A new points-based penalty system will be introduced into the FIA World Endurance Championship next season, which could lead to a driver’s suspension due to multiple on-track incidents.
Under the rules, each driver will start the season with a reserve of 12 points, with stewards able to withdraw up to six points per race weekend for any penalties incurred.
A driver would then be automatically suspended for the next race should all of their reserve points be used up.
Reserve points, which do not count towards or against championship points, would be replenished following the driver’s suspension period.
The new system is similar to SRO’s ‘Behavior Warning Points’ that was introduced into the Blancpain GT Series last year, where drivers are given grid penalties based on the number of points collected for on-track incidents.
The WEC’s system, however, is aimed as a secondary penalty and will be issued at the stewards’ discretion.
Other Changes to Sporting Regulations:
***Testing has been further restricted, with LMP1 teams now only allowed three closed private test days in 2018/19, compared to seven this year, with LMP2 open private tests reduced from eight to five. Closed private testing for GTE-Pro and GTE-Am, meanwhile, remains unchanged at 10 days each.
***Points have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for the races at Le Mans and Sebring, which will pay out 1.5x and 1.25x the normal amount for a six-hour race. It means the winner at Le Mans would receive 38 points instead of 37.5.
***Drive times for the 1500 Miles of Sebring have been set. LMP1 and GTE-Pro will see 90-minute minimum drive times, with three hours required for each LMP2 driver and 3.5 hours for Bronze and Silver-rated GTE-Am drivers. An eight-hour maximum drive time will be enforced for all classes except GTE-Am, which will be at six hours.
***Driver ratings will be locked in for full-season drivers through Le Mans in 2019, even if the rating is changed for the following calendar year. Any driver entering a 2018/19 WEC race for the first time in 2019, however, will be subject to that year’s classification.
***A dedicated committee composed of representatives from the FIA, ACO and series promoter LMEM may grant temporary dispensation to allow driver rating combinations outside of the rules, provided it doesn’t impact track safety or incur a sporting advantage to lineups entered in the same class.
***Entry fees have been increased by 2,000 Euros per event, although the fee for registering as a manufacturer for the GT World Championship remains at 310,000 Euros, the same price for the new LMP1 Teams’ World Championship.