If you’ve always wanted to test your driving skills by endurance racing in Europe, the cost of starting a team just got a little bit more reasonable. For 2012, the governing body behind Le Mans racing, the ACO, is introducing a new competition category.

The GTC class will consist of near-production (and hence, less expensive) cars approved by the ACO for competition. For 2012, three cars make that list: the 2010 and 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, the Ferrari F430 Challenge and the Lotus Evora GT4/GTC.

As AutoSport points out, the GTC category is similar to the idea behind the GT Challenge class in American Le Mans Series racing, with one notable exception: in ALMS competition, only the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is eligible for competition.

Just as in Le Mans GTE-Am competition, teams in the GTC class will be allowed one professional driver, with up to two additional amateur drivers rounding out the roster.

While we love to see near-production cars running fender-to-fender in competition, we can’t help but question the logic of adding additional slow cars to a field that’s already packed with much faster prototype and GTE cars.

Traffic may add drama and increase the challenge, but it also ramps up the danger for drivers and spectators. Motorsports had a bad year in 2011, and here’s hoping we don’t see a tragic repeat in 2012.