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LMP1 Non-Hybrids in Aero Kit Flux

LMP1 non-hybrid aero kits could be locked in through 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Photo: MPS Agency

LMP1 non-hybrids could face a freeze in aero development through the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as part of the FIA and ACO’s Equivalence of Technology process for the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship season.

Sportscar365 has learned that measures may be put into place to limit evolutions in aero kits, in order to prevent any unforeseen performance changes in the twice-around-the-clock enduro.

The limitation would be through Le Mans only, with open aero development resuming following the race and through the majority of the ‘Super Season’.

Unlike LMP1 hybrid rules, which are limited to only two aero kits per season, non-hybrid regulations currently have no restrictions on developments, although are required to submit modifications/evolutions for approval at least 15 days prior to each event.

ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil wouldn’t outright confirm the changes when asked by Sportscar365, although indicated the situation will be clarified in the release of the EoT for next month’s season-opening Six Hours of Spa.

“There are times where you can do it and times when you cannot do it,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365. “The cars are homologated. There is an EoT process taking into consideration all these parameters.

“We had an informational meeting with teams on Thursday [at Paul Ricard] to explain several things.

“You cannot say [non-hybrids will be limited to] two aero kits like hybrid; that’s not the case… I don’t want to comment more than this at the moment.

“We will give more information on this when we publish the final [EoT] document.”

It’s unclear if the limitation would force all privateer teams to run its low-downforce aero package at Spa.

SMP Racing ran both of its BR Engineering BR1 AERs in low-downforce trim in last weekend’s Prologue at Paul Ricard, with DragonSpeed starting the pre-season test in high-downforce spec before sampling the Le Mans aero kit on the second day.

CEFC TRSM Racing, ByKolles and Rebellion Racing, meanwhile, all tested with low-downforce packages, with the ORECA-built Rebellion R13 Gibson not yet having rolled out its high-downforce aero kit.

LMP1 hybrid outfit Toyota Gazoo Racing, meanwhile, has declared it will run both of its Toyota TS050 Hybrids in Le Mans-spec aero for the season-opener.

Unlike previous years, which allowed for only a single adjustment period post-Le Mans, it’s believed that the FIA has the authority to make multiple EoT changes throughout the season, including up to Le Mans.

Beaumesnil declined comment when asked about the EoT procedure but said the document for Spa will be released “very soon.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Tarts Know Better

    April 11, 2018 at 7:48 am

    …Could….may be…..couldn’t outright be confirmed….It’s unclear…. An article of speculation and not much more.

    • Tarts always know

      April 11, 2018 at 10:11 am

      You missed might be, possibley and away with the fairies

  2. db

    April 11, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Why doesn’t the ACO just give Toyota the Le Mans trophy right now and not even run the race this is bullsh*t let the nonhybrid LMP1 cars do whatever they’re capable of doing to beat Toyota and stop pandering to the manufacturer

    • TF110

      April 11, 2018 at 11:10 am

      Why don’t you look at the times from the prologue? During the long runs, Toyota was mid pack. You’re telling me that they stuck around to be slower than brand new cars running for the first time? That’s why it’s called eot. To make it equal.

      • Matt

        April 12, 2018 at 12:51 am

        EoT has not worked once in the 5+ years it has been used.

        • Tyler Sanders

          April 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm

          EOT was not enforced the past 5 years as it has now.

  3. Factory Team

    April 11, 2018 at 9:28 am

    I’m a little impressed at how early the FIA and ACO are pulling the “switch” part of the bait-and-switch on the privateers.

    • kv

      April 11, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      THE ACO/FIA are pulling the MOE HOWARD you see that fist -behind -his -back hammer on the head gag with BoT !

  4. Acard

    April 11, 2018 at 11:35 am

    When Toyota ran according to the rules it was only 5th fastest

    • tracer

      April 11, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      That’s an interesting little nugget… how/where did you find out what laps Toyota ran in compliant vs non-compliant trim?

    • Dave

      April 11, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Running fifth fastest, but not necessarily running as fast as they could within the rules though. The fact that they did not have to declare to the field that they were running outside of regulation would seem to be unfair. Once the field felt comfortable pushing their pace to the limit given the outright pace of Toyota, they then said, “Oh, by the way, those times were not for keepsies. We will now commence with the sandbagging program since we’ve seen the P1 field’s hand”. Some say good race posturing, some say cheating. FIA has decided it’s the former apparently.

      They will still choke out at Le Mans – it’s what they do.

  5. MalthusUnderstimated

    April 11, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    As noted already here, this is the “don’t rattle Toyota EoT”. Any development which puts Toyota’s competitive advantage in jeopardy will be quashed.

    They cold still lose Le Mans through bad luck or performance but I have yet to figure out why LMP privateers are spending serious money to run “best in class” without the real prospect of outright victory. Just can’t see the sense.

    • Tyler Sanders

      April 12, 2018 at 11:33 am

      Teams do the same thing in F1 and other series all the time. How do you know that the privateer’s have no prospect of outright victory before the first race?

  6. Dave Henrie

    April 11, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    At least one LMP1 will be a RAbbit and they hope to BREAK the Toyotas. Kinda like Audi did against Peugeot when all four (3 Factory Pugs + 1 Oreca) broke despite being faster than Audi on track.

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