The 2016 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship already had controversial new rules confirmed in terms of technical package for the LMP1 manufacturers, like the limitation of 1000 horsepower at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but now even aerodynamics of the hybrid rockets may suffer a hit or two with some limitation issued by the championship governing body.
The new regulations involving aero in hybrid LMP1 machinery will see a lock up to a maximum of three packages for the whole season, according with the FIA and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. To add to the aero package limitations, some parts of the bodywork will have limited development, such as wheel arches, engine covers, dive planes and others.
This measure is intended to be part of the project that will cut costs in the LMP1 field, as a way to prevent skyrocketing budgets from the manufacturers involved, which in a given moment would drive competitors out of the championship. The secondary goal is to prevent the LMP1 manufacturers from developing too much their cars to the point it wouldn’t generate a level playing field for everyone and would make chances for a privateer LMP1 victory thinner. In recent editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the fastest hybrid LMP1 machine is commonly eight to ten seconds faster per lap than the best private LMP1 effort.
Between the manufacturers in the game, reactions to the newest rule were in fact positive, as Toyota’s Pascal Vasselon said to RACER Magazine that it would be a return to a more simple aero choice, while Porsche’s Alex Hitzinger stated that the new regulations won’t have that much of an effect in the 2016 cars, but will be felt in the new LMP1 regulations that will come for the 2017 season.
For 2016, Audi already released their dramactically different R18 e-tron Quattro, while Nissan is still testing their GT-R LM NISMO. Posrche and Toyota didn’t set any dates for presentation of their new contenders.
PHOTO: FIA WEC