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LMP1 Success Handicap System Details Explained

Handicaps per car, based on championship points, will be used in an effort to tighten up the field

The FIA WEC’S Endurance Committee has released a clarification and explanation of the new Success Handicap system that will be used to balance the LMP1 field during the 2019/20 season.

The system will be applied on an individual car basis, rather than being applied to all examples of a certain type of car, and the handicap can take the form of either ballast or power output adjustment, hence it not being referred to as ‘success ballast’.

It’ll be implemented from the second round of the championship onwards, but will not be applied at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A reference classification will be established to calculate the success handicap by adding the points scored individually by each LMP1 car in the general classification of each race. It’ll be based on the scale of points defined by Article 15.3.2 of the 2019-20 FIA WEC sporting regulations, but it won’t be part of the championship’s classifications listed under Article 15.2.

After each race, the difference in championship points between each car and the last car classified will be taken into account. For each point of difference, a performance reduction of +0.008s/km (the correction factor) will be given to all the cars except the last one.

For example, in race one, Car A wins and scores 25 points, Car B scores 15 points, Car C scores 0 points and is in last place in the results

At the end of race one, each car will be slowed per lap by 0.008s per kilometre (so X the length of the next race circuit) for each point of difference between them and the last-placed car in the overall classification.

For example, if the next race’s circuit is five kilometres long, the result obtained for cars A, B and C will be car A slowed by a second (0.008 x5 x25), car B slowed by 0.6 seconds (0.008 x5 x15) and car C not adjusted

Lap times will not be taken into account, only points scored. The mechanism will then be repeated throughout the championship, with the exception of Le Mans.

The maximum performance reduction applied may not be greater than the equivalent of 40 points. The correction factor and the maximum performance reduction are based on a maximum performance gap of 0.250s/km between the fastest and the slowest LMP1. It may be reviewed if this gap turns out to be different during the season.

For LMP1 cars entered on a race-by-race basis, a success handicap will be applied equal to that applied to the most penalised car using the same technology (i.e. hybrid, non-hybrid turbo or non-hybrid naturally aspirated).

In order to achieve the performance reductions called for by the above, the organisers will have a variety of means at their disposal:

For LMP1 hybrids (i.e. the Toyotas):
+x s/kg of car minimum weight up to a maximum of 932kg (effect of weight on performance)
+x s/% max petrol flow (effect of max petrol flow on performance)
-x % max petrol energy per lap (linked to max petrol flow to achieve the same amount of liftoff per lap)
-x % max petrol per stint (linked to max petrol energy per lap to achieve the same number of laps per stint)
-x % fuel rig restrictor diameter (linked to max petrol per stint to achieve the same refuelling time)
-x s/MJ hybrid released energy per lap (referenced to 8 MJ/lap at Le Mans)

For LMP1 non-hybrids (i.e. the Ginettas and Rebellions):
+x s/kg of car minimum weight up to a maximum of 870kg (effect of weight on performance)
+x s/% max petrol flow (effect of max petrol flow on performance)
-x % max petrol per stint (linked to max petrol energy per lap to achieve the same number of laps per stint)
-x % fuel rig restrictor diameter (linked to max petrol per stint to achieve the same refuelling time)

Weight adjustments will be given priority and ballast must be added according to the car homologation. Decisions taken by the Endurance Committee will not be subject to appeal.