The World Endurance Championship has moved to level the playing field in the top LMP1 class following Toyota’s dominance in the opening two rounds of the 2018/19 Super Season.
Toyota, which is the only works team in the LMP1 category running a hybrid (LMP1H), took victory at Le Mans last month with a winning margin of 12 laps over privateer outfit Rebellion.
Keen to ensure LMP1 is an “appealing top category and provides the best balance between hybrid and non-hybrid technologies”, the WEC and organising body the ACO, have adjusted the Equivalence of Technology (EoT), which aims to equalise performance, ahead of August’s Silverstone round.
Toyota’s promised 0.25 per cent laptime advantage – the equivalent of half a second per lap around Le Mans – has been completely removed.
The fuel-flow limit for non-hybrid machinery has been increased from 108kg to 115kg compared to just 80kg for hybrid cars, whilst the diameter of the fuel rig restrictor has also been increased, decreasing fueling times for Toyota’s rivals.
Although not confirmed, it’s also believed the Rebellion and Gibson cars will receive a 15kg weight reduction.
ACO Technical Delegate Thierry Bouvet said of the amendments: “As a result of the studies carried out this winter we gave private teams a fuel flow to help them achieve performance levels close to those of the hybrid cars.
“We then took advantage of concrete information collected during the Prologue, the first round at Spa and the Le Mans test day. As competitors know, not everything can be foreseen at Le Mans.
“For example, between the test day and qualifying at Le Mans the fastest time in the LMP2 category improved by 2.4 seconds compared to 0.2 seconds for the non-hybrid LMP1s.
“Several factors can explain this such as different track conditions or because the teams didn’t want to compromise reliability. Finally, multiple contextual parameters could also have affected certain EoT estimations.”