New rules to significantly boost GTE and LMP2 pace at Le Mans

GTE and LMP2 machinery will become significantly faster when new rules come into force for the categories in 2016 and 2017 respectively

New rules to significantly boost GTE and LMP2 pace at Le Mans

Lap times for the GTE category will decrease by approximately two seconds around the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe with the introduction of the latest regulations devised by the FIA and Le Mans organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest.

The new rules for LMP2 that will come into force a year later are expected to result in a reduction of lap times at Le Mans by four seconds.

New LMP2 format for 2017 announced with chassis limits, one engine

ACO sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil explained that the rationale behind increasing the performance of the two categories was to maintain a clear separation between speeds of the different classes across the World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.

"Speeds in LMP1 have been rising, while LMP2 has remained relatively static, so this will give us more room to manage GTE where the speeds are very similar to GT3 at the moment," Beaumesnil told AUTOSPORT.

The problem has been brought into focus by the introduction of GT3 cars into the ELMS in the GTC class and the arrival of pure FIA rules GT3 machinery in the USC from next year.

The performance gains from the new breed of GTE cars will result from an increase in power by approximately 20bhp and a decrease in vehicle weight of 10kg.

The new rules will also allow new freedoms in the design and build of the cars by specifying performance windows in which the cars must fit.

"If you put a standard Aston Martin and a Ferrari on track together they would have very different lap times, which is why we have to grant waivers to bring them together," Beaumensil explained.

"By specifying windows for weight, engine and aerodynamics it will allow the manufacturers to develop their cars in a more cost-efficient way and make for more equal cars at a range of tracks and conditions."

Existing GTE machinery will be allowed to race alongside the new cars for a set period that varies between the championships run by the ACO.

In the WEC, old cars will be grandfathered for one year in GTE Pro and two years in GTE Am.

The ACO and the FIA have revealed that the new breed of LMP2 cars to be powered by a one-make engine that will have 600bhp compared with 450bhp at present.

This will not lead to an increase in costs for engines that will be leased rather than purchased by the teams, it said.

The USC will be an open engine formula because P2 cars form the basis of its top class which has manufacturer involvement from Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda and Honda.

North American teams will be allowed to race the engines with which they compete in the USC at Le Mans, but the bodykits they will be able to run - incorporating manufacturer styling cues - will not be permitted at the French enduro.

LMP2 will adopt the chassis rules introduced in LMP1 in 2014, which means a narrower car by 100mm and a series of safety measures, including wheel tethers and zylon side-intrusion panels.

Cars built to the present regulations will be grandfathered for one season in the WEC and two in the ELMS.

shares
comments
When Nissan should have won Le Mans
Previous article

When Nissan should have won Le Mans

Next article

Le Mans 24 Hours reveals amputee and biomethane Garage 56 projects

Le Mans 24 Hours reveals amputee and biomethane Garage 56 projects
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