Friday, 1 September 2017

FIA WEC: Updated LMP1 regulations for the upcoming 2 seasons


Next to the announcement of the new FIA World Endurance Championship schedule, Pierre Fillon and Gérard Neveu also announced several changes to the LMP1 technical and sporting regulations for 2018/2019. 

The plans include several innovative features which will not only continue the close and exciting competition between prototypes and GTE cars that has become the calling card of the WEC, but also offer competitors a viable and sustainable business model for the future.




The recent announcement of the withdrawal of certain manufacturers has offered the FIA and ACO an opportunity to accelerate the evolution process which was already underway, and to develop an exciting and enticing vision for the future. Full details are still being finalised and will be announced in due course, but several innovative features were revealed which will ensure the continuation of a strong world endurance championship, one that has since its inception in 2012 become a vital part of manufacturers’ marketing and technical development strategies and the draw for entrants wishing to compete at the highest level in endurance racing.  

From 2018/2019, and in the future, there will only be one category (and consequently one classification) in LMP1.

  • To make it as accessible as possible to join this category from the 2018-2019 season onwards, the level of performance of the current non-hybrid LMP1 regulations managed via equivalence of technologies will be aligned with the current LMP1 hybrid regulations. 
  • Each competitor entered in LMP1 will have the same potential of performance independent of the type engine power used. Very clearly there will always be a slight advantage for the hybrid engine in terms of autonomy related to lower fuel consumption.
  • There will be no changes made to the current chassis regulations (only LMP1 chassis will be eligible) but to facilitate the access to LMP1, more choice and engine power options will be offered. Depending on the selected criteria, an Equivalence of Technology will be implemented between turbo compressed and normally aspirated engines (as done in the past between petrol and diesel).
All these decisions will apply for the next 2 seasons.  Despite some ongoing rumours and questions around opening the LMP1 class to DPI prototypes, the ACO holds on to its own LMP1 regulations. The DPI prototypes which are being used in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship won't be eligible in the FIA WEC. 


The plans have been presented to, and received the full support of, the President of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Jean Todt and the FIA Endurance Commission led by its President, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones.  The calendar and new sporting regulations will be presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council for ratification in the coming days.

Other regulatory decisions, which are still being finalized, will be announced later on covering areas such as a reduction in the number of private tests and collective tests proposed.

The 2020 LMP1 regulations will be substantially altered as compared to the model presented during the last 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The ACO and the FIA remain wholeheartedly convinced that technology including Hybrid systems must keep its place of honour in Endurance racing, but not at any price.  The budgets invested over these last years in LMP1 Hybrid are no longer sustainable and a return to reasonable budgets should allow all manufacturers to compete in this discipline.
More details on the Technical Regulations will be presented and announced over the coming weeks.
President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), Pierre Fillon: “We would like to sincerely thank Jean Todt, President of the FIA and Sir Lindsay Owen Jones, President of the Endurance Commission and all the commission members for their support. Many decisions, essential for the future of the WEC, have been made in record time.
“With the support of the WEC’s friends and partners at IMSA, agreement has been reached to return to Sebring with the 12 Hours of Sebring in the WEC calendar and we are really delighted about this. 
“With all these decisions, we are confident of seeing a full and very competitive grid next season. We are already discussing with several manufacturers and privateer teams who are investigating very seriously entrance from 2018/2019 season in LMP1, taking into consideration that the LMP2 and GTE grids are already strong with a high level of commitment for the future.”

President of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, Jean Todt: "I am delighted with the new schedule and the changes to the WEC championship that will allow this great discipline within motorsport to make a fresh start."


Kristof Vermeulen.

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