New incentives, including technical waivers and further testing and wind tunnel allocations, are set to be granted to new LMP1 Hybrid entrants in the FIA World Endurance Championship, in an effort to attract additional manufacturers to the top prototype class following Audi’s exit.
The “new entrant sporting adaptations” have been detailed in the 2017 WEC Sporting Regulations, which was released on Friday.
It confirms that a new manufacturer, under specific conditions, would be permitted technical waivers over the course of its first two seasons in the championship.
New LMP1 manufacturers would be given additional fuel allocations to reach 98 percent of the best-in-class performance from an existing team’s internal combustion engine, which will be calculated based on performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from the previous year.
Additionally, new teams would not be restricted on the number of engines used over the course of the season, and will be allowed one change of hybrid subclass, and no limitations on the number of bodywork in the first year as well.
The confirmed reduction from six to four sets of tires to be used in qualifying and six-hour races will also not apply, with new entrants also barred from any private testing limitations, as well as being given a 50 percent increase in permitted wind tunnel time.
The manufacturer’s second year is also be subject to technical waivers, but at the discretion of the FIA Endurance Commission. It could include the allocation of one additional engine for the season and a permitted mid-season change of ERS systems.
Per the sporting regulations, manufacturers that have not participated in the WEC in the last five years, or benefited from any data received from those manufacturers, would be eligible for these incentives.
The changes come in the wake of Audi’s exit from top-level prototype racing, leaving only Porsche and Toyota as registered LMP1 Manufacturers next year.
A handful of manufacturers, including Peugeot, have been linked to possible future LMP1 programs, but all have cited budget issues as being the major roadblock for entry.
The FIA and ACO’s plan is set to be validated during the next World Motor Sport Council meeting in March.