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New LMP1 Manufacturers to Receive Technical Waivers, Incentives

FIA, ACO reveal plans to help attract new LMP1 manufacturers…

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

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.

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. Mike W.

    December 17, 2016 at 9:33 am

    The current formula is way to expensive considering the economy.

    • Timothy

      December 17, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Money wins. Takes the seat of the pants hard charging fun out of racing

  2. SE30ASport

    December 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

    “No limitations on the number of bodywork” I’m guessing is in reference to the areo package cap? That would seem to be a real game changer, in my opinion. Pros and cons to it I’m sure and it’s not too much a stretch to fathom someone with their act together could otentially exploit this, but it seems to be a great potential benefit if you come on board with a new program and chances are the aero is going to need some more development when compared to the establishments.

  3. someone

    December 17, 2016 at 10:17 am

    “please come race with us, please…. guys??? Please”

    • 37

      December 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

      That’s basically what they’re saying…

      • someone

        December 17, 2016 at 10:55 pm

        That’s the joke.

  4. Morningview66

    December 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, they need to save the class.
    It’s a change from their usual attitude.

    The problem with LMP1 is it’s by far the best class of racing on the plant in terms of car technology and racing potentially, it’s just prohibitively expensive and relies on manufacturers in a way other series don’t.

  5. Matt

    December 17, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Does anyone know how expensive group c was? I assume it was cheaper than these they should go back to the manual gearbox

    • Matt

      December 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Group C was cheap relative to this, the majority of the grids were customer cars.

  6. av

    December 17, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Wow matt. Back to manual gearbox. Should we go back to radial tires? Let’s go back to tube frames. I will say this. Dr. Panoz, the alms and audi put Le mans back into stardom, and when the racing became strong in Europe again the ACO stoped going to Sebring as soon as they could. And although I just read the news and i am not an insider i never saw the ACO helping the alms when it needed help. Now they are looking for participantns. There ain’t going to be alms this time. Am I trolling?

    • Frank

      December 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Hi Av, you’ll probably find the majority of cars are using radial ply tyres and what you actually means is cross ply tyres.

  7. Mike S.

    December 18, 2016 at 2:20 am

    Desperation is a stinky cologne.

  8. John

    December 18, 2016 at 5:19 am

    So now that we know what Peugeot’s terms are for their return, the question is whether they can find the money?

    😉

  9. AMGMerc

    December 18, 2016 at 8:39 am

    In my personal opinion (and that only) This class is not gonna survive with just Porsche, and Toyota. They must find at least 1 and hopefully 2 more manufacturers to compete. Personally I would have liked to see Jaguar, come back to LMP1 instead of FE, but obviously it’s cheaper to do an FE program than LMP1, which is why the manufacturer’s are going there instead. Unless they can bag a big fish, like BMW, Ferrari, or Mercedes, I see this class disappearing in a few years. Especially with the advent of FE, now to showcase the electric capabilities. It makes economic sense to do that instead of LMP1. I hope for Peugeot’s return, but just don’t see it happening, unless cost’s are capped, or a big sponsor steps up to foot the bill. Much cheaper to do the GTE, which is why that class is growing by leaps and bounds, and fans can relate to the cars more to what they drive.

  10. Jag Orlando

    December 18, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Want to make a little money racing? Start with a lot!

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