The FIA World Endurance Championship has tightened its LMP2 driver composition rules for next year with each lineup now requiring two Silver-rated drivers or a single Bronze.
Previously, the WEC’s second-tier prototype class required teams to have at least one Silver or Bronze competitor, with the categorizations of other drivers being a free choice.
Now the championship has mandated each crew to involve either two Silver-rated drivers or a Bronze, with the accompanying drive time rules to be confirmed at a later date.
Additionally, all LMP2 lineups will need to have three drivers, whilst before teams had the option of running only two drivers in WEC races outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
LMP2 has largely only featured three-driver crews, although the allowance of a single Silver enabled Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga to contest and win last year’s 4 Hours of Silverstone as a duo after their co-driver Alexandre Coigny was ruled out through injury.
The adjustment to the 2021 sporting regulations was confirmed in the results of Friday’s FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting.
Changes to LMP2 crew compositions have long been proposed by the WEC’s Bronze-rated competitors, who make up half the 2019-20 full-season grid.
While the series has avoided introducing a Bronze driver mandate as implemented in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2 category, the new rule looks to set to close the gap between teams with Bronze-rated drivers and those without.
Teams without Bronze-rated drivers have generally dominated in the WEC’s LMP2 division, while Racing Team Nederland’s Frits van Eerd became the first Bronze to win a race in the 6 Hours of Fuji earlier this season.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council also confirmed that grandfathered non-hybrid LMP1 cars will be balanced “to operate in the same performance window” as the new Le Mans Hypercars next season.
Signatech Alpine is joining the top prototype category next year, using the ORECA-built LMP1 chassis previously campaigned by Rebellion Racing.
Furthermore, the WMSC has approved the 2021 WEC calendar that was unveiled at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month.