The Ligier JS P217 and Dallara P217 cars have been granted aero updates only in the LMP2 ‘Joker’ allowance, according to ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil.
The ACO confirmed last weekend that the Ligier, Dallara and Riley Mk. 30 will be permitted performance evolutions for next year, in order to bring them up to the level of the Oreca 07, which has served as the category’s baseline.
It will result in varying degrees up updates, which have yet to be fully defined from each constructor.
“All the cars are not at the same level of performance gap, so we will not allow the same thing for each car,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365.
“Everybody will have a specific development allowed based on the technical discussion between the technical guys with the target of a gain.
“Only Riley will be allowed to work on the car. Dallara and Ligier will only be aero.”
While significant mechanical and aero updates are in the works by Multimatic for the Riley LMP2, aimed to improve the Mazda RT24-P DPi, both the Ligier and Dallara will roll out with Evos as well, but to a lesser extent.
Performance targets were communicated to the constructors in a meeting earlier this month.
“We have some information and targets and it’s under the finalization on what we will exactly be done on the car,” Beaumesnil said.
“Once we communicate the target, they have to propose exactly what they will do on the car.”
Beaumesnil said the updates will be validated at the Windshear wind tunnel in Concord N.C. next month, in cooperation with IMSA, which has organized a Balance of Performance test at Daytona in early December that will likely see the first on-track running.
“It’s a tight timeline but it will all be controlled before the end of the year,” he said.
The updates, which has been contended by ORECA as penalizing the French constructor’s success, are aimed to bring the rest of the LMP2 field up to the level, and not surpass it, according to Beaumesnil.
“If the gain is higher than what we allow, it will have to be changed,” he said.
“We cannot leave people having open development that will overshoot ORECA and put them in front of ORECA. It would be just nonsense. We have to respect this.
“It’s just to help bring them back in the game.”
Per LMP2 regulations, Beaumesnil said the constructors will be required to provide the updates to all cars, free of charge.
Joker Updates “Not Balance of Performance”
Beaumesnil has insisted the updates are not a method of Balance of Performance, which doesn’t exist in the LMP2 regulations.
“Balance of Performance is taking into account the performance of each race weekend and balancing cars race by race over a complete period,” he explained.
“The model of P2 is to really provide a business case for the constructors and also to be competitive in terms of price for the teams.
“This is why we we’re going to have the same cars for four years, and only four constructors because it allows the constructors to sell more cars, to have better prices and provide better service.
“If some cars are uncompetitive, it would create an issue on LMP2 market.
“We just want to make sure we don’t [put] the paddocks in a bad situation where they all want to get rid of their cars.”