Aston Martin Racing’s Paul Dalla Lana is hoping the introduction of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Super Season’ will lead to the adoption of harmonized technical regulations across the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes.
The GTE-Am class is currently limited to one-year or older cars and utilizes a hybrid set of regulations and Balance of Performance to combine newer 2016-spec machinery and those built to the previous set of regulations.
It includes the use of a legacy BoP system, unlike the FIA and ACO’s new-for-2017 auto BoP, which has been generally well-received among manufacturers.
“My one hope would be that Am can have the same as Pro cars and we just follow that BoP and we can all run the same cars,” Dalla Lana told Sportscar365.
“I think we should be pushing to get as many GTs in the field as we can, and that’s the best way to do it.
“I’ve made myself very clear to the team and to the organizers that I’m a big supporter of things on that basis.”
Under the current regulations and with the introduction of the 18-month ‘Super Season’ calendar, it would prohibit GTE-Am teams from utilizing 2018-spec GTE machinery until the start of the 2019/20 season in October, compared to March or April if the championship remained under a traditional schedule.
It’s understood a number of customers in addition to Dalla Lana, including Beechdean AMR and TF Sport, have expressed interest in Aston Martin’s new Vantage-based GTE car, which will debut in GTE-Pro next year, but per the current rules, not being eligible for GTE-Am until the following season.
Dalla Lana admitted it “wouldn’t be ideal” for him to return with the previous-generation Aston Martin in GTE-Am.
“My sense is that most of the people here are going to be getting new cars or have new cars,” he said.
“It’s not a hard change and we’d rather fight in the new equipment and go head-to-head. That’s my hope.
“But I think the main thing is just making sure there’s a good GTE-Am field with lots of cars. The best way to figure that out is to get people committed sooner than later.”
Daytona/Sebring 2018 Program Possible
Dalla Lana and Aston Martin have not ruled out taking part in next year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring, although the car and class remains a topic of discussion.
“We always like to start the year like that but I’m not sure with the team when the new car’s going to be ready but there’s that consideration as well,” Dalla Lana said.
“I think there will be a lot of testing in the spring of 2018 so we just have to manage it against that.
“It would be nice to come back to Daytona and Sebring, probably in the GT3 car like this year, and then slide into the new car if it works out.”
Aston Martin Racing Team Principal Paul Howarth said they will “consider everything”, particularly now with a large gap before the start of the 2018/19 WEC season at Spa in May.
“There’s opportunities to do anything,” Howarth told Sportscar365. “They’re great races.
“To be honest, we’re very supportive of what we’re trying to achieve in WEC. We normally do Daytona anyway [with Dalla Lana].
“Any manufacturer knows that going to those races, they offer unique track conditions, you’re learning every minute you’re at a track.
“If you’ve been to Le Mans 20 times, you can still learn more. There’s opportunities to learn. What we do, who knows.
“We’ll consider everything.”