ACO approves performance balancing

Le Mans organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has confirmed that in 2011 it will be able to adjust the rules during the course of its championships' seasons to prevent any type of car becoming too dominant

ACO approves performance balancing

The 'article 19' rule will apply to the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, Le Mans Series and American Le Mans Series, and is aimed to solve the long-running issue of petrol-powered cars being unable to compete with the diesel technology that Audi and Peugeot have introduced since 2006. The new regulations intend to keep the top petrol and diesel teams within two per cent of each other's pace.

A statement from the ACO promised the introduction of: "Performance adjustment through the application of article 19 [the ACO reserves itself the possibility of balancing performances between the different engines and technologies] as well as the two per cent rule.

"This means keeping the lap times of the quickest cars in each technology within a range of two per cent in relation to the quickest car, all technologies combined, through decisions taken by the ACO."

The official green light for the rule change will be welcomed by Aston Martin Racing, which has committed to an all-new petrol LMP1 car in the expectation that the regulations would give petrol machinery a chance to fight for outright victory in the 24-hour race again after five seasons of diesel dominance.

In other 2011 adjustments confirmed by the ACO, LMP2 becomes a fully-fledged 'pro-am' category across all the Le Mans championships, with at least one gentleman driver - as assessed under the ACO's driver categorisation - mandatory in each car's line-up.

The GT classes are also being restructured into a single GTE category, split into GTE Am and GTE Pro. The amateur class must include a gentleman driver in each entry, and cars must be at least a year old, whereas GTE Pro is unrestricted, but will feature performance balancing.

shares
comments
Q & A: Audi's Ullrich on new R18
Previous article

Q & A: Audi's Ullrich on new R18

Next article

Interview with Audi's Wolfgang Ullrich

Interview with Audi's Wolfgang Ullrich
Load comments
Why an F1-snubbed British world champion has no regrets in retirement Plus

Why an F1-snubbed British world champion has no regrets in retirement

He may not have won the Le Mans 24 Hours - falling agonisingly short in 2016 - and didn't get the opportunities in Formula 1 his talents merited. But after calling time on his professional career last month, Anthony Davidson says his pride in his performances with Peugeot and Toyota in LMP1 mean more than the results he achieved

WEC
Dec 17, 2021
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021