ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil has admitted that IMSA’s DPi cars could be easily made eligible for LMP1 Privateer competition, although dismissing rumors the FIA and ACO could eventually adopt the entire platform. (En Français)
Beaumesnil, who along with ACO President Pierre Fillon and FIA World Endurance Championship boss Gerard Neveu attended last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, said DPis, such as the Cadillac DPi-V.R, could be adapted to LMP1 non-hybrid regulations.
“Today, the Cadillac is a Dallara P217 equipped with a General Motors engine. I don’t think there is a mountain to climb to come in LMP1 non-hybrid,” Beaumesnil told Endurance-Info.
“Seeing a Dallara chassis equipped with a Cadillac engine is not insurmountable if the car is entered by a privateer team.”
It’s understood the changes required would involve adapting to the ACO fuel-flow meters and electronics, as well as an increase in power, which could be achievable for engines such as the purpose-built 6.2-liter Cadillac V8.
While none of the existing IMSA DPi teams have expressed interest in competing in 24 Hours of Le Mans, except for the factory Mazda squad, Beaumesnil said he now sees a strong future for the LMP1 Privateer subclass.
SMP Racing will debut its new Dallara-built BR1 prototype next year, alongside multiple expected Ginetta LMP1 entries, as well as the possibility for additional constructors in the years to come.
“The LMP1 non-hybrid class is really starting to get going, and I’m very pleased,” Beaumesnil said.
“It is necessary to be able to [elevate] the cars into the immediate vicinity of the LMP1 hybrids for a budget from a privateer team.
“The teams understand the value of LMP1 non-hybrid. The real return will take place in 2018/2019 with new cars and new engines.”
As for the rumored adoption of DPi regulations into the WEC as its own class, Beaumesnil said it’s currently not on the cards, despite some uncertainty over the long-term health of LMP1 factory involvement.
“We do not pursue the same goals even if the desire to have a common prototype was there,” he said. “The [situation in the U.S.] is different from that of Europe. But I’m glad that the category has started in the U.S.”