WEC Spa: Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari want Silverstone BoP reset

Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari are lobbying for the GTE Pro Balance of Performance to be reset for the next six-hour round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone

WEC Spa: Aston Martin, BMW and Ferrari want Silverstone BoP reset

They are arguing that the 'starting BoP' for each of their respective new cars is not correct and will take too long to rectify under the automated system introduced for all WEC races bar the Le Mans 24 Hours last season.

They want the the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest to invoke what is known as the 'black-ball clause' in the automatic system, which allows for the BoP to be reset once per season.

The calls have come after the three manufacturers with new or evolution cars trailed behind Ford and Porsche first at the pre-season test at Paul Ricard last month and then in qualifying for the series opener at Spa.

The best of the MTEK BMW M8 GTEs in fifth place ended up more than a second away from the pole-winning Ganassi Ford GT, while the fastest evolution version of the Ferrari 488 GTE and all-new Aston Martin Vantage GTE were respectively 1.4s and 2.2s in arrears.

Aston Martin Racing technical director Dan Sayers told Autosport: "Clearly there is an issue that needs to be addressed and we are working with the FIA and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest to do that.

"It is always going to be difficult to balance new cars coming in, but the order of magnitude is a massive worry."

BMW Motorsport boss Jens Marquardt suggested that the automatic BoP system needed to be examined because this was the first time new cars had been introduced.

"If you get a new situation for the first time, you look whether what you have in place works properly, or if it looks like we might be in a situation where we could do an adjustment to do things better," he explained.

Antonello Coletta, Ferrari's GT racing boss, told Autosport that he couldn't understand why the updated version of the 488, which is predominantly an aerodynamic evolution of last year's championship-winning car, had been hit so hard.

"The problem is that if you have the wrong starting point, it will be wrong for all the season, because it will take too long to bring back the gap," he said.

Adjustments under the auto BoP, which are based entirely on empirical data fed into an unpublished algorithm, can only be made in relatively small increments.

A maximum adjustment of 20kg and 10kW (13.5bhp) can be made at any one time and no car can have its BoP changed at two races in succession.

Sayers said that if those changes had been implemented ahead of this weekend's Spa race, the Aston would still be off the pace.

"That's probably only three quarters of a second around here, which proves the extent of the problem," explained Sayers.

"That shows that unless dramatic happens, we will have to write off the season.

"There is a something in the rules that says if something needs to be done it can, irrespective of the black-ball regulation."

Sayers dismissed suggestions that Aston has been hiding its performance in order to get a more favourable BoP for next month's Le Mans round, which lies outside the auto system because of the unique nature of the circuit.

Ganassi Ford team principal George Howard-Chappell repeated a statement he made after the Ricard test in response to the claims from Aston, BMW and Ferrari.

"It looks like only two manufacturers are trying," he said.

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Series WEC
Drivers Maxime Martin
Teams Aston Martin Racing
Author Gary Watkins
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