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Porsche Expecting Platform BoP Change Before Le Mans

Porsche Motorsport Vice President hoping for platform BoP change after Spa…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche ‘expects’ a platform Balance of Performance change to be made before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, according to its motorsport Vice President Thomas Laudenbach.

The FIA World Endurance Championship’s new-look BoP approach allows for all cars in each platform, LMH and LMDh, to be adjusted every two races based on simulations.

This means that a platform BoP change could have been made ahead of last weekend’s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the third round of the season after Sebring and Portimao.

However, at the start of the event it was confirmed that such an update would not be made, despite sources indicating that a weight increase for LMH had been proposed.

At Spa, Laudenbach told reporters that he expects the platform BoP to be reviewed between Spa and Le Mans.

The best result for an LMDh car so far this season was Porsche Penske Motorsport’s third-place finish at the 6 Hours of Portimao, while the LMH-spec Toyota GR010 Hybrid has won three times in a row.

“I don’t think the question is will there be a change,” Laudenbach said after the race in Belgium, where Porsche finished fourth behind LMH cars from Toyota and Ferrari.

“The big question is what will be the change. They’ve stated that and I’m sure they will do.

“The more interesting thing is: is it possible? Or do they manage to get it into the way that has been promised to everybody? It’s not about if, it’s about how.”

Laudenbach said last weekend that he envisioned a platform BoP change being made before Spa.

At the Sebring season-opener in March, FIA Director of Circuit Sport Marek Nawarecki told Sportscar365 that a platform BoP change will only be made “if it’s necessary.”

The BoP for Hypercar is calculated using simulated car data, rather than using outright lap times from qualifying and races. This is designed to prevent teams from sandbagging.

“I was expecting [a platform BoP change] after Portimao,” said Laudenbach. “But I have been told that we do it after Le Mans.

“Frankly speaking, yes, we were expecting [a change for Spa]. But that’s definitely down to the FIA and ACO to decide. We clearly expect an adjustment before Le Mans.”

He added: “I think what clearly can be stated is, as a matter of fact and not judging or saying why… if you look at the LMDh cars they are very close together. We have two brands here, but we can look into the series in the U.S. where we have four competitors.

“They are 100 percent comparable and everyone seems to be fairly close. Some advantages here, some advantages there, if you get your setup right. But let’s say, in a rather narrow range.

“The same [in WEC], I think we are very close to the Cadillac. But if you look at the whole range of the rest of the Hypercar field, obviously there is a much wider range.

“I think this is trickier. At least, this makes the job of providing a fair chance to everybody very difficult.”

Toyota, meanwhile, does not expect a platform BoP change between Spa and Le Mans.

“This regulation has been published and agreed,” said the Japanese manufacturer’s WEC technical director Pascal Vasselon.

“It is published, we have minutes. We have documents. There are documents which tell what the rule is.

“There has been an agreement with a precise schedule. There has been no press release which has explained to everyone. There is no room for an adjustment.”

When asked if Toyota would fight a proposal to change a platform’s BoP before Le Mans, Vasselon said: “It should not be a fight to have the rule applied.”

At the start of the season, the FIA published an article that stated there will be “only one BoP adjustment throughout the season” made after Le Mans, which refers to a possible update for individual cars rather than all cars in a platform.

It also said that the championship could “possibly” adjust LMH and LMDh relative to each other before the 24-hour race.

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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