Privateer LMP1 cars set for DRS from 2018

DRS is set to be introduced for LMP1 privateer cars from 2018 onwards, after a raft of new measures designed to increase the class grid were announced at the annual ACO press conference at Le Mans on Thursday.

Privateer LMP1 cars set for DRS from 2018
#13 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER detail
#12 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER: Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet Jr.
#4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01: Simon Trummer, Pierre Kaffer, Oliver Webb
#13 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER: Matheo Tuscher, Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer
#12 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER: Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld, Nelson Piquet Jr.
ByKolles Racing paddock area and logo
#13 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One AER: Matheo Tuscher, Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer
#4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01: Simon Trummer, Pierre Kaffer, Oliver Webb
#4 ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01
#42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S Nissan: Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane, Danny Watts
#38 G-Drive Racing Gibson BR01 Nissan: Simon Dolan, Jake Dennis, Giedo Van der Garde

The move, which is agreed but not officially rubber-stamped yet, has been made to minimise the gap to the hybrid-powered manufacturer cars and thus increase the appeal of the class to new teams.

At present there are just two teams racing in the LMP1 privateer category – Rebellion Racing and the ByKolles squad.

In addition to the DRS move, the minimum weight has been reduced to 830kg from the original 855kg.

The total width of the car will also be increased to aid grip levels and lap times, with a 10mm increase in the width of the front bodywork.

Privateer LMP1 teams will also have no engine restrictions in terms of units used during a season and there will be no capacity limit from 2017 onwards.

Other changes include the implementation of a single fuel-flow meter and the removal of the current torque measuring device.

“We want to manage this class as it is important for the foundations of endurance racing to have private teams able to compete at a high level and not be too much in the shadows,” FIA Technical Director, Bernard Niclot, told Motorsport.com.

“We have looked at several areas and today we can outline what will be available for the coming seasons so potential future teams can see they can race quick cars.”

As well as changes in the LMP1 privateer regulations, there were also several LMP1 hybrid amendments made for the 2017 season.

Aerodynamic changes to the LMP1 hybrids were announced, with the main change being the raising of the front splitter which will now have a height of 15mm.

Any changes to the Equivalence of Technology will be announced after the Le Mans weekend, including the amendment of Audi’s fuel allowance - which is set to be slightly increased, as revealed by Motorsport.com.

The ACO and FIA have yet to make public the 2018 to 2021 regulations, but revealed further safety details for the new generation of monocoques and for further emission reductions.

New LMP2 engine unveiled

The new Gibson Technologies spec LMP2 engine was shown publically for the first time at the press conference.

The unit, which has been named the GK428, is a 4.1-litre normally aspirated V8 engine, which will power all LMP2 cars in the FIA WEC next season.

Design and development of the GK428 started last summer and has so far completed 57 hours (10,000kms) of simulated Le Mans durability testing.

A batch of 20 engines is currently in production and manufacture at Gibson’s UK base. Four will be available in August, and one each will be delivered to the four designated chassis providers – ORECA, Onroak, Dallara and Multimatic/Riley.

An additional six engines will be ready for October, and a further 10 are to be available for testing by December 1.

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