The newly published 2017 Technical Regulations for the FIA World Endurance Championship include a number of waivers clearly designed to incentivise an early entry from additional factory teams to the Championship.
With the exit of Audi from the championship a high priority has been allocated to fast-tracking a third factory team in to bolster both the competitive, and no doubt the commercial aspects too, of the WEC.
Peugeot Sport are amongst a very small group of potential takers, the French manufacturer publicly stating that the high cost of LMP1 competition stands between them and a future entry with BMW too having looked closely at the category, an earlier proposal to their board rejected, and a future entry seemingly dependent on an expansion of the Technical regulations to additional technologies.
The 2017 regulatory package seems designed to achieve a technical ‘kick start’ over the first two seasons as well as to help, in part, with cost reduction has now been produced – the regulations subject to approval by the FIA World Motorsport council.
For a new entrant in the Manufacturer’s World Endurance Championship (LMP1 Hybrid), a manufacturer should compile a complete dossier stipulating that it did not benefit from any data from any of the LMP1 Hybrid manufacturers having competed in previous WEC seasons (up to 5 years preceding the first year of competition of the new entrant).
This dossier will be reviewed by the Endurance Commission to evaluate if the manufacturer should benefit from those waivers.
The waivers for the first year include the following:
– Specific allocation of fuel (energy per lap and/or maximum fuel flow) to reach 98% of the best in class ICE performance (The best in class ICE performance will be calculated based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans performance of the preceding year).
– One possible change of hybrid class during the first season.
– No limitation on the number of bodyworks.
– For the 6 hours races : maximum number of tyres increased to 24 for the qualifying and race.
– Limitation on wind tunnel hours increased to 150% of that imposed on the other manufacturers.
– No limitations on private testing.
For the second year, the new entrant may still be subject to technical waivers.
This will be reviewed by the Endurance Commission to assess whether the manufacturer should benefit from those waivers.
The waivers during the second year relate once more to the fuel allocation. The manufacturer may also change ERS (once) during the second year.