First 2018/19 WEC superseason auto BoP GTE tweak could be delayed

The first round of automatic Balance of Performance changes in the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship superseason could be delayed by one race

First 2018/19 WEC superseason auto BoP GTE tweak could be delayed

The automatic BoP system was introduced last year for the GTE Pro class and works on rolling average based on data gathered from two six-hour WEC races.

This means the first adjustments were due to be made for the Fuji round of the superseason in October.

But changes made under the so-called 'black-ball rule', which allows for the BoP to be reset outside of the automatic system, for last weekend's Silverstone round could result in a delay.

It has yet to be disclosed by the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest - the two organisations jointly write the WEC rules - whether this will count as a full reset of the BoP.

If that is the case, it would mean that the two-race rolling average would be based on Silverstone and Fuji, with the first adjustments coming for the Shanghai 6 Hours in November.

When asked about the timeline, ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil told Autosport: "That is a good question, but I will not tell you the answer.

"It is not that we have not decided, just that for several reasons we have decided to inform everyone, including the manufacturers, at some point after the race."

Some manufacturers have already stated that it makes sense for the first changes to now be made after Fuji rather than beforehand.

"Certainly ourselves and some other manufacturers are under the assumption that this is now the first race for the auto BoP calculations," said Ganassi Ford team principal George Howard-Chappell.

He suggested that there was "no point" in having an automatic BoP system if one of its basic principles was effectively undermined by a reset.

The black-ball rule was devised to bring cars that are outside of the prescribed performance window within a range where the automatic changes can have the designed effect.

This is because the automatic system only allows for changes in limited increments: maximum adjustments of plus or minus 20kg and 10kW (13.5bhp) can be made at any one time.

The new-for-2018 Aston Martin Vantage GTE and the evo version of the Ferrari 488 GTE, which took the Pro class win last weekend, both received performance breaks for Silverstone under the black-ball rule.

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Author Gary Watkins
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