Five firms bid to produce new WEC and Le Mans control LMP2 engine

Five engine builders have tendered for the right to produce the single-make powerplant for the new LMP2 formula that comes into force in 2017

Five firms bid to produce new WEC and Le Mans control LMP2 engine

The FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, which have jointly created the new rules, haven't confirmed the number of bidders, except to say that they had received a good response.

But Gibson Engineering, formerly known as Zytek, Engine Developments via the Judd brand and Mecachrome are all known to have made submissions before the closing date at the end of August.

It is also understood that there is a bidder from Japan and that another surprise European engine builder has submitted a tender.

The decision on the engine contract, which covers the World Endurance Championship and European and Asian Le Mans Series, could be finalised as early as this week.

It will need to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council, which is likely to be undertaken by a fax vote rather than waiting for its next meeting in October.

The ACO has said that it expects to announce the identity of the company chosen to supply the engine before the middle of this month.

The preference of the rule makers for the new engine is for a direct-injection powerplant, but ACO sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil explained that this was not a firm requirement of a successful bid.

"What we said on direct injection is that it is preferred but not mandatory," he told AUTOSPORT.

"You could have the best of the best in all other aspects, service, quality, strength and price, and no direct injection.

"We might have an engine that is direct injection but the bid might not be so strong in other areas. What would you choose?"

The 2017 one-make engine will be more powerful than its predecessors, as well as having a longer life between rebuilds.

The Tudor United SportsCar Championship, which will be known as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, will remain an open engine formula when the new rules come into force.

Including Dallara, the four constructors that won the right to produce chassis to the new P2 rules were announced in August.

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