche||911 GT3 RSR||Porsche Motorsport||2006-2012||997 generation 911 RSR|
|911 RSR (991)||2013-2016||First 991 generation 911 RSR|
|911 RSR (991)||2017-2019||Second 991 generation 911 RSR|
|911 RSR-19||2019-||Third generation 911 RSR|
|Spyker||C8 GT2-R||Spyker Squadron||2008-2010||Includes C8 Spyder GT2-R and C8 Laviolette GT2-R|