The FIA Endurance Commission has released the provisional sporting regulations for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, featuring a number of revisions to the globe-trotting sports car series for next year.
Among the changes already approved by the World Motor Sport Council include:
***Revised qualifying format. As first revealed by Sportscar365, only one timed lap (instead of the previous two laps) from two drivers will count towards the aggregate qualifying time. Additionally, a Silver/Bronze-rated driver (LMP2) and one Bronze-rated driver (GTE-Am) must be one of the qualifying drivers. The sessions will be reduced from 25 to 20 minutes in length, pending WMSC approval.
***New tire restriction rules will come into effect, with LMP1 cars limited to a maximum of six sets per six-hour race (eight for Bahrain and Shanghai), and four sets for Free Practice. LMP2 will remain at four sets per race and three in practice, with GTE-Pro/Am set to utilize six sets in each race and four sets during practice.
***Additionally, tire manufacturers no longer have the right to refuse supply to teams. Each brand must be prepared to supply up to 50 percent of the class its entered, if two tire manufacturers are present, or 30 percent of the class, if three tire brands are represented.
***Single LMP1 class. As Sportscar365 revealed, LMP1-H and LMP1-L will be known as LMP1 hybrid and non-hybrid, respectively, under a single classification (subject to WMSC approval). The FIA Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams will be awarded to the highest placed LMP1 team not using hybrid technology.
***Entry fees have increased in price, with a full-season entry jumping from 104,000 Euros ($127,000) to 120,000 Euros ($146,000) and race race-to-race entries increasing from 20,000 Euros ($24,000) to 25,000 Euros ($30,000).
Additional changes, subject to approval by the WMSC during its next meeting on March 20 include:
***Drive time adjustments. LMP1 and GTE-Pro drivers must complete a minimum of 40 minutes and not drive more than 4 hours and 30 minutes in a six-hour race. The same minimum drive time rules for LMP2 (1 hour 15 minutes) and GTE-Am (1 hour 45 minutes) still apply.
***LMP1 engine restrictions. Each car will be limited to five engines for the entire season, with new manufacturers to the class allowed seven for the year. Official tests are not included.
***Driver weight rules. Driver ballast will be added to cars if the average declared weight of each lineup of drivers is under 80kg (176 pounds). The measured weight includes driver with helmet, firesuit and related safety devices.
***New testing rules. LMP1 teams will be restricted on the number of test days, both private and public, with new manufacturers to the class being given larger allowances. Heavier restrictions are in place for the other classes, with LMP2 cars only allowed five closed private testing days per year and GTE-Pro/Am restricted to ten days.
***Rookie test. As reported by Sportscar365, LMP1 manufacturers will be required to take part in a rookie test to give up-and-coming prototype drivers a chance to sample factory machinery. The date of the mandatory test has yet to be confirmed but is likely to be following the season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain in November.
***LMP1 personnel restrictions. Beginning after the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a maximum of 65 “operational” people will be allowed for a two-car team, with a total of 90 crew permitted for a three-car organization.