An LMP2 power output reduction designed to enable the category to fit in with projected Le Mans Hypercar lap times will be applied across all competitions next year, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has confirmed.
A statement from the ACO which oversees LMP2 said that the formula’s spec Gibson V8 engine will be detuned for cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The 40 horsepower reduction from 600 hp to 560 hp was announced last December but it was not known at the time if this would apply to competitions outside the WEC.
Le Mans Hypercars are projected to turn 3:30 lap times at Le Mans, while the LMP2 race lap record at the Circuit de la Sarthe is a 3:27.200 set by an Oreca 07 Gibson.
The fact the new top-level prototypes will be slower than LMP1 has prompted the reduction of power levels for the current-gen LMP2s, which have been racing since 2017.
The ACO’s new LMH formula will only be active in the WEC next year whilst LMP2 cars operate globally and also come together to race at Le Mans each year.
“2021 will be marked by the introduction of the new premier class of endurance, Hypercar,” read the ACO’s statement issued on Thursday.
“In order to harmonize the performance between Hypercar and LMP2, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest with the FIA adjusted the pace of the LMP2s by reducing their power.
“Thus, the exclusive Gibson engine in this category will deliver 40 less horsepower. This solution with no economic impact for the teams involved was easily adopted. In addition, this reduction in power will lead to a reduction in operating costs.
“As announced a few months ago, Goodyear will be the exclusive supplier of tires for the LMP2 category in the WEC and in the European Le Mans Series from 2021.
“Following the overhaul of the WEC calendar for 2021, it also seemed judicious to align this level of performance for all the championships, all these cars being found in the next 24 Hours of Le Mans [in] 2021.
“The Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the FIA are already working to define the strategy for the future LMP2 for the 2023 season. Cost control will remain a priority for this LMP2 category which, since 2017, is enjoying undeniable success.”
In addition to the ACO’s statement, an IMSA spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that the rule will apply to the WeatherTech Championship which next year will have 560 hp LMP2s sharing the grid with DPi, LMP3, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona machinery.