FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP LMP1
Future changes to
the LMP1 regulations
number of energy
(ERS) allowed on a
car from two to three.
“It was clear at Silverstone [for the
opening round of the WEC in April] that
the manufacturers had made a big step,”
says ACO sporting manager Vincent
Beaumesnil. “We were surprised, because
we expected some progress, but not that
much. It was clear that we had to slow
down the cars for next year.
“We are comfortable with a 10MJ
reduction because the development of the
engines has been based on this idea and
the manufacturers have always known
that we can ask for this reduction.”
The ACO is, however, acutely aware of
the ever quicker lap times at Le Mans.
Neel Jani took pole position for Porsche
with a 3m16.887s flyer, while Audi driver
Andre Lotterer set the fastest race lap,
3m17.476s. Those marks compare with
3m21.789s and 3m22.567s in 2014,
but the ACO has what Beaumesnil calls a
3m20s reference lap in mind.
“I am not saying that we will be slower
than 3m20s next year, but the 10MJ cut
in energy is part of a strategy to achieve
that,” he says. “We are also discussing other
ways to reduce performance in the future,
and there are many different parameters.”
The reduction in power will definitely
slow the P1 grid, says the Porsche team’s
Faster and more aggressive-looking
– that’s what will distinguish next
year’s GTE Pro machinery from the
current cars. New rules offering
new freedoms, most significantly
in terms of aerodynamics, should
cut lap times by around two
seconds on Le Mans’ 8.47-mile
Circuit de la Sarthe.
The need to make GTE cars
faster was brought into focus by
the introduction of GT3 machinery
into the European Le Mans Series
in 2013 and it will be given added
impetus in next year’s IMSA
Weather Tech SportsCar
Championship, when GT Daytona
will be open to pure FIA GT3 cars.
The new regs are key in maintaining
a performance margin between the
GTE-spec cars racing in GT Le Mans
and the GTD contenders.
Tweaks to the GTE engine rules
will add approximately 20hp.
There will also be a 15kg (33lb)
reduction in minimum weight. The
aerodynamic freedoms, meanwhile,
are characterized by the large rear
diffuser seen on Ford’s GT.
The new rules supersede the
waivers that manufacturers were
previously able to apply for to
balance overall performance.
“By specifying windows for
weight, engine and aerodynamics it
will allow manufacturers to develop
their cars in a more cost-efficient
way and make for more equal
cars at a range of tracks and
conditions,” explains Automobile
Club de l’Ouest sporting
manager Vincent Beaumesnil.
For 2016, the WEC’s GTE Am
class will remain open only to
cars of one year or older.
The “super-sized” rear diffuser seen on Ford’s
new GT (ABOVE) will be the norm for new-spec
GTE cars. Maximum dimensions are governed
by a virtual box in which the diffuser must fit.
MORE FREEDOM EQUALS MORE SPEED FOR GTE
2016 GTE CHANGES
technical director, Alex Hitzinger.
“A 10MJ reduction in energy is about
four seconds pro rata, but I don’t think you’ll
see cars going four seconds slower,” he says,
the implication being that the engineers
will claw back some of that deficit.
The reduction in fuel allocation will also
help slow the cars through the turns.
“It is a global picture,” explains Toyota
Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal
Vasselon. “You will reduce engine power
in the same proportion that you reduce
fuel flow. And when you reduce engine
power, you have to reduce drag. And when
you reduce drag, you reduce downforce.
It will slow the cars in the corners,
because the amount of energy and power
you have drives the aero targets.”
The other significant change for 2016
is a new limit on the amount of hybrid
In 2016, the factory
LMP1s of Audi
and Toyota will, in
theory at least, be
slower, based on a
10MJ reduction in
fuel allowed per
lap of Le Mans and
ERS output capped
at 300k W.
SLOWER IN THEORY