Walliser: New Le Mans BoP Should Be “Tremendously Better”

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser believes the GTE-Pro Balance of Performance for next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans should be “tremendously better” than the controversial BoP that impacted the production-based class last year.

Porsche was one of the most-affected manufacturers in 2016, with the Manthey-run Porsche 911 RSRs, along with other normally aspirated-engined cars, unable to match the pace of the turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTEs and Ford GTs, which claimed a commanding class victory.

While the Le Mans-specific BoP for this year’s race has yet to be released or distributed to manufacturers, Walliser is confident that it will be a significant improvement, with additional measures, and a more scientific approach, put into place.

“I’m confident there is a lot of effort from the FIA and ACO to tremendously improve the process,” he told Sportscar365. “With the exchanging of data, we have a clear schedule of how to make the BoP.

“A lot of things changed in views and analysis of everything. This is tremendously better than last year.”

An unprecedented post-qualifying change, aimed to close the gap between the turbocharged and normally aspirated cars, led to the BoP taking center stage last year, and yet yielding no significant effect in the race.

Ford and Ferrari locked out the top four positions in French endurance classic, with the best-placed non-turbo finishing more than two laps behind.

“Last year was just a decision; it was the wrong one. I think I’m not alone with that one,” Walliser said.

“There [was] no discussion, just a decision and a big fight. Friday afternoon meetings and all the things that happened…

“I’m much more confident that the outcome will be better. But I’ll tell you after the race if everything is right.”

Walliser said the change in procedure and philosophy from the FIA and ACO, with additional data-based analysis, and better an improved working relationship, has made the biggest difference.

Work on the BoP began after last year’s race, through multiple meetings with all involved parties.

“If you feel like you’re treated well and feel like there was a big effort, then I’m sure you will not fail so much, and it’s much more acceptable,” Walliser said.

While the Le Mans-specific BoP is set to be released this month, Walliser said he’s been pleased with the initial results of the new automatic BoP system, which is utilized for all regular-season WEC races.

The first two races at Silverstone and Spa saw a freeze in the baseline BoP, with the first change through the new automated system set to be made prior to the fourth round of the season at the Nürburgring in July.

“If I look at Silverstone, it was a tough race,” Walliser said. “But I did not really have the impression that one or the other car was hiding something. Maybe a car did have a problem on its tires but it was very close and hard-fought. It was good.

“At the moment when you saw the checkered flag, it was clear what would happen to the BoP: nothing. That was good.”

21 Comments

  1. Helmut

    May 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Maybe the Porsche is just crap… turn to a turbo. It’s really funny that they are not willing or able to go with a turbo-charged GT car, considering the long tradition of turbo cars.

    • Matt

      May 15, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      It shouldn’t matter what type of engine they run if theBoP is correct. With the new BoP system, the turbo car’s usual low RPM torque advantage shouldn’t exist.

  2. WBrowning

    May 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

    There is no reason a normally aspirated powered car cannot have a competitive BoP. But, no matter what the ACO do with BoP for Le Mans, somebody will be crying.

    I’m so looking forward to the same old whines from the one race a year, Chevy fans, no matter what the ACO does…NOT!

    • JamieR

      May 16, 2017 at 7:36 am

      I can see the NA cars being quicker at Le Mans this year.Which will be funny for the Fords.

      In IMSA, the Turbo cars have had less consistent pace than the NA machines. I’m thinking Sebring especially, where the Chevy and Porsche were able to catch and pass the Fords and Ferrari’s as the race wore on having been off the pace earlier in the race.

  3. Mike S.

    May 15, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Ugh ban turbos. Sound terrible agreed. Rather hear a Ferrari full song, the Ford sounds like something hideous. Yeah I am whining about the whine. Yeah this will be interesting BoP for LeMans. The Porsche with the engine more forward is already better than last year. But if it rains the whole race they might want the old version back with the weight over the drive wheels for better grip. Ebb and flow. BoP will solve all.. not.

    • WBrowning

      May 15, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I would have much rather seen the 5.2L Voodoo FPC V8 from the GT350 put in the Ford GT. That thing sounds awesome.

      • greg

        May 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

        voodoo wouldn’t fit, ecoboost was chosen to maximize room for all the fancy aero multimatic designed. that motor is practically shrink-wrapped to the bodywork

      • fourloko

        May 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        i’m working on a cad model that has the gt body and 3 engines modeled: 3.5 TT, coyote, and an LS variety..

    • John

      May 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      They should ban them on cost grounds and let them run bigger N/A motors.

    • fourloko

      May 15, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      v6 in the road car sounds good. but then again it goes thru a resonator before it comes out the center and the turbos are mounted really far outboard. not really feasible to do on the race car.

      • Matt

        May 15, 2017 at 8:50 pm

        You can barely hear the road car, I’m just happy the race car is loud, unlike the silent BMW and Ferrari. I don’t think a lack of turbo’s would change the sound much.

  4. Steven

    May 15, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Last year’s race still needs an asterisk. that was an utter travesty that the ACO did on purpose just to have the Ferrari/Ford 50th anniversary battle, while everyone else had to take a back seat.

    • Bert Anernie

      May 16, 2017 at 12:42 am

      And it just so happens the 2 newest cars?…the Astons and the Vettes are dinosaurs…this year the Porsche will be tough to beat, even though they are doing just as Ford did last year. The Porsche and the Ford are not avaiable to other teams and the public. Theyre taking GT-PRO by way of GT1…in otherwords, a spending war…I will bet anything that when Ferrari builds its successor to the 488, and it beats the Fords, it will, as ALL Ferraris are, regardless of series, be gutted of its performance…the MC-12 comes to mind…and IMSA’s purposely keeping Ferrari performance down…look back to last year when they were mathemaically eliminated from title contention, at VIR and to the end of the season, they were magically faster…I know youre probably not going to believe me, but I was told certain things by a certain high profile factory driver…I really wish I could tell you who, but I dont want him getting blackballed or thrown out of the WEC or IMSA…but I swear, its true…

      • WBrowning

        May 16, 2017 at 1:26 am

        The only thing keeping Ferrari from winning are incidents, they have plenty of speed in IMSA. They looked to have pretty good pace in Spa last race too.

      • JamieR

        May 16, 2017 at 7:34 am

        Oh the constant conspiracy theories…

        It will be interesting by 2019, when Ford have probably the oldest car in GTE, if they are happy to come last, seeing as they said themselves the newest cars should be the quickest….

      • Larry

        May 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm

        Sure, it’s true, just like “BOP was designed by Ford”.

        Sheesh.

        And oh, BTW, Porsche is taking orders for the car that’s “not available to other teams”.

        Holy cow.

  5. Bert Anernie

    May 16, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Don’t forget….the new “automatic” BOP algorythmn that sets BOP was designed by Ford..

    • WBrowning

      May 16, 2017 at 1:23 am

      Where the hell did you hear that? It was reported here that it was all of the teams getting together with the FIA, and it doesn’t apply to ACO and Le Mans BoP.

      • Bert Anernie

        May 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

        If you check around….you’ll find that it’s true….I had this confirmed by IMSA’s director of BoP….I have had email correspondence with him. His name is Raymond Scott…Im also friends with the crew chief of a certain team who also knows this to be true. Wether you believe me or not isn’t really my concern….but nonetheless true…

  6. nascarsucks

    May 16, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    All you guys who want bigger NA “motors” should stick to NECKCAR.

    And it’s an engine, not a motor.

  7. fourloko

    May 16, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    just gonna leave excel graph of boost ratios for 24h daytona 2017 between m6 and ford gt
    http://www.imagebam.com/image/a01907548902557

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