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LMP2 Performance Reduced Further for 2022

LMP2 class to be slowed again in 2022 as ACO, FIA set out stratification plans…

Photo: MPS Agency

Reductions in power output and fuel capacity are among the changes set to be applied to the LMP2 class for the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season as the series aims to ensure adequate stratification with the top Hypercar category.

WEC organizers the ACO and the FIA have outlined a series of parameters that they will use to guarantee the pace gap between the two prototype divisions next year.

One of the main changes is a further power reduction for the naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter Gibson V8 engine used by all LMP2 cars, however the amount has not been specified.

Fuel capacity for the class will be limited to approximately 65 liters, while drive times are set to be adjusted depending on the volume of fuel in the tank.

According to the ACO and FIA, the two parties are working with manufacturers to “agree on a simple and required method to implement” the reduced capacity.

The Oreca 07, which was the only LMP2 model active in the WEC this year, has a 75-liter tank.

This year LMP2 power outputs were capped at 400 kW (536 hp). The reduced figure was implemented a month before the season-opener, in a bid to ensure that the class did not out-perform Hypercar which arrived to replace its quicker LMP1 predecessor.

The campaign started at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa where Hypercar teams Toyota Gazoo Racing and Alpine raised concerns that the lap time margin was not large enough, but the ACO and FIA refused to make further LMP2 performance cuts for other races.

In a statement, the ACO has declared that “experimentation showed that the simulations were correct and that modifications were necessary”.

It added that “off of the strength of that experience, the ACO and FIA once again collaborated with the help of LMP2 team representatives for the upcoming 2022 season.

“This past year, the Hypercars performed to their full potential. With more cars entered in 2022 and the consolidation of the BoP, their performances will be tempered.

“As a result, the LMP2 class will be subject to adjustments for 2022.”

In addition to the power and fuel capacity reductions, LMP2 cars will once again be mandated to run with a low-downforce aero trim, as was the case this year.

LMP2 cars in the European Le Mans Series will be able to use the ‘standard’ high-downforce setting.

No changes are expected to be applied to LMP2 in IMSA, which is using DPi as its top class for another year before LMDh and LMH cars become eligible.

No official word has been given regarding the Goodyear tire specification in WEC and ELMS, while the minimum weight of the LMP2 cars – which was raised to 950 kg for this year – has not been addressed either.

The LMP2 technical regulations state a minimum weight of 930 kg but cars must be capable of accepting 20 kg of ballast.

The ACO’s statement concluded by saying: “These regulation modifications result from the goal of the teams and organizers to employ strategic focus and logical decisions relative to the advent of Hypercars.”

Points System Updated for 2022

Another change to the WEC rules for next year is the removal of points for cars that finish outside the top 10 in each class, as well as the overall GTE drivers’ classification.

The update was confirmed at the FIA World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday.

Previously, cars finishing outside the top 10 were given a single point at Le Mans and the eight-hour races, or 0.5 points at six-hour races.

Le Mans will continue to count for double the amount of points on offer at a six-hour race, while 1.5 times the amount will be awarded for eight-hour events.

Six-hour races continue to follow the standard 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 points scale.

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

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