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Hayden: LMP1 Disparity “Not What the Fans Want to See”

Rebellion’s Bart Hayden hopeful WEC can close gap between Toyota and non-hybrid LMP1s…

Photo: MPS Agency

Rebellion Racing team manager Bart Hayden has suggested that Toyota will continue to run away with races in the FIA World Endurance Championship if further Equivalence of Technology changes are not implemented.

Both Toyota TS050 Hybrids finished four laps ahead of the two Rebellion R13 Gibsons in the Six Hours of Silverstone but were subsequently excluded for failing separate skid block deflection tests.

While it handed victory to Rebellion’s No. 3 crew of Gustavo Menezes, Thomas Laurent and Mathias Beche, neither the Swiss team nor the other LMP1 non-hybrids were able to match the Japanese manufacturer on sheer pace.

When asked if the upcoming races at Fuji and Shanghai would run a similar course to Silverstone, Hayden said, “probably.”

“It’s not what the fans want and it’s not what many people want. I don’t know how you fix it though,” he told Sportscar365.

“I think we need to wait for the ACO or the FIA to look at it and see what they can do.

“There’s one adjustment they can make which is to do away with this refueling difference in the pit lane, but that wouldn’t necessarily close things up completely. We’ll have to see.”

The adjustment Hayden refers to is tweaking the different refueling restrictor sizes used by Toyota and the non-hybrid LMP1 teams.

At Silverstone, the No. 8 Toyota gained 45 seconds on the eventual race-winning Rebellion in the pits in total, equating to three seconds per stop on average.

The main change before the race was that all non-hybrids were given a higher fuel flow rate, rising from 108 to 115 kg/hour, while the naturally aspirated cars from Rebellion and DragonSpeed were given a 15 kg weight break.

However, the upper fuel flow figure is the maximum that can be assigned under the current EoT rules, which also prohibits any change in performance for the Toyotas.

When asked if Toyota should be slowed down for Fuji, Hayden said: “I think that all parties involved want to see something interesting.

“It’s very hard to balance the hybrid car. They’ve got the boost so they’re clinical through the traffic. It’s hard to really do it.

“It’s not a job that’s easy, no doubt about it.”

Rebellion president Alexandre Pesci, meanwhile, has said that more needs to be done to close the gap.

He also suggested that the skid block wear issue resulting in Toyota’s double disqualification, reportedly caused by Silverstone’s new curbing, had no effect on the Rebellions.

“Although the battle with the other private teams was interesting and full of twists, the leadership of the Toyota hybrids was inevitable,” said Pesci.

“This proves that the EoT has yet to be adjusted for the show to be total.

“The Silverstone circuit, particularly bumpy, was not conducive to our cars, which were very tricky to drive.

“It’s an amazing double podium for Rebellion Racing although not achieved in the best of ways, but it’s a well-deserved reward for all the team’s efforts provided for over 11 years.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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