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ACO Approves Updates for Ligier, Dallara, Riley LMP2 Cars

ACO approves updates for Ligier, Dallara, Riley LMP2 cars…

Photo: John Dagys

The ACO has approved a series of updates to three of the four LMP2 chassis, in an effort to eliminate the performance gaps currently seen with the new-for-2017 prototypes.

The Ligier JS P217, Dallara P217 and Riley Mk. 30 have all been given additional allowances for 2018, both in its regular-season sprint configuration and Le Mans aero kits, in order to close the gap to the Oreca 07, which has served as the category’s benchmark.

No changes will be permitted to the Oreca as a result.

“The spirit of these adjustments is to guarantee a hotly contested category as well as a level of competitiveness between the constructors and the teams,” a statement from the ACO read.

Details on what adjustments will be permitted by each constructor have not been detailed, although all updates must be provided, free of charge, to existing customers.

It’s unclear if these allowances fall under the one-time “joker” update permitted for each LMP2 constructor in a four-year homologation period, or that a special exception has been made.

Multimatic’s Larry Holt indicated to Sportscar365 last month that the Riley LMP2 car will likely be re-homologated altogether, although not confirmed by the ACO or FIA.

Data from the European Le Mans Series races, as well as 24 Hours of Le Mans, which has seen the most diverse fields of LMP2 machinery this year, were taken into account for the selection of modifications.

The modifications, however, must not give any constructor a “consistent advantage” compared to the benchmark Oreca.

LMP2 Updates Also Required for DPis 

It’s understood any updates made to the LMP2 chassis must also be applied to the DPi variants competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, per IMSA’s agreement with the ACO.

The permitted changes, therefore, will impact the Dallara-chassied Cadillac DPi-V.R, Mazda RT24-P, which is based on the Riley LMP2, plus the Nissan Onroak DPi.

Per IMSA rules, any changes to DPi machinery will result in a re-certification process that could include wind tunnel and/or dyno testing.

Participation in the December test at Daytona, for new or updated cars, would also be required for Balance of Performance purposes.

It’s understood one of the issues IMSA is currently facing is the lack of available wind tunnel time at Windshear in North Carolina, which would be needed not only to re-certify any new or modified DPi but also complete baseline testing for all updated LMP2 models.

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 Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Steven

    October 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

    So Oreca gets punished for building a good chassis? I guess its a good thing to try and even out the class. I feel the DPi rule be stated that they should look nothing like their LMP2 selected chassis. What Nissan, Cadillac, and Acura did should be against the rules of DPi.

    I still feel kinda skeptical though as three of the four chassis’s have won in ELMS. The Riley was junk and needed a serious joker update.

    • MrMuffins

      October 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Oreca’s joker upgrade is still unused so they will get to use it as a reaction to the other chassis.

      • Steven

        October 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm

        From the sounds of it. This is not the Joker upgrade. This is the ACO allowing the other 3 to catch up to the Oreca.

    • Louis

      October 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

      While a agree they didn’t do enough to make the cars look different from their P2 spec counterparts you need to look back at the reasoning behind them. Remember when the ACO was going to allow DPi teams to come race at Le Mans but they had to use the P2 spec bodywork and not the manufacture specific body? Then a couple months down the road they said they wouldn’t allow DPi at all? Before that statement happened (as is proven with what the cars look like now) manufactures were doing little change to the original shape so that any info learned can be translated over.

      Just my thoughts anyway I could very well be wrong.

      • Dan

        October 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        That had nothing to do with why they put so little effort in. GM doesn’t care about le Mans outside of Corvette Racing going, the Nissan effort is not funded by the company but by Ed Brown and Patron, Acura which is just like Nissan is notoriously cheap when it comes to their programs so little effort was to expected. Only Mazda has expressed real desire into going to Le Mans and they hands down did the most to distinguish their version of the Riley from the standard. Though its doubtful whether they would actually make it there. Finally if DPI were allowed to compete it would have to have been in separate category from P2 and P1. The ACO didn’t want a bunch of facotries turning up in class for privateers at Le Mans and blowing them away. DPIs also in their current spec couldnt compete with P1H’s and likely wont be competitive against the incoming P1 privateers if there expected performance numbers are realized. The main reason they put so little effort in was money not a desire or lack of to go to Le Mans.

      • kv

        December 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm

        THE P2 was intended to be a universal formula,and it is living up to that premise 1

  2. el_gordo

    October 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

    “It’s understood any updates made to the LMP2 chassis must also be applied to the DPi variants competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, per IMSA’s agreement with the ACO”
    Nah piss on the ACO, it was also understood these cars would be able to run LeMans with base body work which they reneged on so who cares, no reason to spend money just to spend money

    • Name

      October 14, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      “although all updates must be provided, free of charge, to existing customers.”

      • Dan

        October 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        Some people don’t let facts getting way of bashing the ACO.

        • Andy Flinn

          October 14, 2017 at 3:26 pm

          Dan, the facts speak for themselves.

          Unlike the ELMS, WEC LMP2 has devolved into an Oreca specfest.

          The Ligier, Dallara and Riley/Multimatic upgrades were approved for the few people who still care about WEC LMP2.

          • Andrew

            October 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm

            I RARELY agree with Andy but he has it exactly right. No one wants to run any of the other chassis, especially at Leland. Unlike what everyone seems to think, the whole point of LMP2 was they were to be balanced without having to use BOP.

          • AudiTT

            October 14, 2017 at 8:38 pm

            The WEC teams going all Oreca was as much coincidence as performance related. Most teams already had existing Oreca allegiances, while the three non Oreca teams, RGR, ESM and Strakka didn’t return.

          • Steven

            October 14, 2017 at 9:23 pm

            Andy wants to cry all he wants about the WEC being nothing but Oreca’s. but all those teams ran an Oreca 05 last season. They were not gonna jump ship into a new chassis of Dallara or Riley.

            The Ligier run teams…Morand, and ESM, the Gibson Strakka, and the BR chassis ran by SMP left the WEC and no new Ligier, Dallara, or Riley run teams wanted to take the step up the series and remained either in IMSA or ELMS.

            Can’t cry about it when its an open market and the teams wanted to stay loyal to the brand that have made them successful.

      • el_gordo

        October 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm

        so the new base P2 car is constructed and then Dallara is going going to come pick up the Cadillacs and integrate those changes into the Cadillac design, run new tests for IMSA, run track tests for Action Express and WTR and provide them with new setup data etc?

    • Roh

      October 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Reading is hard from your trailer park and C5 Corvette in the front lawn it seems..

      • el_gordo

        October 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        “trailer park and C5” please stop I’m about to orgasm

  3. daedalus

    October 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    You can not ask 4 constructors to build 4 different cars and expect them to set the same lap times, there will always be differences. Unfortunately 3 of them now have to pick up the tab to make changes. It would be far better and cheaper to simply BOP the class with weight or min/max wing/ride height that will assure that all the cars will be within a tenth of each other. It works for GTE,GT3 and now DPi so why not extend it to lmp2?

    • Matt

      October 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Some people still want the engineering side of racing to be slightly competitive

  4. TF110

    October 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    They were supposed to use the same electronics as the p2’s but didn’t. That’s the aco’s fault too?

    • Andy Flinn

      October 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      TF110, that’s one reason why Rebellion and other World spec LMP2/spec Gibsons failed to win at Daytona and Sebring.

      But what does IMSA know, right TF110?

      • Andy Flinn has absolutely no life

        October 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm

        Do you ever tire of being a troll?

        • Andy Flinn

          October 14, 2017 at 9:52 pm

          “No life” do you EVER have anything relevant to say or are you just an anonymous stalker?

      • Mike D.

        October 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

        > That’s one reason why Rebellion and other World spec LMP2/spec Gibsons failed to win at Daytona and Sebring.

        So you’re blaming IMSA that its teams were intelligent enough to know that the world spec electronics package, out of the box, was garbage?

        It should also be noted that even some of their own changes had an issue. WTR and AXR both experienced electrical issues through the Roar and 24 weekends.

  5. Seth

    October 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    They have to try to balance it, this seems like a fair move.

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