Differences between GTE Pro and GTE Am
Photo: WEC/Adrenal Media

Differences between GTE Pro and GTE Am

A "Le Mans" Grand Touring Endurance car (LMGTE) is based on a production car having an aptitude for sport with 2 doors, 2 or 2+2 seats which can be used perfectly legally on the open road and is available for sale through a manufacturer's dealer network.

New-for-2018 models from Aston Martin and Ferrari (left column) and 2017 models in LMGTE Am (right column)

Unlike LMP1 and LMP2, the GTE Pro and Am categories are fairly similar in nature, but there are some key differences to set them apart from one another – and the clues are in the names.

Quite simply, the GTE Pro class is the sole preserve of manufacturer teams, running only professional drivers, while GTE Am is designed to be a place where gentlemen drivers can compete on a level playing field.

The way this is achieved is through the FIA ‘grading’ system, which categorises drivers as platinum, gold, silver or bronze depending on their past achievements in motorsport and, in some cases, their age.

GTE Am teams must use at least one bronze-rated driver, as well as one rated no higher than silver. This means they are in effect limited to a maximum of one driver rated gold or higher in their line-ups. GTE Pro teams, on the other hand, are subject to no such restraints.

One other differentiator between the classes is that GTE Am teams are only allowed to run cars that are at least one year old. This excludes them from using the new Aston Martin Vantage or BMW M8 GTE in the 2018/19 Super Season, but in theory these could be made available to GTE Am teams in 2019/20.