The widespread criticism of the state of competition in the LMP1 class of the FIA WEC after the opening three races of the 2018/19 season has seen a significant series of changes to the Equivalence of Technology introduced for next weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji and released in a bulletin from the FIA Endurance Commission.
The changes to the baseline-spec of the pair of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s TS050 HYBRIDs required the agreement of the Toyota team, the regulations as initially outlined dictating that the car’s specification should remain unchanged through the season.
That agreement has been given and the changes will be in place when the cars hit the track next week in Japan.
The change sees the two TS050 HYBRIDs run with 26kg extra weight, (up to 904kg) with their non-hybrid LMP1 opposition remaining at 818kg for normally aspirated cars, and 833kg for turbocharged cars.
The artificial, stint length (or lap cap) for the LMP1 non-hybrid cars, quietly dropped at Silverstone, which forced them to pit two laps earlier than the hybrid Toyotas at Spa and a single lap at Le Mans has also now been officially dispensed with.
The bulletin also outlines the changes made to fuel allocations for the non-hybrid cars to allow for the longer stint lengths, and, it seems the fuel fill restrictors too have been adjusted to equalise time stationary in the pitstop – another area where the hybrids held an advantage by dint of their taking on much less fuel than the privateer LMP1s in each stop.
Meanwhile, in GTE, the FIA has issued a BoP (Balance of Performance) change for both classes ahead of the round in Japan.
In GTE Pro BMW’s M8 GTEs will benefit the most, with a 20kg weight reduction, a turbo boost pressure increase, and a two-litre increase in fuel capacity.
Additionally, the Ganassi Ford GTs will run with 18kg more weight and a boost reduction, and the Porsche 911 RSRs have been handed a minimal 2kg weight increase and a 0.3 mm smaller air restrictor. The cars will have also have one litre less fuel.
GTE Am’s changes seen weight changes to the Porsches and Aston Martin Vantage GTEs, with the two cars now due to race with an extra 10 and 5kg respectively.