Despite lap times at The Prologue being slower than last year, as well as at least one manufacturer voicing concerns, no performance-related changes have been made to the Balance of Performance in the GTE classes ahead of this weekend’s FIA World Endurance championship season-opener in Silverstone.
All four GTE-Pro manufacturers will take part in the Six Hours of Silverstone in the same specification it ran at Paul Ricard last month, following the release of a BoP update by the FIA Endurance Committee last week.
The document confirmed the refueling restrictor sizes for the cars, with no other changes having been made to either class.
At last month’s Prologue test, Gianmaria Bruni’s GTE-Pro class pace-setting 1:57.808 lap time was some seven-tenths slower than the best time achieved at the test last year, by a GTE-Am class Aston Martin.
Additionally, the quickest GTE-Am car at the recent test was within a half-second of Bruni’s time, despite the 2016-spec GTE-Pro entries — running under a new set of regulations — having been targeted for a slight increase in horsepower.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s George Howard-Chappell was among the outspoken team principals at Paul Ricard, which saw the pair of Ford GTs end the two-day test some 1.3 seconds slower than the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs.
The Ford, like the other WEC GTE-Pro entries, are running to a different BoP table than what IMSA has utilized for its GT Le Mans class in the early season WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races.
“It doesn’t stack up that a racing car running in Europe would need a different BoP than a racing car running in America on fundamentally the same tires,” Howard-Chappell told Sportscar365.
Both the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE and No. 77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR did not set representative times at the Prologue, questioning whether any GTE car, for that matter, was showing its true potential.
Practice for this weekend’s Six Hours of Silverstone kicks off on Friday.