Aston Martin believes it would have had little chance of winning its class at the Le Mans 24 Hours without the increase in fuel capacity it has been granted.
The Vantage GTE has regained the five liters of fuel capacity that it lost before last October’s World Endurance Championship event at Fuji in the latest round of Balance of Performance changes. The change, which means the Vantages in GTE Pro and Am will now run with 95-liter fuel tanks, comes after the Astons were forced to make an additional splash-and-dash fuel stop in the Spa round of the WEC round last month.
“This is critical,” tam boss John Gaw said. “If we didn’t get the five liters back we would be doing 13 laps and with it we should just be able to do 14. If we were losing a lap to the opposition every stint, we would be a lap down by the finish.”
Vincent Beaumesnil, sporting manager at race organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, explained that it was “important to make sure all the cars have the same stint length.”
Ferrari, meanwhile, has been allowed to introduce a new version of its Le Mans aero package for this year, despite the rules freeze that covers the 2014 season. The new aero offers more downforce for little more drag and can be fitted to the marque’s 458 Italias competing in both the Pro and Am classes, although not all the Am teams have chosen to invest in the update kit.
Chevrolet’s new Corvette C7.R will race at Le Mans on June 14-15 at a different BoP to its C6.R predecessor: the 2014 car will run 10kg lighter, has a 1.3mm larger air-restrictor and does not have to race with the rear wing Gurney or wicker.
The Corvette, which unlike its predecessor runs a direct-injection engine, has lost five liters in fuel tank size and will run at the same 85-liter capacity as the Ferrari.