Juttner: LMP1 Hybrid is “Overkill” for Costs, Sustainability

Photo: Audi

Joest Racing Managing Director Ralf Juttner believes the FIA and ACO need to rethink the future of LMP1 hybrid racing, admitting it’s “overkill” from a costs perspective, and likely contributed to the withdrawals of both Audi and Porsche over a nine-month period.

Juttner, who ran Audi’s ultra-successful factory prototype program until its exit from the FIA World Endurance Championship last year, said that while it was a rewarding technological challenge, the class, under its current regulations, is not sustainable for the long-term.

“It was fascinating and from the technical point of view and it was great to be able to work with those kind of cars and the performance those cars brought and the competition, which was good racing,” Juttner told Sportscar365.

“[There’s] nothing you can say [bad] about that. But it was definitely an overkill in a way. Financially, the amount of people needed and [to be] involved, that was a big part of the financial thing in my opinion.

“The hardware on those cars, they are not cheap, but it was the amount of engineering input that was needed that made it so expensive.”

With Audi and Porsche reportedly having spent in excess $200 million annually for its LMP1 programs, rivaling Formula One budgets, Juttner indicated that it was just a matter of time until the costs of hybrid racing caught up.

“I think something needed to be done anyway,” he said. “It’s the hard way, first Audi pulling out now Porsche pulling out, it leaves Toyota and what are they going to do? Nobody really knows.

“I think this might probably be the key to what is really happening.

“Do the ACO and FIA try to keep Toyota? Do they stay? Then afterwards, what happens? Is Peugeot coming? I doubt [it]. That’s a big question though.

“If Toyota decides to pull out as well, then it’s a completely new game.

“I think the ACO, the FIA, they have to come up with something and pretty quickly. I know there is no easy answer to that.”

With the potential of no manufacturer-run prototypes competing for overall wins in WEC races next year, many have suggested the integration of IMSA’s DPi formula to LMP1 as an immediate, potentially short-term solution.

However according to Juttner, who is now spearheading Mazda’s DPi team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, it’s not as easy as it looks, particularly with the new-for-2017 LMP2 cars thrown into the mix.

“[DPi] could be a solution, a quick solution, but then again it’s not as easy as it probably seems,” he said.

“The first side, you cannot just say OK, we hope there are so many private LMP1s coming next year but some people dream about eight. I would be surprised if there were three or four.

“But then to take DPis and put them against those LMP1-Ls, then you have to make them quicker than the LMP2s, which you’ve seen how quick those are.

“If you want to get those cars at Le Mans four or five seconds quicker than an LMP2, then I think you are quickly reaching a limit with those cars as well. The engine and stuff,  it will break.

“It’s a tricky thing. I could say, at the minute, I’m happy I’m not sitting in the rule makers’ office. It’s not easy.”

With the WEC at a crossroads on the future of LMP1, Juttner admitted he’s unclear on where it should go next.

“You can blame them for having had their eyes closed for too long, but it was a good thing running,” he said. “They did a good job with the EoT, all of the the diesel and petrol fights, so there was good things as well.

“Probably they have underestimated the amount of costs. And the other thing that is difficult is, I still believe, in the whole WEC construction and Le Mans, Le Mans is so much of an extra in the whole WEC that it’s difficult for the championship in itself.”

With double points awarded to full-season teams, Juttner indicated Le Mans has taken priority and somewhat dilutes the rest of the WEC season.

“The Porsche that won Le Mans [last year], they won the World Championship. That’s difficult,” he said.

“Now [in IMSA], you have the 24 Hours of Daytona. It’s a little bit different, but it’s a highlight. But you have other highlights. You have the Twelve Hours of Sebring, you have Petit Le Mans, and you have the Six Hours of The Glen, and you have another whole bunch of races and tracks.

“For a championship as a whole, this is something where IMSA has a much, much better standing.

“Now, whether they have an easier job and it was by chance or they did a better job from the beginning, I’m not so sure… I was skeptical about the merger to be honest but I’m surprised how well it worked out in all kinds of respects.”

76 Comments

  1. WBrowning

    August 10, 2017 at 9:27 am

    An interesting point of view. I was thinking that they should dump LMP1, adopt the DPi, call them LMP1 in Europe if they want, give them 50 to 100 more horsepower and a little more aero tweaks. Then use the LMP2 cars as the prototype equivalent of the GTE-AM to the DPi/LMP1 cars. Not a huge differential, but enough to ensure the DPi cars win overall.

    • Blaneysellstrashbags@Ring24

      August 10, 2017 at 9:49 am

      That might work in the future but pretty sure no current DPi teams are gonna want to bolt from IMSA and run a full WEC schedule. That would be a possibility in the next few years but current DPi teams and ones coming on board next year will not be interested in WEC except for a possible entry at Le Mans and even Le Mans might be a stretch next year.

    • StueyB83

      August 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

      No way. LMP1 should only be adopted for efforts that design a and build a specific chassis for it – as befits a top formula.

      DPi is by no means a fair representation of what a large scale manufacturer in LMP1 should be. What’s the point of marketing a le mans 24 win when most of the R&D of the car wasn’t originally done by your engineering house or a partner you funded.

      If LMP1-L is top dog next year so be it but don’t cheapen Le Mans with DPi.

      • Parker

        August 10, 2017 at 11:37 am

        Le Mans needs manufacturers and the hospitality spending, sponsorship and interest that they bring. DPi is a good bridge to the next great era in sports car racing. It is certainly better than what we had between Group C and LMP1.

        • Mike D.

          August 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm

          > It is certainly better than what we had between Group C and LMP1.

          World Sports Cars (i.e. Ferrari 333SP, Riley & Scott Mk III, etc.) would like a word about that.

          • PatrickB

            August 10, 2017 at 1:31 pm

            DPi’s are faster than the 333’s and Rileys 3’s and probably 99% of the group C.

            I say trash lmp1 and just have the same setup as IMSA. Lmp2 and DPi together. One prototype class.

        • Helmut

          August 11, 2017 at 11:58 am

          Between Group C and LMP1 there were GT1. No idea what you think about it, but 1998 and 1999 were one of the most interesting LM years in history, and the last time that that many manufacturers were involved.

      • Davy

        August 10, 2017 at 1:13 pm

        LMP1-L is a much bigger embarrassment as a top class than DPi.

        • StueyB83

          August 10, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          Not from an engineering perspective. The top dog formula of sportscar formula should always be a complete design of a fully integrated car – as it has been at le mans since… forever.

          I appreciate DPI being a good platform for IMSA, but if Sportscar Prototype racing wants to go toe-to-toe with F1 in order to win Manufacturer support then it need to be its equal in technical freedom.

          If anything – the withdrawal of Manufacturers in LMP1-H should create more impetus for teams to go to LMP1-L options such as the Ginetta’s, SMP’s and even the Perrin’s for a genuine shot at glory. When properly invested in and pieced together correctly they will outperform LMP2.

          Everyone forgets that Le Mans history has made famous privateer prototype builders such as Matra, Pescarolo, Courage etc.

          • Tyler Sanders

            August 11, 2017 at 8:56 am

            I completely agree.

          • Parker

            August 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

            Aston Martin took a Lola chassis and added some styling cues to the bodywork. That car looked good and sounded great. If more cars like that competed I would be fine with it.

          • GR88

            August 11, 2017 at 11:22 am

            It should be pointed out DPI’s (or a version of them), would be possible under LMP1-L regulations.

            The objection to DPI alone is the restrictive nature for both manufacturers coming into the sport (like Peugeot), and constructors (like Ginetta).

            We want to welcome all. It makes no sense for everyone to be restricted to the four approved LMP2 chassis.

      • The Brad

        August 11, 2017 at 2:59 pm

        Bring back GTP rules set from 1992. Its what we want. You know it.

        Quiet low revving smoker diesel racing… Silent, overly sophisticated Hybrid racing with regular Ctr-Alt-Del resets…… come on now.

    • Davy

      August 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Self righteous Europeans won’t accept their top class being cheap and simple. Todt would rather have Toyota cruising on their own at Le Mans than a cheap DPi winning at Le Mans.

      • NaBUru38

        August 10, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        The FIA is committed for environmental friendly technology. That’s why they founded Formula E, and they have widely exceeded my expectations.

        So is the ACO. But if there’s no hybrid entries, anything is useless.

      • NAKA

        August 10, 2017 at 3:58 pm

        DPI isn’t “cheap and simple”.

        Those manufacturers will be spending tens of millions of dollars,with budgets increasing in proportion to the competition. Neither is their any incentive to make cars available to customers.

        Le Mans will always allow manufacturers and constructors to build their own cars from the ground up. Its in the races DNA.

      • CD

        August 11, 2017 at 8:47 am

        Davy, spoken like a true American southerner. Europeans are much more sophisticated. Cars, clothing, jewelry/watches etc etc…. Go to a Nascrap race and to an F1 Race. No contest in the fan quality. Avoid the “cheap” European tag please.

        • CD

          August 11, 2017 at 8:49 am

          Davy my apologies as I misread your email. Spoken like a true progressive northerner.

    • joe trask

      August 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Would it be so awful if the top prototype class didn’t win overall? After all, Le Mans is called the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency”. A production-car victory, even heavily modified as they are, would be a public-relations coup for a road-car manufacturer. And great fodder for fan discussion..

      • StueyB83

        August 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm

        Just like 95′ and the legacy that created

      • GR88

        August 11, 2017 at 11:26 am

        It wouldn’t.

        But back then GT1 had the same basic power-to-weight ratio of the LMP900/LMP1’s of the day. Today a GTE has similar performance to LMP3.

        The performance jump to LMP2 is very large, so you’d likely need all new GT cars, which destroys what makes GTE successful.

  2. The elephant in the cloud of TDI exhaust

    August 10, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Any chance the fraud that was committed by VAG on millions of customers who purchased “clean diesel” cars and the billions in fines might have played a part in this?

    If you are going to blame the cost of racing then at least be honest about why the suits are short of cash.

    • VW is the problem

      August 10, 2017 at 10:06 am

      In agreement there. Who is Juttner to slam the cost of LMP1 when the VW scandal is the reason why Audi and Porsche made an exit.

      • screwtheepa

        August 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

        VW thumbed their noses at the EPA and the rest of the idiotic greenies.

        It’s not a scandal. They gave their customers cars that got great mileage and most of the people that I know that have VW diesels don’t want to turn them in.

        The rest of it is liberal nonsense

        • Parker

          August 10, 2017 at 11:38 am

          Agree!

        • Bakkster

          August 10, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          I didn’t realize being against smog was a liberal thing. It’s not like this is about global warming.

          Don’t we all like to breathe?

        • Bob

          August 10, 2017 at 2:14 pm

          Sounds much more like conservative nonesense.

          • WBrowning

            August 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm

            There is a limit to “CLEAN” that should not include the plant food CO2 that all of you are exhaling. The green or de-growth movement wants to go back to pre-hydrocarbon powered life, completely.

          • Bakkster

            August 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm

            @WBrowning: Dieselgate wasn’t about CO2, it was about NOx. NOx directly causes smog, and the regulations around it is why cities like LA don’t look like Shanghai.

            Ironically, VW got the mileage (and low CO2 regs) they did because they output more NOx than allowed.

      • Bakkster

        August 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        I think it’s equally an issue of why Toyota (and briefly Nissan) is the only non-VAG OEM to commit to a P1 program. Audi and Porsche left because of Dieselgate, but why weren’t there other OEMs who had joined previously?

      • Rohan

        August 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        I agree VW was the biggest problem, they got their asses kicked and now cry fowl about the cost.

  3. Anonymous

    August 10, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Finally someone talking sense!!

    Not that the FIA or the ACO will listen!! They’ll back these new regs to the death! Of the LMP1 Class!

    I can’t understand why they won’t make the drastic changes that are needed. Is it purely based on their own Ego’s? Or how much money they’ll Lose? I know which one my money is on!

    • NAKA

      August 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Which new regs are you talking about?

      There are regs for manufacturers and privateers.

      There are at least three major privateer programs in the works. Dallara/SMP and Ginetta will both be testing by October. The revised regs are clearly popular given the constructor and team interest. We are now just in a holding pattern waiting for deals to be done. This time last year there was plenty fretting about LMP2….but by the time the season started almost 30 cars had been sold. Its entirely reasonable to expect 6-8 privateer cars on next years grid. The business and competition case went up tenfold when Porsche announced their withdrawal.

      We aren’t going to get a running commentary. No doubt the ACO already have their preliminary plans for 2018 and beyond, but the first we’ll hear of them will be in Mexico in little under a month.

      • Anonymous

        August 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        The new LMP1-H regs

        As far as I’m concerned these have killed the Manufacturer involvement! Toyota will be out at the end of next season!

        Privateers always step-up when the works teams though their toys out of the playpen!

        • GR88

          August 11, 2017 at 11:33 am

          The regs are basically written by the manufacturers, including Porsche, Audi, Toyota and Peugeot.

          I’m sure there’ll be changes more in line with Toyota and Peugeot budget requirements. But lets be under no illusions, Audi and Porsche pushed the tech and spending war. So its disingenuous to complain when we all know they left in the face of diesalgate.

  4. jason

    August 10, 2017 at 10:35 am

    IMSA has a whole is a stronger series than WEC now that the LMP1 cars are falling off. It has more of a history of course. The exception is that WEC has the 24 hours of Le Mans.

    • Helmut

      August 11, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Exactly. That’s why the WEC has not become successful. There’s the 24 h of Le Mans, and some more races no one really cares about. In contrast, IMSA has Rolex 24, 12 h of Sebring, The Glen, Petit Le Mans…

  5. daedalus

    August 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    if toyota quits then LMP1-P will survive just fine IMHO. Remember there are allot of former LMP2 manufactures that were left out in the cold when lmp2 was restricted to only 4. Even the current LMP2 manufactures could also make lmp1-L cars. With a free choice of engines it gives small manufactures like aston martin or jaguar a chance to have their engine and name on the car and go for overall wins at lemans even if the teams are run by privateers (just like DPI!).

    It might take a year or two for grids to fill but the opportunity to win a world championship and lemans outright will be a big draw for many constructors and teams.

  6. RSBro

    August 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

    DPi isn’t needed, we already have P2. I understand WHY they went to a ‘spec’ P2 class, but really it’s not anyone’s fault that only the ORECA is being run this year bc the chassis is really that much better than the Ligier, Riley, and whatever other one that’s approved. They really need to focus on P1L and how to draw in those bigger privateer teams or simplify the hybrid tech so manufacturers stay involved, if that’s what they want. I honestly don’t care, as the GTE-Pro and P2 classes are why I watch. Such great battles this year, especially at LM24.

  7. David Chaste

    August 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    So he thought the merger wouldnt quite workout. Probably because he was in the wec and bathing in Audi’s corrupt cash and was out of tune with the dynamics of the real world.

    The largest market for all car makes in the wec is the U.S

    Nearly all the top pan-european or global racing series have a U.S counterpart.

    The Wec would fail before Imsa does. History supports that theory.

    Don Panoz started the LMS (ELMS) after starting the ALMS. The ALMS also helped the ILMC (wec) get started by featuring it in 2 races.

    Even all that audi cash came from….U.S customers.

    • AF

      August 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      ‘The largest market for all car makes in the wec is the U.S’ – Care to substanciate that statement? Total poppycock. The WEC spends more time in Asia than in North America for a reason.

      • Facts are good, and easy to find

        August 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm

        REALLY???? First, China (15M) gets dropped after you take out their internal only cars, and the fact that almost every international company sells and has trademark lawsuits going in China. That leaves Japan (3M), usually estimated to be 3-4 but well behind the number 2 (USA 13M), Brazil (3M) (sorry interlagos), Germany (3M) (well at least they get one for now), India (3M) (sorry terrible Indian track) all combined to equal what the US market is. And the high end car market is even more skewed to the US market. So where is your data to support the WEC spending more time int SE Asia again?? That’s numbers and estimates from Asia-Pacific news for 2014 for cash.

        For registrations China runs around 22M, USA 18M, EU-28 13M, Japan 4M. So again, are all those registrations in China international brands and thus manufacturers interested in the WEC??

        Ferrari as an example, 30% is US, 30% is EU, 8% is China, 6% is Japan of their sales for 2016. Porsche is about evenly split across the regions with around a third of their sales in each of the NA, EU, and Asian markets, although Asia does include the Middle East in their estimates.

    • NAKA

      August 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      The US is a huge market with race programs largely funded by domestic manufacturers and importers.

      The likes of the WEC serve a far bigger, worldwide, market. It’s silly when people say XYZ DPI manufacturer (of the class was adopted), would race in the WEC. Its far more likely Toyota, Nissan, Porsche, Aston Martin, BMW, Peugeot, Renault/Alpine and such would build their own DPI’s specifically for the WEC.

      Even something like the latest Penske Acura DPI program isn’t well suited to WEC. For starters they’d run as Honda in WEc, secondly they’d very likely have a European team running things, with the budget coming from Europe/Japan.

  8. AMGMerc

    August 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    You people are some of the most delusional I’ve ever seen, so you’d rather see 3-4( which is a pipe dream in my opinion) LMP-1L cars, insert ByKolles here, which is marginally quicker at best than the current LMP 2 car. Than as some have suggested DPi, which is basically LMP-2 Machinery with manufacturer supported engines, ie: aston martin, jaguar as somebody suggested?!?!?! what’s the difference, in this and DPi again???? Oh that’s right the ACO’s reputation, those darn egotistical French!!!!!

    Face it IMSA has the platform, the manufacturers, and right now the best racing, the ACO needs to swallow it’s pride, admit it made a HUGE mistake, and join the party. LMP-2 alone will not sustain the prototype class. It’s great racing, but not top flight manufacturer supported racing like DPi.

    • NAKA

      August 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Its delusional to think DPI manufacturers, who built their cars for US competition (and currently only two of the four are on track), would fill the WEC’s top class. Neither can you rely on privateers as the DPI’s aren’t available to customers. If you want P2 to compete, that destabilizes the Pro/Am structure.

      If P1-H factories have inhibited privateers from moving to P1-L, its only logical to think a manufacturer withdrawal opens up opportunities for said teams. You don’t have to look too far into your crystal ball to see the huge potential for P1-L entries next year. Budgets are higher than P2, but the opportunity to win Le Mans and a World Championship overall, not to mention all pro lineups (funded pro drivers), must be enticing for quite a number of teams.

      I’d be shocked if we didn’t have six or more privateer P1 cars on the grid. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we are hitting double figures by Le Mans.

      • Helmut

        August 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        12 privateer P1 cars at Le Mans? Made my day 😀

        • The Brad

          August 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

          6 more privateer P1’s. LOLcopter. I’d be shocked if Toyota didn’t quit and the class folds by Christmas.

  9. Bakkster

    August 10, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    We still have to wait until Silverstone next year to know whether Juttner’s prediction of 3-4 P1 Privateers is correct, or it the number will be higher (possibly significantly).

    • LMP1 is Toyota alone in 2018

      August 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      I’ll eat last years Kolles car if there are significantly more cars next year than 3-4. There’s ZERO chance of that, Kolles can’t make their car work at all, and the rest don’t even have a car yet. How are they going to sell cars to teams when they can’t even see a car yet? Drivers need to be lined up, cash needs to be mustered and NONE of that can happen until there’s a chassis. And none of these teams have done more than a wind tunnel car.

      • Bakkster

        August 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

        Says the guy using a burner name.

        If you’re going to make a statement like that, at least have the decency to put your name (even a known screenname) to it.

      • NAKA

        August 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm

        The teams aren’t building the cars, they’re customers.

        Constructors are putting together cars as we speak, with Dallara/SMP and Ginetta rollouts in October.

        Teams will sign a cheque and pick up a car, just as we see in P2 and P3. There doesn’t need to be significantly more than 3-4 privateer cars. 6-8 seems entirely plausible, with the class becoming more attractive as we move forward.

        The only hickup on the horizon could be an influx of new manufacturers, so we win either way.

  10. Louis

    August 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I personally used to think that the ACO was the greatest thing in sportscar racing, along with Don Panoz they did amazing things and really did turn endurance racing around from the dark ages of it. I remember in the early 2000’s that i would wish for a world championship. Well i got my wish but ever since that wish came true, the ACO has become incredably arrogant from my view point. And from what i have seen in my life time thougg life experiences etc. Their arrogance will be their downfall. 4 years ago i would have told you IMSA is wrong and the ACO is right… Now the poles have changed.

  11. N8

    August 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    They’d be crazy not to embrace the concept of DPi in that you can start with the global tub, bring your own engine and bodywork. That eases the barrier to entry significantly. Agree with Juttner that a P1 version is going to need a more stout engine package than most IMSA DPi’s have though. And will they still be fuel restricted?

    • Steven

      August 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Problem is that only 1 of the 4 DPi’s actually looks different from their counterpart. Nissan and Acura put a bra on the front of the car and called it a day and Cadillac just changed the headlights and sharpened the lines of the Dallara.

      There was zero creativity from those 3 manufacturers that was promised when this classed was brought out. Mazda was the only one that actually changed the entire body of their Riley.

    • Thomas

      August 11, 2017 at 1:33 am

      Heres a tip…LMP2 and LMP1 chassis rules are the same. You could turn a P2 into a P1-L right now if yiu so desired

  12. John

    August 10, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    The badmouthing that comes with the recent changes is getting tiresome, from both participants and fans alike.

    Audi and Porsche were happy to go along with the rules, and spend like crazy to win…until they couldn’t afford to any more. It’s not like they didn’t have a direct connection to the ACO and couldn’t voice their concerns then, and there. But did they? Their reaction was to cut and run.

    And I think most saw the P1-HYs were pretty damned awesome, arguably the most advanced race cars in the world (even more so than F1). But, when you have the smaller field like in this year’s 24, and non-technical incidents knock out a higher share of the contenders…HYs are too complex and too expensive! I’ve found [deity] and now see this to be the truth! I told you all so!

    Personally, as long as they still hold the 24, I couldn’t give too feces about the WEC, which was always about the FIA getting a piece of the action anyway. The ACO is many things, but the race didn’t survive this long because they were complete idiots.

    In time, Audi and Porsche will come crawling back. Because they have few other such venues to market their wares in such a fashion, and suit whatever their needs are at the moment. The young, short-attention-span millennial greenies FE is trying to attract won’t be able to afford their cars in the numbers they think, and that’s on top of the fact that most buyers don’t care about motorsports anyway.

    Then, history will repeat itself.

    • Thomas

      August 11, 2017 at 1:34 am

      Except Juttner isnt a manufacturer representative. He was subcontracted to run the origramme

      • John

        August 11, 2017 at 4:46 pm

        Joest was happy to accept, spend and benefit from Audi’s DM.

        That makes them an accessory, not merely a witness.

        Now, they’re ready to do the same with Mazda’s Yen, so of course everything is fresh, new and fragrant in IMSA. We’ll see how long that lasts.

        Mind you, I agree with much of what he says, but it’s still tiresome to hear all this piling on by those who were in on the game.

        But I guess recognizing you have a problem is the first step to recovery. The ACO is still struggling with that one.

    • Lex

      August 12, 2017 at 4:41 am

      Yes..!!!!!! It was LMP1 – H that to me made people start taking the idea of hybrid race cars actually serious. The cars went from 600 bhp to 1300bhp(The 2015 Porsche was that powerful). They went from 1990 lbs to 1870lbs, while F1 got 117kgs heavier. F1 ERS was and still is to me a gimmick. In P1 coming off corners and braking they even sounded awesome.

  13. Nosense

    August 10, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Time to bring GTLM cars into the frame…
    Let them run unrestricted, and fight for overall Victories against a slowed down LMP2 field…
    WEC will stay as a World Championship if GT manufacturers can score points in the top class.

    • Thomas

      August 11, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Time to lose the entire GT Class then. Youd kill it after 1 or maybe 2 seasons

  14. JG

    August 10, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I’d rather see a series that uses the old group C/3.5 liter cars but with manufacturer backing. Current tech tires alone on a TS010, C-11 or 905 would drop lap times below The best LMP1-H. They sound far better, look much better and could easily be faster with very little modifications while still sticking by the rules.

  15. 624endurance

    August 10, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I understand the ACO’s postion of desiring to continue the tradition of Le Mans being a proving ground for new automotive technology. That’s why the race was started. I understand how manufacturers don’t want to spend crazy amounts of money. I think it would be interesting to see something like DPi but with a hybrid twist. Have chassis developers like DPi but instead of factory race petrol powerplants dropped in, have hybrid powertrains developped by the manufacturers. Then, like DPi, the chassis company and manufacturer work together on aero and styling. Hopefully, that would cut costs and atract more manufacters like DPi did. Say what you want, but having Cadillac, Nissan, Mazda, and Acura fully committed to 2018 in IMSA looks good. Throw in LMP2 still looking legit fighting for podium positions and you have recipe for exciting racing, more exciting than some of what has come from ELMS and WEC recently (Le Mans aside).

    Of course, the problem would still be outpacing LMP2 cars with less money spent on hybrid, but that could be accomplished with rules, BOP or simply not worrying about it so much and having a seperate H class completely. In my opinion, the headlines would be great to see if the Hybrid weren’t always dominant, but there was a fight between the best of the old tech like a proven petrol race engine verses the best of the newer tech a hybrid powerplant. Then let DPi into Le Mans to see these type of battles. “Will the huge displacement Caddy be able to beat the hybrid Toyota?” That sort of battle would be cool.

    This still might be too expensive so who knows. And many European race promoters, media and fans don’t like DPis just because they are DPis. Graham Goodwin, I’m talking about you.

  16. Axl Rose ate my Buick

    August 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Just took a look at comments area to see all the amaricans saying that DPi is the best thing ever.

    Not disapointed.

  17. Grand Am Sucked

    August 11, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Sports car racing has always gone through major changes!! It will survive. But you need manufacturer involvement in your top class. There will always be a sort of sophisticated expectation for your top class. And it should be. This isn’t Nascrap or Grand Am. Some of us want to see sophisticated highly tech machines and manufacturers competing against each other on the track. That “anti-earth”, anti- green or “let’s poison the earth” philosophy is just what it is.Pure inbred ignorance! Let the FIA, ACO and the Manufacturers decide the future of the top class in Prototype Racing.

  18. Greg

    August 11, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Racing is racing, whether it’s lmp1, dpi, gr8 it does not matter. They need to focus on getting full grids to put people in the stands. A Toyota victory next year with one lmp1h would be an embarrassment. When I visit cota next month I can only image what the other 200 fans think. Fill the grid first fill the stands second the worry about the other bs.

  19. Beaumesnil

    August 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    People keep their political apocalyptic view, but they dont know how many brands are full interested in our 2020 regulations. Get ready for a 20 plus P1L grid, 7 factory teams and 13 races per year, you losers. We will have so many prototypes that Gts will just be scrapped.

    Next step then, hybrid p2s and all electric P1s!

    Wait and see, rednecks!

    • Trevor

      August 13, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Seriously made me LOL! The ACO and FIA are so consumed with their LMP1-H circle-jerk that they’ve failed to see that it’s escalating costs make it unattractive to manufacturers. Yes, privateers want to win Le Mans for personal glory and ego, but there are a limited number of teams and individuals with the financial resources AND passion/ego to field a LMP1-L team. There has to be a business case for manufacturers to get involved with a factory team. When the costs become astronomical, as they have under the current LMP1 regs, manufacturers move to series or classes where their return on investment is better (Porsche to GTs, Audi to IMSA(?)).

  20. kmart

    August 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    the door is wide open for IMSA to become a World Series player, if the Guys on the NASCAR side of thinks don’t jack-it-up.

    • Grand Am Fan

      August 11, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      It would be cool if the Rolex 24 was divided into 8-12 stages. Then, for the last hour, all of the stage winners are reset to be on the lead lap and restart in order with the team that has the most stage wins starting first and next most 2nd and so on.

      • Grand Am Sucked

        August 11, 2017 at 8:17 pm

        Nope that is some Nascrap stuff. Let’s just fill the grids first.

  21. The Brad

    August 11, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    In 2018 the limit on number of P2 chassis constructors gets eliminated. Audi, Porsche and Toyota build their own DPi cars fielding 3 cars each and LMP1 folds. You watch!

  22. Lex

    August 12, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Bring the DPi formula to WEC, but allow them to run a hybrid system on it. And then have Magnetti Morelli or someone build a customer ERS system to compete with the in house stuff. Force manufacturers to use and modify their GT3 motors if they run in GT3 for efficiency to work with the ERS. In terms of body kits allowance I’d say allow a high, low and medium down force kits.

  23. Lex

    August 12, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Another thing I don’t think people have pointed out that the FIA and aCO haven’t learned anything since the Group C days. And that constant changing of regulations year to year is what drives up costs every season and that how we got to this point AGAIN!!!!!!! If the 2014 regs had stayed consistent while addressing safety and not all those car changes that required significant R&D.

  24. Trevor

    August 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

    The switch to DPi makes so much sense, so it’s obvious FIA and the ACO won’t do it.
    And everyone barking that manufacturers would be reluctant to run European based teams in addition to NA teams need look no further than GTLM/GTE. Ford, Porsche and AM have been quite happy to do so. The only thing keeping DPi from working worldwide is the ACO’s substantial and unmerited ego.

    • KW

      August 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Yes, the DPi/LMP2 IMSA series is working very well in ths US, where it still doesn’t matter if you waste a lot of gazoline and build highly ineffective cars and drivetrains. But would this principle work in a World Championship and at Le Mans? I don’t think so – I wouldn’t like to see an FIA World Championship reduced to a cost-capped simple-technology racing series. The World Championship has to stick on the principle of rewarding the engineering with the best energy-efficiency. My suggestion would be to take the successful DPi PRINCIPLE (cost-capped chassis, OEM-dependent drivetrains) and put it into regulations with hybrid and/or fuel cell drivetrains that are not completely “free” (and thus expensive) like the current LMP1 regulations, but are based on unified hybrid and fuel cell components.
      FIA and ACO have to survive the next two years with regulations similar to the existing ones, but afterwards they have to delete completely what they have defined for 2020 ff. and start the “energy-effectiveness competition” all over again, on an affordable basis. (Anybody here wondering why Formula E is so successful against all odds?)

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