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2020 LMP1 Regulations to be “Substantially Altered”

ACO: 2020 LMP1 Regulations to be “substantially altered”…

Photo: Toyota

The ACO has revealed that the 2020 LMP1 regulations will be “substantially altered” compared to what was announced at Le Mans in June, although remaining committed to hybrid technology, but “not at any price.”

Tweaks to the 2018 LMP1 regulations, which will see larger fuel allowances given to non-hybrid prototypes via Equivalence of Technology measures, were announced on Friday, along with the intention of rolling out with a revised set of LMP1 regulations for the 2020-2021 season.

FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu confirmed that its proposed fast-charging plug-ins and 1km stretch of all-electric driving concept for 2020 has been abandoned, with an overall re-think of the future regulations now underway.

“The 2020 LMP1 regulations will be substantially altered as compared to the model that was presented at Le Mans,” Neveu said Friday during a media briefing in Mexico City.

“We cannot exactly say for sure because the current situation pushed us to modify, of course.

“The ACO and FIA are absolutely convinced that technology, including the hybrid system, must be kept in place in endurance racing, but not at any price.

“The budget invested in [current] LMP1 Hybrid is no longer sustainable; we know that now.”

Neveu said they must return to a “reasonable budget” to allow manufacturers to compete, following the excessive 150-200 million Euro annual budgets from both Audi and Porsche that ultimately spiraled the category out of control.

Toyota is the lone remaining LMP1 Hybrid entrant, with the Japanese manufacturer yet to make a decision on its plans for 2018 and beyond amid Porsche’s withdrawal announcement last month.

“Some potential manufacturers are still around the table and discussing,” Neveu said. “The technical working group from the FIA and ACO are altering now a new investigation.

“The question will be, ‘Where do we put the level of the costs of the budget [to be] acceptable.’ But nothing to compare with what’s going on today.”

Neveu said further details are expected to be presented “in the coming weeks” but stressed his desire to continue with some form of hybrid technology into 2020, although not yet fully defined.

“This is part of the discussion now, between the technical [people] from the FIA and ACO and the potential manufacturers,” he said. “Where is the level of the next hybrid? We have to keep a space for hybrid.

“You have hybrids in most championships now and this is the future considering the modernization of the road-relevant car.

“If you believe hybrid will disappear, you’re wrong. Hybrid has to stay in a reasonable budget position to make the rules compromise between the sport program and technology used.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Blue Oval fan

    September 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

    What a joke, this circus has become. These folks have there head buried so far up there own rear ends, I’m surprised they can see daylight.

  2. tobinsmith

    September 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

    What they’re saying (in my opinion), “hey, Porsche, come back, cuz we didn’t realize how much we need you”.

  3. Johannes275

    September 2, 2017 at 10:09 am

    “Substantially Altered?” they won’t be altered at all, for the WEC will be dead by then in the state that they’ve turned it into.

    I mean, current LMP1 regs aren’t too bad, but I’d like to see them being used in a sort of “Intercontinental Le Mans Cup” idea that combines ACO events with some IMSA events.

  4. daedalus

    September 2, 2017 at 10:44 am

    they should just have regenerative braking and leave it at that. The energy recovery from the engine is the most costly part and won’t even be used in mainstream road cars on cost grounds anyway. The privateers can run with extra fuel to offset the lower fuel usage of hybrids like they are doing next year or alternatively have an off the shelf hybrid solution that is cost capped and used by all privateers like the LMP2 engine is.

    The ACO will have to understand that giving privateer LMP1 cars genuine equivalence so they can win overall and not just when factory cars have problems will be necessary to keep LMP1 alive other wise they will not bother entering cars.

    • Tyler Sanders

      September 2, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Completely agree with that

    • TF110

      September 2, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      The last line of your post is exactly what they’re doing! Do people even read or just jump on the negative bandwagon? No more hybrid-only for factory lmp1 teams. It’s all one class now as well.

  5. Neil

    September 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I can’t help thinking that if the whole LMP1 class had been properly combined a few years ago we wouldn’t have lost Rebellion to LMP2 and would have a reasonably healthy mixed LMP1 class now. Let’s face it, if you are competing at the top level you expect to be able to have a chance at the overall win. These announcements smack of someone finally waking up from a coma to see that the world has changed whilst they have been asleep. I love endurance racing and the whole mixed classes of prototype and GTCars concept. I just hope that what has been announced isn’t too little too late.

  6. Name

    September 2, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Easy way to keep costs down and allow for relevant cross-development: Allow Formula E powertrains or also allow road hybrid systems.

    Manufacturers shouldn’t be forced to run a hybrid if they don’t want to, or at least in the first season. There will be the fuel and part-time AWD advantages they miss out on, but make the car competitive before adding a hybrid.

    • noname

      September 3, 2017 at 12:07 am

      name, do you even know what a “Formula E” powerplant is?

      Their “pit stop” involves the driver jumping from one car into another.

      Allow road hybrid systems? At prototype speeds?

      Do you have the slightest clue?

  7. Ron

    September 2, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Too little too late.
    Doubt Porsche or Audi would turn their ships around now .
    How would they trust that these lack of visionaries wound not revert back.

  8. Silvia Odete Morani Massad

    September 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

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  9. Juninho

    September 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    ALMS and WEC in 2019

    Rolex 24 at Doytona,USA
    Twelve Hours of Sebring,USA
    24 Hours of Le Mans,FRA
    Motul Petit Le Mans,USA

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