The pro-am status of the GTE Am class in the World Endurance Championship has been reinforced by new rules governing the makeup of each driver lineup.
The WEC, which is jointly run by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest at Le Mans the FIA, will adopt for 2014 the same driver categorization rules announced for the European Le Mans Series earlier this week. Each three-driver lineup must include one bronze-rated driver and a silver or second bronze. That is a change from this season, during which two silvers were allowed to share with a platinum or gold driver.
“This move helps protect the category,” ACO sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil said. “There have been concerns about some very competitive lineups this year.”
The new rule goes hand in hand with publication of a revised list of driver ratings for 2014, on which talented amateurs such as Enzo Potolicchio, Gianluca Roda, Patrick Bornhauser and Pierguiseppe Perazzini have been downgraded from silver to bronze status.
“What we are saying is that proper gentlemen drivers should be bronze,” explained Beaumesnil. “Then you have another level of amateur drivers, who are nearer to a professional, and they will remain silver.”
These include Imsa Performance team boss Raymond Narac and Aston Martin Racing driver Kristian Poulsen, a former LMP2 class winner in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
A number of drivers involved in ongoing controversy over the driving ratings in GTE Am this year have been upgraded from silver to gold. They include Rui Aguas, Matt Griffin and Stuart Hall. LMP2 front-runner Roman Rusinov, twice a class winner in the WEC this year with G-Drive/Delta-ADR, has also been upgraded from silver to gold.
Drivers and their teams have 15 days to appeal their ranking.