Connect with us


Toyota Impatient for Two-Stage BoP to Take Effect

Toyota team director Rob Leupen hopes ‘Power Gain’ rules can boost GR010 Hybrid amid current struggles…

Photo: MPS Agency

Toyota Gazoo Racing team director Rob Leupen says he is eagerly awaiting the introduction of two-stage Balance of Performance to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar class, with the system not in use this weekend at Imola.

It was revealed ahead of the season-opening Qatar 1812km that WEC rule makers the FIA and ACO were working to implement a so-called ‘Power Gain’ rule that sees Hypercars gain or lose a certain amount of power above a threshold of 210 km/h.

The system, which is already used in the LMGT3 class (albeit with a threshold of 200 km/h) was tested by multiple manufacturers in the Prologue test in Qatar, with a BoP bulletin issued in the run-up to the race stating it “may be used” from Imola onwards.

However, the rule makers finally decided not to introduce the system for Imola, and no firm target for its introduction has been given.

Leupen told Sportscar365 he hopes that the ACO and FIA can implement the ‘Power Gain’ soon amid the Toyota GR010 Hybrid’s current competitive struggles, which continued in Saturday’s qualifying session.

Asked if he was impatient for the system’s arrival, he replied: “We must be. Last year we showed what the performance of the car is, and you are a bit worried when you see where the car is today, as we are not contenders for race wins.

“In Qatar we were completely out of the game, and based on what we saw throughout 2023 and then the first race in 2024, it’s hard to believe the others gained that much. 

“You should ask those who are doing the job [of balancing the field] to continue doing the job. It’s their task to solve the issue, not ours. There are a lot of parameters on the table they can use, and I hope they use the right ones.”

While it had been suggested that two-stage BoP could be implemented in time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a potential trial run next month at Spa, it’s understood that the system’s race debut could be delayed beyond then, or potentially not used at all in 2024.

On whether he hoped to see the system in place for Le Mans, Leupen said: “I don’t want to speculate, but we can only hope that they know what they are doing and they do it in a proper way. 

“Every improvement [to the system] would help us. We’ll wait and see.”

Ferrari’s race and test team manager Giuliano Salvi suggested the Italian manufacturer is taking a more relaxed approach towards the implementation of the Power Gain rules.

“We tested it in Qatar, we collaborated with the FIA, and on our side it worked,” said Salvi. “But they need to decide when to apply it, and we didn’t have any feedback from them. 

“It could be [used at Spa], but for us it’s just an external constraint. We just follow their instructions. They didn’t tell us anything about it. 

“We didn’t put any focus on this, as we cannot control it.”

Porsche motorsport boss Thomas Laudenbach offered a similar sentiment when asked about the topic by Sportscar365.

“Generally speaking, the FIA and ACO are pushing hard to get it right, and this is a very difficult one,” said Laudenbach. “I would say so far they are doing well.

“We are always in close contact with them, but for the moment we just let them do their job, and we trust them.”

Jamie Klein is Sportscar365's Asian editor. Japan-based Klein, who previously worked for Motorsport Network on the Motorsport.cоm and Autosport titles, covers the FIA World Endurance Championship and SUPER GT, among other series.

Click to comment

More in FIA WEC