Current generation GTE-Pro cars will be allowed into the GTE-Am class beginning next year, as originally set in the regulations, despite a push from privateer teams to freeze the current rules for an additional year. (En Français)
ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumsenil confirmed to Endurance-Info on Friday that 2016-spec GTE-Pro cars, such as the Ferrari 488 GTE, will compete alongside 2015 or older cars in GTE-Am.
The two platforms will be regulated under a Balance of Performance unique to the class.
The topic of the GTE-Am regulations had been discussed during last month’s FIA Endurance Committee meeting.
“No decision of amending the regulation was communicated, therefore the regulation remain [unchanged],” Beaumensil told Endurance-Info. “So 2016 GTE-Pro cars will be eligible.
“The Endurance Committee will ensure the BoP to maintain competitiveness all generations of cars.”
The ruling effects both the WEC, as well as the European Le Mans Series GTE class and could have significant implications on the car count and diversity of the grids next year.
Porsche stalwarts Proton Competition have threatened to pull out of both the WEC and ELMS if the 2016 GTE-Pro cars would be eligible in GTE-Am next year, while Aston Martin Racing customer Paul Dalla Lana pushed for a change in the regulations as well.
Competitors voiced concerns that the eligibility of 2016-spec cars could force teams to switch to the turbocharged Ferrari, in order to stay competitive.
The 488 GTE is the only all-new car built to the new GTE platform that has been made available to customer teams for next year, with Ford not yet committing to sales of its Ford GT to privateers.
A total of six cars, representing four manufacturers (Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, Aston Martin), currently make up the GTE-Am grid.