Alongside the release yesterday of the Sporting Regulations for the 2021 FIA WEC, regs were also published for the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup.
The regs see some significant changes, but a couple of areas where the status quo has been retained despite input from the teams and their customer drivers.
One other point of note is that the Selection Committee for the ELMS is to be chaired by ACO President Pierre Fillon, supported by Event Manager Cédric Vilatte, Event Co-ordinator Gaëlle Chouteau-Trabelsi and ACO Technical Director Thierry Bouvet. There is no apparent direct replacement for outgoing LMEM CEO Gérard Neveu.
ELMS LMP3 Tyre allocation
One of the most significant changes has come in LMP3 where repeated calls from the Bronze drivers to allow another set of tyres in Free Practice has been agreed.
The teams will now be able to use 4 sets of tyres instead of 3 the previous seasons.
Perhaps oddly though there has been a change in LMP2 where only a single set can be used across both Free Practice sessions.
There’s a not dissimilar picture in driving times where the LMGTE Bronze drivers pairing with two Silver drivers will now have a minimum driving time of 1h30 instead of 45 minutes as in 2020.
This means that now, no matter the line-up, all the Bronze drivers in LMGTE will have a minimum driving time of 1h30.
There is no change however for LMP2 driving time, despite the introduction of the LMP2 Pro/Am class (featuring a mandatory Bronze), this despite some Bronze-ranked drivers and their teams lobbying for an increase in the minimum time for the Bronze drivers to accentuate that aspect of the competition in the new sub-class.
LMP3 – Bronze Driver Performance Handicap
Another area of mysterious disconnect seems to be in the LMP3 where the Michelin Le Mans Cup has a new for 2021 regulation that states:
“The performance of Bronze drivers will be taken into account to determine an additional duration to be added to the reference pitstop time.
“The handicap time will be specific to each Competitor and adjusted after each Competition.
“This mechanism will be detailed in a Michelin Le Mans Cup Committee decision. The Committee will also publish the applicable adjustments.”
That, in itself, is a significant development, but perhaps oddly, and in particular in mind of concerns expressed across the ELMS paddock through the 2020 season on this exact issue, the same regulation has not been adopted in the ELMS.
As reported in the wake of the controversy over proposed changes to overall LMP2 driver line-ups earlier this year, the decision has been taken to retain the exact regulation of driver-crew composition into 2021 as for last year – including the option to have a two-driver squad.
Again as previously reported a sub-class has been created, dubbed (perhaps oddly) LMP2 Pro-Am, for crews featuring at least one Bronze-ranked driver.
Whilst in the FIA WEC the winning crew of that classification only will feature on the podium ceremony, in the ELMS there will be a separate podium for the top three.
Whilst not yet officially confirmed DSC understands that there will be no Auto Le Mans 24 Hours entry for the title-winning team in LMP2 Pro-Am but the teams will score points too in the overall classification.