The LMP1 class is set to fall back under a single class designation for 2015, which will see the elimination of the Hybrid and Lightweight subclasses currently used to distinguish different technologies in the top prototype category.
ACO Sporting Director Vincent Beaumesnil confirmed to Sportscar365 that a proposal for the class change has been agreed on by the FIA Endurance Commission and is now awaiting final approval from the World Council in order to take effect for next year.
“The target is to consider the full field of cars as LMP1,” Beaumesnil told Sportscar365. “Then you’ve got hybrid cars and non-hybrid cars. [It’s] for the global understanding of the category, and also so people understand that LMP1 privateers fight for the win with the others.”
The change will see current LMP1-H and LMP1-L cars classified together, although Beaumesnil said it hasn’t yet been determined whether there will continue to be separate podiums.
The FIA Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams, however, is expected to remain unchanged, as it did prior to the introduction of the LMP1-L subclass this year.
“For sure today, the performance [of the non-hybrid LMP1 cars] needs to be improved,” Beaumesnil said. “They are working and for sure the level of manufacturers and privateers is maybe different.
“But we must consider them as a full group. The “Light” name could be considered something that reduces the value, so this is why we want to do this.”
Rebellion Racing team manager Bart Hayden supports the class designation change, as long as the non-hybrids could have a chance to fight with the front-running factory entries.
“If the Balance of Performance was such that the privateers were close to the factories, then why not?” Hayden told Sportscar365.
“If there’s a gap like there is today, then I’m not sure that’s quite right. Close the gap, and let’s have one class… no problem.”
The Anglo-Swiss squad, along with Lotus, are currently the only LMP1-L entrants in what’s been a slow start for the new-for-2014 subclass.
While LMP1-L cars received performance breaks prior to Circuit of The Americas, neither the Rebellion R-One Toyota or Lotus CLM P1/01 AER have yet to come close to the factory entries in lap times.
“We have to look at all of the parameters,”Beaumesnil said. “We’ve already made some adjustments to help.
“I think the cars arrived late [in the season] with less development than the others, so we have to see how they progress through the end of the season.
“You have parameters like weight and fuel amount per lap, so we can play with that. But there are limits. It’s not an easy question but for sure it’s our intention to help them be in the game.”