The FIA and ACO have made some key changes to the Equivalence of Technology in the FIA WEC’s LMP1 class ahead of next month’s 6 Hours of Silverstone.
This comes after the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours, where Toyota finally broke through for a dominant maiden win while the non-hybrid privateer competition in the top class were unable to challenge on pace or reliability, the former in part due to artificial restrictions imposed by the EoT regulations.
After studying the data from Le Mans, at Silverstone, the FIA and ACO hope to reduce the advantage the hybrid Toyotas hold over the privateers with the announced changes.
“As a result of the studies carried out this winter, we gave private teams a fuel flow to help them achieve performance levels close to those of the hybrid cars,” Thierry Bouvet, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s Technical Delegate, explained.
“We then took advantage of concrete information collected during the Prologue, the first round at Spa and the Le Mans test day. As competitors know, not everything can be foreseen at Le Mans.
“For example, between the test day and qualifying at Le Mans the fastest time in the LMP2 category improved by 2.4 seconds compared to 0.2 seconds for the non-hybrid LMP1s. Several factors can explain this, such as different track conditions or because the teams didn’t want to compromise reliability. Finally, multiple contextual parameters could also have affected certain EoT estimations.
“This is why we’re taking the following decisions: the performance gap of 0.25 percent is being reduced to 0 percent (the 0.5-seconds difference per lap at Le Mans between hybrids and non hybrids is no longer relevant). The fuel flow for privateer LMP1s goes up from 108 kg/h to 115 kg/h compared to 80 kg/h for the hybrids. Furthermore, the fuel flow of the refuelling system used by private teams has been increased. And last but not least, cars powered by normally-aspirated engine will benefit from a 15kg weight reduction.”