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Beaumesnil: LMP1 EoT Can Change “At Any Time”

ACO confirms Equivalence of Technology can be adjusted “at any time”…

Photo: MPS Agency

The Equivalence of Technology in LMP1 can change “at any time” in the wake of revised technical regulations for non-hybrids, according to ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil.

The new-look class made its debut in last weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening Total Six Hours of Spa, which saw a commanding run by Toyota over the best-performing LMP1 privateer team of Rebellion Racing, which finished two laps behind.

While established prior to the start of the 2018-19 ‘Super Season’ and adjusted following last month’s Prologue pre-season test, Beaumesnil indicated the door is open for additional changes, potentially on a regular basis, in order to achieve a closer equivalency.

Previously, only a single EoT change was permitted per season, following the 24 Hours of Le Mans each year.

“The principle is for sure, the EoT we have established at the beginning is the one we think is a good one,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365.

“But if it appears after we make data and performance analysis that it needs to be changed, we can change EoT at any time, of course.

“It has to be, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair.”

Beaumesnil explained they’ve established a target margin of 0.5 seconds per lap at Le Mans between the Toyotas and non-hybrids, with hybrid technology getting the advantage due to being the class reference.

It is calculated by the 20 percent quickest laps from each technology in the race, with the margin extrapolated depending on the circuit’s length.

Toyota’s pace advantage comes in addition to a targeted five-second quicker refueling time and a one-lap longer maximum stint limit at Le Mans, which could mean up to an eight-minute leg up on the competition in next month’s race.

Despite this, Beaumesnil said the performance allowances given to the non-hybrids has been a “gift” to help them close the gap, but not exceed the levels shown by the Toyotas.

“We need to prevent them from overshooting what is the state-of-the-art reference car because they have much less weight, much more fuel and much more aero allowance,” he said.

“You cannot say you will help the private teams to compete with the factory teams and keep all the principles we like. Otherwise we lose control and it becomes a mess.

“I know some people don’t think this, but it gives a real chance to privateers to be in the game.”

Vasselon: “If We Win, It’s Normal”

Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon has admitted that it would be more of a surprise if they lose a race this season, granted the performance and fuel advantages over the non-hybrids.

“If we win it’s normal and if we lose it would be a story,” he said. “At the end, this is the situation and we accept it.

“With the same regulations, we would have much more of an advantage in all areas. We have not stolen anything.”

When asked about the apparent disparity in the EoT prior to the start of Saturday’s race, Vasselon believes it’s still a “work in progress.”

“We have to trust the FIA and ACO as they have all of the data,” he said. “It’s very difficult to be spot-on immediately.”

Jani: “Third is the New First”

Rebellion Racing’s Neel Jani, however, has already conceded to Toyota, admitting it will be a near-impossible task to pull off a victory on sheer pace and efficiency this season under the current regulations.

“There’s this TV show ‘Orange is the New Black’. We say third is the new first!” Jani told Sportscar365 following last weekend’s Total Six Hours of Spa.

The Swiss team’s post-race press release stated that it is “obvious” that the EoT will have to be modified in order for them to “fight and offer a nice show” for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The competition will not be attractive if the advantage of hybrids is not reviewed,” said Rebellion Vice President Calim Bouhadra.

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

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Pay Driver

    May 9, 2018 at 8:35 am

    This class is an abomination. Can’t wait until some OEMs get involved again so Toyota has some actual competition instead of predetermined finishing orders.

  2. Dave

    May 9, 2018 at 8:52 am

    “You cannot say you will help the private teams to compete with the factory teams and keep all the principles we like. Otherwise we lose control and it becomes a mess.” – just what exactly are the principles you like, and what its the “control” you are worried about losing. I’m guessing that the principle is that Hybrid has to be seen as a superior technology to ICE and they want to control who then wins. Fun!

    • AudiTT

      May 9, 2018 at 9:22 am

      From 2020/21, everyone will have a hybrid, everyone under the same regulations. Currently, the privateers are running technically less sophisticated cars, and its down to the organisers how much extra performance they allow them.

      The target is Toyota to have a 0.5 second advantage at Le Mans. That’s next to nothing when laptime difference can be 2-3 seconds between cars in the same team. In reality, at Spa the race advantage was nearer 1 to 1.5 seconds. So we should see the EoT adjusted.

      • TF110

        May 9, 2018 at 11:56 am

        At Le Mans Toyota has less hybrid advantage because of the length of the track. At Spa they had 6mj per lap for 7km but at Le Mans its 8mj per lap for 13+km. I think the long straights will definitely help non hybrids because they get to stretch their legs.

  3. JP

    May 9, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The setup of the LMP1 class is a joke. Just give Toyota all the trophies now and save the trouble of trying to make believe that you are interested in having a real fight for the win! The real BoP equation is: let the privateer get only close enough to crate the illusion of competition. The real race is the guys behind Toyota with real racing powerplants, aero and fuel consumption, none of the hybrid and drive by wire BS. Want eco racing? make a series with Prius race car, they can race against the leaf and the Bolt or that awful contrived Formula E. Lets call it like it is, the manufacturers are trying to spoon-feed us what they want us to buy, but its crap all the same.

  4. Brent

    May 9, 2018 at 10:57 am

    What is the point of the privateers? It’s worthless watching LMP1 with Toyota. I would rather have a bunch of privateers in LMP1 without Toyota because the races will at least be exciting to watch. This is a joke.

    • AudiTT

      May 9, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      The quickest privateer was 1 second away from Toyota on quickest race pace. That’s next to nothing, we’ve seen far bigger gaps in DPI, P2, GTE, GT3 etc. in various races.

      The EoT arguments now are about tenths of a second and fuel mileage. The big gaines (7 seconds per lap) have already been made.

      • Andy Flinn

        May 9, 2018 at 5:01 pm

        “The quickest privateer was 1 second away from Toyota on quickest race pace. That’s next to nothing, we’ve seen far bigger gaps in DPI,….”

        — AudiTT

        What COMPLETE rubbish!

        Toyota was TWO laps ahead of everyone else after 6 hours of racing at Spa.

        Check out all of the prototypes on the same lead lap after 24 and 12 hours of racing at Daytona and Sebring.

        Where do you people dream up this garbage?

  5. Steven

    May 9, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Even though the race was a joke. This was the closest a privateer was to a factory effort in terms of speed since 2006.

    The EoT just needs to be properly adjusted for test day and fine tuned for the race.

    And for those that complain about the ACO doing this. IMSA does the same thing for the DPi, while they have BoP them 4 straight times, the DPi’s are still in a league of their own vs the LMP2’s that are suppose to be the baseline. IMSA has to keep their 4 manufacturers happy because they put all their eggs into the DPi basket and it cannot play second fiddle.

    It’s sad that politics always out-way the spirit of competition.

  6. Andy Flinn

    May 9, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Steven, at Daytona the #54 Core Autosports Oreca LMP2 – in its FIRST race – finished on the podium and on the lead lap after 808 laps and 24 hours of racing.

    At Sebring, Core Autosports and the #32 United Autosports Ligier LMP2 finished fourth and fifth, and again both were on the lead lap after 344 laps and 12 hours of racing.

    Please check the facts before you attempt to peddle nonsense.

    • Steven

      May 9, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Peddle what nonsense? a 12 hour and 24 hour race that had attrition and drivers made mistakes? Core ran a clean race for that podium but were still no where in terms of speed to compete (All Dpi’s ran in the 1m37’s. LMP2 was 1m38’s). Same for Sebring, (Dpi’s ran in the low 1m49’s. LMP2 was in the 1m50’s). If Nissan, Acura, Cadillac, and the Mazdas didn’t have problems during those races, the LMP2 cars would have been no where close to the front.

      LMP2 teams in IMSA face the same problem the privateer LMP1 teams in WEC face and that’s the biased favoritism for its manufacturers.

      • Pay Driver

        May 10, 2018 at 6:39 am

        Privateers set the fastest lap times at Mid-Ohio.

        Also, I don’t see it written into IMSA rules that DPi must have a half second/lap advantage.

  7. Max

    May 9, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Is this an Onion article? What the hell… what a mess. I’m going to skip paying to watch LeMans this year and just watch the highlights. This is unreal.

  8. paul

    May 10, 2018 at 5:43 am

    “You cannot say you will help the private teams to compete with the factory teams and keep all the principles we like. Otherwise we lose control and it becomes a mess.

    “I know some people don’t think this, but it gives a real chance to privateers to be in the game.”

    Beaumesil, you don´t make sense.
    What principles? That you like to know the winner before the race?
    “Lose control” How?!! Of who will win?
    “A mess” How?!! Equal oppotunity is messy?

    The privateers only chance to be “in the Game” is Toyota’s self-destructive habbbits at Le Mans.They have to be faster (nearly a second per lap on average) than the Toyota’s to negate the time difference in pit stops and the bizarre stint limit rule.

  9. CMD

    May 10, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    I told you so! The ACO wants to make sure other Hybrid manufacturers become attracted to the series. If Toyota loses races that are not caused by mechanical or accidents, why would Manufacturers want to put their time and money into WEC on Hybrid Tech?

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