Porsche LMP1 driver Nick Tandy expects tighter WEC without Audi

Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy believes the LMP1 battle in the 2017 World Endurance Championship will be tighter than ever, even without Audi

Porsche LMP1 driver Nick Tandy expects tighter WEC without Audi

Porsche factory driver Nick Tandy believes the LMP1 battle in the 2017 World Endurance Championship will be tighter than ever, even without Audi.

Tandy is gearing up for his first WEC season as part of Porsche's full-time LMP1 roster, sharing his 919 Hybrid with Neel Jani and Audi refugee Andre Lotterer.

Audi exited the championship at the end of 2016, leaving Porsche and Toyota as the two outright contenders, running two cars each.

Tandy said stable regulations - and with planned 2018 changes to increase hybrid power delayed by two years - would help to tighten up the competition, allowing teams to focus on fine-tuning cars instead of designing all-new ones.

"Clearly with less cars in LMP1 the spectacle will be less, especially at Le Mans, so we'll miss Audi a lot in that respect," said Tandy.

"But in my mind the competition has the potential to be greater than ever.

"With the rules freeze teams can instead focus on perfecting what they have, instead of splitting resource completely.

"Last season we saw quite a lot of one car being suited to one style of track, and another strong elsewhere.

"In 2017 we won't see that as everybody will have honed their cars and engines and will be fast everywhere."

While Porsche has won WEC titles and Le Mans in each of the last two years, Tandy expects a renewed push from Toyota, which came within minutes of winning Le Mans in 2016.

"Toyota will come back very strong," he said.

"The loss at Le Mans last season will have hurt badly, so they'll be flatout to win it this time around."

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