which which adds up to a total maximum
powerboost of 3. 5 megajoules per lap. The
maximum total allowed next year will be
8MJ per lap, but the rules allow for four
levels of energy retrieval, the lowest being
2MJ. The multiple levels were introduced
to “give manufacturers flexibility,” explains
Beaumesnil, but they cannot switch between
levels over the course of the season.
A slightly lower fuel allocation is
allowed as the level of retrieved power
increases (see table, page 90). But, insists
Beaumesnil, “there is an incentive
between each hybrid step.”
The LMP1 regulations talk about ERS,
rather than KERS because, down the line,
it’s envisaged that not all energy recovery
will be kinetic. Whether that’s the case in
2014 remains to be seen. Toyota and Audi
seem likely only to recover energy through
braking, as they do at present.
It’s also the intention that fuels other
than gasoline and diesel will be allowed in
the future, though no timescale has been
set for their introduction.
“We must be realistic,” says Beaumesnil.
“We’d need to know how the powertrain
works and how we can measure the energy.
It will be a long process. I don’t know how
long, but it won’t be two years.”
What that means for Nissan, which fills
next year’s “Garage 56” spot reserved
for experimental racers at Le Mans with its
ZEOD RC hybrid, remains unclear. For
2014, it intends to complete laps using only
electric power. Beyond that, Nissan has
hinted that it wants to enter LMP1 with a
fully-electric car in the future, but its
agreement with the ACO is conditional on
it joining the P1 ranks in 2015.
Manufacturers racing in P1 from next
year must run with hybrid technology –
designated LMP1-H. There is a sub-class, to
be known as LMP1-L (L for lightweight) and
aimed only at privateers. Cars in this class
will be non-hybrids and, to that effect, get a
slightly greater fuel allocation per lap and
will tip the scales 20kg (44lbs) lighter than
their rivals. The ACO knows from history
...but Toyota has revealed some details of
how the hybrid system will differ from the 2013
TS030 (pictured). Staying is a large capacity,
normally-aspirated V8 (currently 3. 4 liters), but
the rear-axle mounted, capacitor-based KERS
will be switched for a system that works off both
axles. The energy band/fuel-flow rate will be
defined and homologated early in 2014.
that it needs independents on the grid.
The idea is that a well-run privateer car
should be snapping at the heels of the
manufacturer teams and be in a position to
win should the factories hit only minor
delays. These rules played a part in
encouraging the Anglo-Swiss Rebellion
Racing squad, the top privateer in P1 over
the past three seasons, to commission
French constructor ORECA to build it an
LMP1, the Rebellion-Toyota R-One.
It’s the intention that 2014 cars will
have similar performance levels to existing
P1 machinery, at least during the races.
The ACO has retained its long-standing
target of an average race lap of 3m30s
around Le Mans. Power from conventional
engines will be down, but hybrid power will
increase by a significantly greater amount.
The most important thing is that fuel
formula or no, Le Mans, as well as WEC
events, will not become an economy run;
it will continue to be a real motor race.
(FAR LEFT) On
Audi has an edge over
Toyota in 2013. The
LMP1 playing field is
tweaked next year.
(LEFT) Under that
Toyota mechanic is
the TS030’s capacitor. A l a
“If you gave everyone the
same amount of energy,
then one type of fuel would
have no chance”